Jeeps fall to Lions, but send 3 players advance

BY JONATHAN SAXON
jsaxon@dcherald.com

LOOGOOTEE — All journeys have a final destination, and while the Northeast Dubois boys tennis team enjoyed a fine run throughout its season, the Jeeps reached their final stop as a team as they fell to the Loogootee Lions 3-2 in the sectional final on Thursday night.

Reece Bauer was victorious at No. 1 singles over Jordan Wildman (6-2, 6-2), and the No. 1 doubles combo of Ethan Ziegler and Luke Harder defeated Sebastian Toy and Luke Nonte (6-4, 6-2).

Jeeps coach Dwayne Knies said his whole team played hard, and the two doubles match was tied at 5-5 at one point in the first set before Nathan Seals and Jayden Leatherman topped Tanner Hurt and Ross Mehringer (7-5, 6-1). The other two losses came at No. 2 singles as Jalen Wildman beat Aden Thewes (6-0, 6-0), and No. 3 singles with Bryant Ecklere besting Tucker Neukam (6-2, 6-3). It was the third time this season the Jeeps were edged by the Lions in such a fashion.

“The seniors did what we expected, they took care of business,” Knies said. “We were close, we just couldn’t quite pull it out. We just lost to a better team.”

Of course, Knies would have loved to get one of those three matches and moved on in the postseason with his team. But he loved what his players were able to accomplish across the board during the fall. The Jeeps posted 17 wins, and the only other team that could claim a victory over them was Barr-Reeve. Knies is proud of how the team grew from the start of the season to its final match, and will remember how the players were always in the thick of it, playing to win whenever they stepped on the court.

“Overall great season,” Knies said. “I’m happy with how the boys played throughout the season. I’m happy with how they improved and how they competed tonight.”

Though the team’s season is over, Bauer, Zielger and Harder will all move on to represent the Jeeps in next week’s individual sectional matches. Knies is eager to see who they’ll draw, but he is confident they have what it takes to keep on playing tennis deep into the postseason.

“They’ll have a good shot at whoever they play,” he said. “It wouldn’t surprise me at all if these guys keep advancing on for another week or so.”

 




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