Area tennis teams prep for postseason

From Herald Staff Reports
On Monday evening, the IHSAA officially announced the sectional pairings for this year’s boys tennis postseason tournament.

Here’s a look at the pairings and what to expect in the postseason from each of our local teams.

Jasper

Sectional location: Jasper
Record: 12-2 (5-0 Big Eight, conference champs)
Key wins: 4-1 over No. 20 Castle, 3-2 over No. 22 Avon
Probable lineup: Eli Franks, Michael Kluemper and Max Sternberg at the singles positions with Bennett Schmitt/Mitch Kluemper and Jobe Luebbehusen/Hudson Himsel at the two doubles spots.
Opening matchup: Pike Central at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday
Outlook: The Jasper boys tennis team is looking for their 13th straight sectional championship and have high hopes after making it all the way to the state championship match last year before falling to Carmel.
The Cats will open their postseason ranked No. 13 and will open the sectional against Pike Central with a potential rematch of last year’s sectional championship against Forest Park looming ahead (the Cats won 5-0 last year). 

Southridge

Sectional location: Jasper
Record: 5-10 (2-5 Pocket Athletic)
Key wins: 4-1 over Princeton, 5-0 against Tell City
Probable lineup: Carson Mundy, Owen Kinker and Austin Barkley at the singles positions and Garrett Altmeyer/Michael Kappner and Alex Biehl/Max Rasche at the two doubles spots.
Opening matchup: Forest Park at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday
Outlook: The Raiders struggled at the beginning of the season starting 0-8 but they ended the season by winning four of their last five matches.
Southridge will open the postseason against Forest Park who they lost to earlier in the season in an extremely close battle, 3-2.

Forest Park

Sectional location: Jasper
Record: 7-3 (4-1 Pocket Athletic)
Key wins: 3-2 over Southridge, first place at North Harrison Invitational
Probable lineup: Reid Steffe, Nathan Jarboe and Wes Stout at the three singles spots; Aaron Hurst/Joseph Hurst and Caiden Persohn/Evan Steinmetz at the doubles spots.
Opening matchup: Southridge at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday
Outlook: Forest Park started their season strong by winning the North Harrison Invitational and had several other strong performances throughout the season. They also saw a lot of growth from their top two singles players, Reid Steffe and Nathan Jarboe.
The Rangers will open postseason play against Southridge, a team they defeated 3-2 in a narrow victory earlier this year. With a win against Southridge, the Rangers will find themselves in the sectional championship with a possible rematch of last year’s title game against Jasper awaiting them.

Northeast Dubois

Sectional location: Loogootee
Record: 12-3 (3-2 Blue Chip)
Key wins: 4-1 at Paoli, 4-1 at home against Bloomfield
Probable lineup: Reece Bauer, Ethan Ziegler and Luke Harder at the singles positions and Logan Mehringer/Lane Knies and Ross Mehringer/Tucker Neukam at the two doubles positions.
Opening matchup: Barr-Reeve at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday
Outlook: The Northeast Dubois boys tennis team saw their streak of an undefeated regular season come to an end but they still have high hopes for another strong postseason run.
The Jeeps have won their past five sectional championships but the road to a sixth straight title is a little tougher this year with the rise of Loogootee and Barr-Reeve’s programs. Northeast Dubois will open their postseason against the Vikings (16-1), a team they fell to 3-2 earlier in the season at Montgomery.

Heritage Hills

Sectional location: Newburgh (Castle)
Record: 12-2 (7-0 Pocket Athletic, conference champions)
Key wins: 3-2 at Evansville Mater Dei, 4-1 at Northeast Dubois
Probable lineup: Logan Smallwood, Josh Dellamuth and Zack Weaver at the singles spots; Luke Peters/JT Smallwood and Josh Nelson/Blake Sisley at the two doubles tandems.
Opening matchup: vs. Tell City
Outlook: Heritage Hills arguably was one of the strongest tennis teams around the area this season with their only losses coming against powerhouse Jasper and the rising group of Loogootee.
The Pats will open their postseason against Tell City, a group they defeated 5-0 in the regular season. However, their bid for a third straight tennis championship may be a bit more challenging this year as they’ll be in the same sectional as No. 20 Castle — a team that’s won 24 straight sectional titles.




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