JASPER —The Washington boys tennis team hadn’t played in a regional match since 2003, but they certainly looked like they belonged.
Washington (22-3) defeated Bloomfield (17-2) 5-0 Tuesday afternoon to clinch a spot in the Regional Championship against Jasper this afternoon.
“We got off to a little bit of a sluggish start, but we went into this match kind of blind and now knowing what to expect,” said Washington coach Jason Johnston. “This team throws a little bit different serves at us that we hadn’t seen before — a little flatter than we’re used to seeing. It just took the guys a few games to get going.”
The senior doubles team of Tyler Stoll and Corey Thompson got the Hatchets off to a quick start at the No. 1 spot with a 6-2, 6-0 victory. Washington’s No. 1 doubles is undefeated in the postseason.
“The No. 1 doubles team just stuck with their fundamentals and did everything right,” said Washington coach Jason Johnston. “Right now our doubles points are what we count on the most and our singles players have played well too, but normally our No. 1 doubles has been dominant.”
At No. 1 singles, sophomore Lucas Miller defeated Del Carter in straight sets 6-1, 6-2.
Playing against a unique player that hit his serves a little bit different gave Miller some trouble, but the sophomore was able to battle through it with some in-match adjustments from Johnston.
“It took about a game to get Lucas (Miller) going with a real good game plan to see this boys style of play,” Johnston said.
“Once we noticed that this kid hit a flat ball we were able to take the ball a little earlier and once that happened he was in charge of the points pretty much the rest of the match.”
Senior Jacob Luttrell won a three-set marathon match against Jared Myers by 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
At No. 2 doubles, Jake Bedwell and John Harner were able to take care of business in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 over Brennan Hughes and Evan Fuller. Michael Ramsey won at No. 3 singles 7-5, 6-3.
“No. 2 doubles played within their fundamentals like No. 1 doubles with success,” Johnston said. “Their serve fell away from them a little bit, but they were able to put it back together and win in straight sets. Michael Ramsey at No. 3 singles has been a bright spot in our lineup, because we didn’t quite know what to expect when we put him there early in the year. He’s lost once since we made that move.”
Washington will return today to the Ed Yarbrough Tennis Complex to take on the host Wildcats (16-3), who defeated Northeast Dubois (18-1) 5-0 Tuesday afternoon. Washington lost 5-0 at Jasper Sept. 23 for one of its three losses on the season.
“What we can take from the previous match is that we know that we can make no errors in order to win that match,” Johnston said.