Zionsville has won the boys’ tennis sectional each of the past seven seasons, with its reign of terror beginning in 2005.
Host Lebanon enters today’s sectional with the group’s best record at 17-4, but one of those losses came against that pesky Zionsville squad, a 5-0 setback at that. On the flip side, Lebanon also beat a ranked Perry Meridian squad (16th) while the Eagles are not ranked.
Zionsville, meanwhile, is hovering right at .500 with a 7-7 record. But their difficult schedule and Hoosier Crossroads Conference upbringing always play a vital role in the Eagles’ success.
Frankfort (7-11) is going to get the first crack at upending the Eagles as they go head-to-head in the sectional’s lone quarterfinal at 4:30 p.m. today.
“We know what we’re dealing with,” said Frankfort head coach Lisa King. “We’re just going to go in and play our best and face the challenge. We can’t control the draw but we can control how we play. We’re just going to play our best and be positive. I told the kids anything can happen. We’re going to face the challenge.”
Frankfort’s singles players have carried the team this year, as freshman Mason Townsley (No. 1), senior Derek Timmons (No. 2) and junior Dalton Bush (No. 3) all finished with a record above .500. Townsley was the top winner, finishing with an 11-6 record. Timmons was 9-8 and Bush 10-7.
“They were definitely the strength of our team this year,” King said. “Dalton, he impressed us. He took care of business a lot of times on the court and he’s improved a lot.”
They’ll likely match up with the following players: senior Josh Axelson at No. 1 singles (5-7), sophomore Carson Skelly (6-4, 8-4 overall) at No. 2 singles and junior Nick Ceryak (9-2, 10-4 overall) at No. 3 singles.
The No. 1 doubles team of Andrew Lynch/David Miller has amassed a 5-11 record but ended the season with five consecutive losses. They’ll likely play Sean Middleton/Ben Huber (7-5).
Frankfort has used five combinations at No. 2 doubles this season. King did this because she felt senior Brandon Townsley, sophomore Charles Frey, Jonatan Lopez and freshmen Wyatt Holston and Dallas Alquezada were equal in talent. King has settled on Townsley/Holston as their No. 2 doubles’ team, a duo that didn’t come together until the Hot Dogs’ 10th match of the season.
Townsley/Holston were 2-3 on the season, starting off with two straight wins against Carroll and Twin Lakes before losing their last three matches.
“(Holston) was being aggressive and his net play has improved a lot,” King said. “That was hard for us at two (doubles). We wanted to do the matchup that we thought was successful and who meshed well together. That was hard to find.”
Brandon Townsley teamed with Frey for four matches, going 1-3, and teamed with Miller to go 0-1 to bring his overall season record to 3-7. Townsley/Holston will likely play sophomore Josh Geiser/Brock Eibing. Zionsville’s had eight players step in at No. 2 doubles.
On Thursday, Rossville (2-14) and Western Boone (9-4) will play for the third time this season. Western Boone won both regular season matchups, 5-0.
“We lost both times pretty soundly,” said Rossville head coach Bud Wainscott.
Both of Rossville’s wins came against the same school — Attica.
It’s been a trying season for Wainscott and the Hornets, which have an eye toward the future. There are no seniors on this year’s team and the Hornets only played three home matches. Next year, Rossville will have 12 or 13 home matches.
“It could help them next year,” Wainscott said.
Rossville may be without its No. 2 singles player, junior Levi Ellars. Ellars broke his nose last week and his status is questionable. No. 1 singles player Lucas Zobel, a junior, is also not 100 percent after pulling a muscle in his back.
Conner Remaly will play at No. 3 singles, with Kaleb Harness/Brock White at No. 1 doubles and Cory Disinger/Adam Easterday at No. 2 doubles.
“I thought in the last 4-5 matches they got more competitive,” Wainscott said. “They’re getting more fire. You’re not play intramurals, it is competition.”
For Western Boone, Jacob Debard is 5-7 at No. 1 singles, David James 8-5 at No. 2 singles, Tyler Squibb 9-2 at No. 3 singles, Ryan Nicley/Zach Childers 8-5 at No. 1 doubles, and Jason Smith/Quintin Martin 6-4 at No. 2 doubles.