GREENWOOD – Park Tudor’s Drew Wiegel smashed a forehand on match point to clinch the No.1 doubles victory and knock him and his partner Will Emhardt off the pitch.
The victory provided the deciding point in a 5-0 triumph over host Center Grove in semi-state on Saturday and Emhardt expressed some surprise.
“I had no idea we had won seven games in a row now,” said Emhardt, a senior. “I thought it was five, or something.”
This is the seventh straight semi-state title for the Panthers, who now advance to the IHSAA state finals starting Friday at Carmel High School. Emhardt can be forgiven for not knowing the exact number, as Park Tudor coach Kevin Gill said it was the hardest to win.
“Well this is only my third,” said Gill, “but it must have been the most difficult. We lost to Brébeuf (3-2) in the regular season and we had to adjust our roster. made the change, the children accepted.
After this loss to Brebeuf, No.3, Gill split his No.2 doubles team consisting of Karchi Ertl and Alex Kim and moved them to No.2 and 3. Singles respectively. The previous two and three, Brett Liebross and Eli Anderson, were the new doubles team.
The fifth-ranked Panthers responded by avenging the loss to Brébeuf to win the section title, then defeated No.7 Avon and No.13 Brownsburg to claim the regional title.
On Saturday, Liebross and Anderson were the first off the field with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Grant Herron and Mason Runkle. Then Kim triumphed 6-2, 6-1 over JT Embrey.
This left Wiegel and Emhardt to win the match with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Mitch Runkle and Eli Lawyer-Smith. For good measure, Ertl clinched a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Nic Ballesteros and No.1 singles Aiden Harris overcame a tough challenge from Trey Thixton to a 7-5, 5-7, 6 triumph. -1.
“It was a testament to our depth and the work we did,” said Gill. “When you move people like we did, you never know what can happen. But, they’ve been all-in.
Park Tudor won a 4-1 victory over the Trojans in August and longtime Center Grove coach Ivan Smith knew his team was struggling.
“I had no idea how we were going to change a few of these games,” Smith said. “They’re a better team than us, we just wanted them to win.”
Park Tudor will meet No.4 Homestead in the quarterfinals on Friday. The semifinals and championship games are set for Saturday at North Central High School where, North Central defeated Concord 5-0, at
>> Other semi-state action: Last year’s state champion North Central defeated Concord 5-0 to win his seventh straight semi-state … Carmel also advanced to the state final with a 5-0 victory on Munster. In singles, Patrick Fletchall (6-1 6-0), Presley Thieneman (6-0, 6-0) and Nishesh Basavareddy (6-1, 6-0) all won for the Greyhounds in a dominant fashion. In total, Carmel has lost just seven games combined in five games … Either Park Tudor, North Central or Carmel have won the IHSAA Men’s State Tennis Team Championship since 2009-10.
PARC TUDOR 5, CENTER GROVE 0
In Center Grove semi-state, Greenwood
SIMPLE: Aiden Harris d. Trey Thixton, 7-5, 5-7, 6-1; Karchi Ertl d. Nic Ballesteros, 6-4, 6-4; Alex Kim d. JT Embrey, 6-2, 6-1.
DOUBLE: Will Emhardt-Drew Wiegel d. Mitch Runkle-Eli Lawyer-Smith, 6-3, 6-0; Brett Liebross-Eli Anderson defeated Grant Herron-Mason Runkle, 6-3, 6-1.
Recordings: Tudor Park 20-4; Center Grove finishes 13-11.