Season ends for Lincoln, South Knox
Rivet's boys tennis team received the good draw and Lincoln didn't when the IHSAA released its sectional pairings Monday. Two days later, that's how it played out too in the semifinal round of the Vincennes Sectional.
The Patriots lost just three games in singles on their way to a 4-1 triumph over South Knox. Washington used the same 4-1 score to eliminate the Alices on Wednesday at the Lincoln courts.
Rivet (7-6), the defending sectional champions, takes on the Hatchets (15-7) at 5 p.m. today in the championship match.
On a day with a record temperature in the mid-90s, the Patriots didn't use too much energy to take out the Spartans (4-17), who are just in their second year of having a program.
In singles, No. 1 Sam Hinkle shut out Nathan Ruppel, 6-0, 6-0, as did No. 2 Noah Donovan over Nathan Robbins. No. 3 Charlie Niehaus took out Trevor Lough, 6-0, 6-3.
Rivet's fourth win came at No. 1 doubles as Grant Freeman-Peyton Catt topped Nolan Hays-Caleb Cunningham, 7-5, 6-0. South Knox got its win at No. 2 doubles when Toby Holland-Tom Schmidt outlasted Luke Weiss-Peyton Mayles, 4-6, 7-6 (9-7), 1-0 (10-7), in the last match of the day.
Rivet coach Aaron Pea said his players knew they had the edge going into Wednesday and weren't as sharp as he wanted them to be.
"We needed to play with a little more conviction in some areas. We went through the motions at times and let the heat get the better of us. I could tell they were getting loose mentally, so we have to do a better job of that (today)," Pea said.
"But I know Washington had to work a lot harder in the heat than we did because we had shorter matches. That favors us, and we'll be ready," he added. "The (long) two doubles match was good for both Rivet and South Knox, experiencing that. I know our guys were a little nervous."
First-year South Knox coach Ryan Hayden noted his team's improvement from a year ago.
"We were hoping to get a couple of doubles wins and sneak a singles win in there, but Rivet singles are just too tough for us right now. Our two doubles came to play. They saved six match points and that was a nice way to end the season," Hayden said.
"Going from zero wins to four is a step in the right direction. Maybe we can add four more wins and get to eight next year," he said. "Nolan was our only senior, and I wish he had a four-year career instead of two. But the team is starting to get experience."
Lincoln (11-8) claimed a lot of games in singles, but it wasn't enough to cobble out three wins. The Alices' win came at No. 3 when David Wilson edged Drake Harman, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4. Washington's No. 1 Zachary Gray topped Ethan Jones, 6-2, 6-4; and No. 2 Braden Kixmiller defeated Dustin Altstadt, 7-6 (7-4), 6-1.
Washington's double victories were by No. 1 Owen Gray-Austin Gere over Landon Altstadt-Kyle Stenger, 6-2, 7-5; and No. 2 Jacob Rice-Jaylyn Rook over Simon Corrona-Calvin Carmean, 6-1, 6-1.
Lincoln first-year coach Bryce Crane pointed out the Alices lost to the Hatchets, 5-0, in the regular season but his team still had the belief it could win Wednesday.
"It easily could've gone our way. Dustin had a close match, one doubles had a good match and Ethan was starting to pull it together at the end. We put up a good fight. The guys played strong, loose and aggressive," Crane said. "I was glad for David to get his win.
"We got more out of this season than I anticipated. This summer I thought we had one or two actual players. Now I feel like we have eight tennis players."