JASPER – The Washington No. 1 doubles team ended up the last men standing from the Jasper Tennis Regional on Tuesday.
The team of Austin Gere and Owen Gray were the lone winners in WHS 4-1 loss to Bloomfield at the Ed Yarborough Tennis Complex. Gere and Gray won 6-2, 6-3 over Eli Cumming and Ryan Schulte and will advance to play the No. 1 team from Northeast Dubois. In the other matches, Bloomfield took the rest as Turner Royal beat Zachary Gay, 6-4, 6-2 at No. 1, while Baylin Graf beat Braden Kixmiller, 6-0, 7-5, and Noah Cumming downed Drake Harman, 6-1, 6-0 at No. 3. At No. 2 doubles, Peyton Davis and Wilson Keene defeated Jacob Rice and Jaylyn Rook in a close 7-5, 7-5 match.
“The Hatchet tennis team competed Tuesday night at regionals at Jasper. All single spots were trying to battle from behind and end up being competitive, but losing in straight sets. Bloomfield came out and executed their game plan and got us on our heels. We battled but could not come back. The first doubles team of Gere and Gray got off to a better start. They were able to put a lot of shots away off the net and create some holes for winners. It’s unfortunate that our last match of the season ended this way,” said WHS coach Jason Johnston.
In the other semifinal match, Loogootee fell to Jasper, 4-1, and finished the year with a record setting, 20-2.
The lone LHS winner was Jalen Wildman at No. 2 singles, who defeated Bennett Schmitt, 6-4, 6-2. Jasper took the rest as Max Sternberg defeated Jordan Wildman, 6-1, 6-0 at No. 1, and Grant Levy beat Bryant Eckerle, 6-3, 6-3. In double, Jasper’s Mitch Kluemper and Grant Stratton defeated Sebastian Toy and Luke Nonte, 7-5, 6-2, while Hudson Himsel and Jobe Luebbehuesen beat Jayden Leatherman and Nathan Seals, 6-2, 6-3.
“Jalen played a tactically sound match to win at No. 2 singles against a quality opponent. Jasper did a good job of keeping us at the baseline at No. 1 and 3 singles, so we were never able to attack the net. Sebastian and Luke played a great first set but came up a few points short. No. 2 doubles were never able to string games together. You never want to end a season with a loss, but I was pleased with our play and effort today — we made Jasper earn the victory,” said LHS coach Mike Tippery. “The 20 wins set a school record for most team wins in a season. Three players broke the school record for most wins in a season (22), Jalen Wildman finished 23-2 at No. 2 singles. Jayden Leatherman and Nathan Seals also finished 23-2. Sebastian, Nathan, and Jayden showed great senior leadership in guiding this team to a successful season. Both our middle school and junior varsity squads finished the season with undefeated records, so the future looks bright for this program.”
In the lone individual match, North Daviess’ freshman Jaylen Mullen fell to Reese Bauer of Northeast Dubois, 6-3 and 6-1, keeping Bauer alive in the individual tourney.
ND coach Stephne Beard remarked, “Jaylen ran into a senior buzz-saw in Bauer from Dubois. This experience will undoubtedly help him down the road. Going 21-4 as a freshman at No. 1 singles is a testament to his talent and competitiveness. He represented North Daviess very well.”