The Washington Times-Herald
---- — VINCENNES - Although it has been 10 years since Washington last won a sectional title, no one was talking about history on Thursday at Vincennes Lincoln.
They were talking about making history.
In just an hour and a half, the 2013 edition of the Hatchets, stopped the Vincennes Rivet Patriot tennis dynasty, with a 3-2 win and their first win since 2003.
Rivet had won seven straight sectionals and had defeated WHS earlier in the year, but when the dust cleared, WHS (20-3) had won both doubles spots and the No. 3 singles slot to earn the right to move on to the Jasper Regional.
“We won a sectional in my very first year coaching here (2003) but you never know when you are going to have a chance to win one again,” said WHS coach Jason Johnston. “This feels really great right now.
The first Hatchet win came from Jake Bedwell and Jon Harner at No. 2 doubles. The pair defeated Ben Templin and Mitchell Hamilton, 6-1, 6-4. The win evened play at 1-1 early on, has Hatchet senior Jacob Lutrell fell to Alex Stenger, 6-0 and 6-1 at No. 2 singles.
“That first win was really important,” said Johnston. “Because we were up in two other spots when we got it.”
Seniors Corey Thompson and Tyler Stoll then came up with a two-set win (6-3, 6-2) in the top doubles spot over Nicholas Niehaus and Collin Wirth.
The Hatchet pair won 6-3 in the first set and were up 3-2 in the second, when they broke Rivet’s serve to put them in the driver’s seat, 4-2.
“That was a really big moment for us,” said Stoll. “We really felt like we were in control at that point,” added Thompson.
Both felt winning this title was an important moment for all three seniors on the team, who had previously lost to Rivet in the finals.
“We have been doing this for four years (playing varsity), so it feels really great,” added Stoll.
The match then came down to the final two matches. WHS junior Michael Ramsey won his first No. 3 singles set 6-1, but found himself down 5-3, before coming back with the 7-5 win that guaranteed the title.
“I came back with a 40-0 win to make it 5-4 and I really thought I would win then,” said Ramsey. Ramsey said he felt like the conditioning that the team engaged in was what gave him the stamina to come back and get the win.
The final match was at No. 1 singles, where sophomore Lucas Miller was defeated by Rivet’s Aaron Pea, 6-1 and 6-4, however, Johnston was very proud of Miller.
“He really battled back in the second set,” said Johnston. “I thought he was going to force a third set.”
Johnston said this was the most dominant team he has ever coached.
“The 2003 team was a very good team, but they won a lot of 3-2 matches, this team has dominated all year,” he added.
“We had a lot of help doing this, especially from our younger guys. They helped push our kids at every spot all year. This really means a lot to this team,” said Johnston.
“We know we have a lot of work left to do,” but we are going to enjoy this right now.”
The Hatchets now move on to the Jasper Regional on Tuesday.