Delta Tennis added another chapter to its history as a giant-killer with an outstanding performance Saturday in the Delta Invitational.
The Eagles beat three of the state’s largest high schools with victories over Terre Haute North (1,769 students), Fort Wayne Carroll (2,412 students), and Hamilton Southeastern (3,273 students). Those schools have a combined enrollment of almost 7,500 students.
And Delta won the tournament with a lineup of two freshmen, three sophomores, and two seniors.
16th-ranked Delta (12-1) started its day with a 5-0 shutout of Terre Haute North. THN entered with a 4-1 record, including a victory over state-ranked Bloomington South. But Delta was dominant, allowing the Patriots to collect only 11 games total. Ellie Snider, Gwendolyn Clark and Maggie Hunt swept the singles.
The next round provided a stiff challenge, as Fort Wayne Carroll entered with a 9-0 record and a No. 4 state ranking. The Eagles played outstanding in doubles, as Tynan Dishman and Maggie Manor beat an excellent opponent 6-3, 6-1 at No. 1 doubles and Mayzie Hinkle and Abby Bamidele won 6-1, 6-2 at No. 2 doubles. Carroll won easily at No. 2 and No. 3 singles, which meant the match would be decided at No. 1 singles. Delta senior Ellie Snider and Carroll senior Mia Toscos matched each other stroke for stroke for nearly two hours, with Snider rallying for a 4-6, 6-3, (10-6) victory. This was the highest-ranked team the Delta girls have beaten in more than a decade.
There was little time to celebrate, though, because 14th-ranked Hamilton Southeastern
was the opponent for the finals. Due to rain, the match moved indoors to the Muncie YMCA Tennis Center.
Snider again played well in a 6-0, 6-4 victory at No. 1 singles over Adalyn DeWitt. Snider is now 12-1 for the season.
Hinkle and Bamidele provided a major boost at No. 2 doubles with their best match of the season. After trailing 0-4 in the opening set, they found their groove and rallied but still dropped the first set 4-6. Hinkle and Bamidele hung tough in the second set for a 6-4 win, forcing a third-set tiebreaker. Under pressure, they came up big, playing flawlessly in a 10-4 tiebreaker win.
HSE picked up a victory at No. 3 singles when Delta freshman Maggie Hunt had to retire with a wrist injury. She trailed 4-5 in the first set at the time, but needs some rest to recover.
HSE also had the advantage at No. 2 singles, where Delta freshman Gwen Clark battled hard but couldn’t overcome the powerful strokes of HSE’s Tea Vrkic. HSE won the match, 3-6, 2-6.
The tournament championship came down to No. 1 doubles, where Delta sophomores Manor and Dishman faced HSE senior Jeorgia Templin and junior Taylor Cleary. The HSE duo had wins over state-ranked teams Cathedral, Avon, Fishers and Franklin Central this season and had lost only to state-ranked Zionsville. But Manor and Dishman showed grit in a 6-4, 6-3 victory.
Making the day even better was the performance of the Delta junior varsity team, which competed in the tournament as a varsity team to round out the eight-team field. The second unit played Yorktown’s varsity first. Yorktown was short-handed, with three regular players gone at a school function out of state. The Delta JV beat Yorktown 5-0, as Carolina Vidal, Liv Bradburn and Madelyn Haley won in singles, and Sara Cardemon/Ryley Bilbrey and Molly Hunt/Mary Groover won in doubles. Bradburn hustled her way to a third-set tiebreaker victory at No. 2 singles in a match that featured many long rallies.
The JV Eagles then faced Hamilton Southeastern and Fort Wayne Carroll in their final two matches. They lost both matches 0-5 to those state-ranked opponents, but they competed hard throughout the day. In the final match of the day, Hunt and Groover pushed FW Carroll to the limit at No. 2 doubles before losing an entertaining match.
Overall, a fantastic day for Delta Tennis. Next up is a road match at regional rival Marion on Wednesday, followed by the annual SmashCancer match on Thursday at Yorktown.