The 20th-ranked Delta Eagles flirted with a possible upset of 4th-ranked Homestead in the Homestead Semi-State on Saturday morning.
In the end, however, Homestead advanced to state with a 5-0 victory and Delta’s season ended with a 19-5 record.
Delta extended both doubles matches into close three-setters. At No. 1 doubles, juniors Tannon Dishman and Joel Ashman lost 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. At No. 2 doubles, freshmen Michael Curtis and Brandon Jackson lost 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.
No. 1 singles also was an exciting match. Senior Jason Wegener, the hero of the regional with two victories over All-State level players, faced David Heiney, a returning All-State Singles First Team player from a year ago. Wegener jumped out to a 3-0 first-set lead, but Heiney battled back for a 6-4, 6-2 victory.
Junior Ben Bamidele lost 6-0, 6-0 at No. 2 singles, and senior Caleb Gillis fell 6-1, 6-1 at No. 3 singles. Gillis was substituting for freshman Tanner Southerland, who broke his collarbone on Friday morning.
Delta graduated 10 seniors a year ago after making the Team State Finals for the third time in the past four years. Among those 10 seniors were four of the seven varsity starters.
This year’s team won its 25th consecutive sectional title, then added a regional title for the 22nd time in the past 23 years. The Eagles beat two state-ranked teams, Lapel and Marion, each by 3-2 scores to win regional.
In the regional championship match, Delta started three freshmen among its seven players.
Final season records for the Eagles:
No. 1 singles: senior Jason Wegener (23-4)
No. 2 singles: junior Ben Bamidele (14-12)
No. 3 singles: freshman Tanner Southerland (15-10)
No. 1 doubles: junior Tannon Dishman (24-3)
No. 1 doubles: junior Joel Ashman (24-3)
No. 2 doubles: freshman Michael Curtis (18-6)
No. 2 doubles: sophomore Mason Knight (15-6)
No. 2 doubles: freshman Brandon Jackson (6-1)
No. 2 doubles: senior Caleb Gillis (6-1)
The Eagles’ JV team finished with a 15-4 record. Top individual records for the Eagles were:
Sophomore Cade Brown 19-6
Senior Caleb Gillis 15-3
Sophomore Jaigen Glaze 17-5
Junior Ben Slavin 16-6
Sophomore Daniel Vencel 16-6
Freshman Riley Windsor 13-4
Sophomore Devin McKinley 12-11
Freshman Josef Zacek 10-7
Senior Blake Shanayda 10-9
The IHSAA Team State Finals will be next weekend. The eight teams advancing are No. 1 Carmel, No. 2 North Central, No. 4 Homestead, No. 5 Park Tudor, No. 12 Jeffersonville, No. 16 Jasper, No. 22 Culver Military Academy, and unranked Terre Haute North.
Delta defeated Culver Military 4-1 during the regular season and also competed in an invitational against Jeffersonville and Jasper. Overall, the Eagles faced 14 state-ranked teams this fall.