Harrison to face West Lafayette for sectional tennis title
October 3, 2012West Lafayette Jr.-Sr. High School
After a 4-1 loss to West Lafayette on Aug. 24, Harrison coach Jim Whitworth shifted his lineup.
Positive results were instantaneous, and now the Raiders get a second crack at the Red Devils with more momentum in tonight’s sectional championship.
Harrison defeated McCutcheon 5-0 and West Lafayette topped Lafayette Jeff 4-1 at Cumberland Courts on Thursday.
“Ever since the lineup changes, we’ve had a lot better performance,” said Harrison No. 1 singles player Andrew Zeng. “We want the sectional. We’ve been working hard for it and we expect it. This is something we all have been working towards and something everyone really wants.”
David Beardmore moved from No. 2 singles to No. 1 doubles, teaming with Nick LaNeve, who played the last three seasons at Central Catholic. Andy McIntosh dropped from No. 1 doubles to No. 2, teaming with Ryan Madden. Isaac Mathis went from No. 2 doubles to No. 3 singles and Mark Sellke moved into the No. 2 singles position.
Alan Min claimed a victory at No. 2 singles for West Lafayette (11-6) and was quickly followed by victories by the Red Devils’ No. 2 doubles team of Andre Woloshuk and Mika Ruehs and No. 1 doubles players Tommy Krause and Christopher Park, advancing the Red Devils to the sectional championship. George Chien earned a 6-1, 6-1 victory at No. 3 singles.
“With the lineup change, we don’t know to expect this time,” Park said. “We have to come out strong and fast. It’s going to be a really tough match and a really good match.”
Jeff senior Peter Ripke kept the Red Devils from a sweep, outlasting Lucas Owen at No. 1 singles in a first-set tiebreaker before taking the match 7-6 (8-6), 6-2.
Ripke advances as an individual, joining Central Catholic’s Matt Bouggy, who won over Owen on Wednesday.
“That was a huge tiebreaker there. It was huge momentum for me going into the second set,” Ripke said. “It was a pretty big bummer that we lost as a team, but I am kind of stoked about being in the individual (tournament). I’m trying to represent my team well.”
The Raiders (9-5) won in straight sets at every position. Zeng, Mathis (No. 3 singles), LaNeve and Beardmore and Madden and McIntosh combined to lose just three games.
Mark Sellke secured Harrison’s sweep with a 7-5, 6-2 victory at No. 2 singles over Danny Muldoon.
Harrison will attempt to win its third sectional title since 2007, which has broken up a long string of WL dominance. Harrison’s titles in 2007 and 2010 are the only non-West Lafayette championships since Lafayette Jeff won in 1996.
West Lafayette coach Tim Wright has used that as motivation in practice.
“Our coach, every time he wants us to condition, he says, ‘Think about what Harrison is doing,’ ” Min said. “They are kind of our inspiration to keep going.”