Eli Meyer and Jack VonDielingen had an outstanding tennis season at Seymour High School this fall, posting a record of 20-5.
Their losses were to quality opponents, and their final defeat came at the hands of a doubles team from Bloomington South who finished third in the state tournament.
Coach Brandon Davis said, “To lose to the third team in the state, I will take that loss any day.”
They were selected to the Hoosier Hills all-conference first team, and were named to the all-district team.
“No other pairing in the county was able to beat them or have the record and quality wins/losses that they had,” Davis said. “They encouraged each others weaknesses. They didn’t beat each other up for it. They made sure that they were benefitting from each other’s strengths.”
VonDielingen and Meyer placed third out of eight at the Silver Creek Invitational, and they were named to the academic all-state team.
They have been named The Tribune’s Jackson County Boys Tennis Players of the Year.
Both Meyer and VonDielingen are juniors. They were members of the Immanuel Lutheran School tennis team in seventh and eighth grade, but they both played singles on those teams.
“It’s not hard to be straight up with each other. We don’t have to sugarcoat anything. We can just tell how it is, and that’s what makes us better,” VonDielingen said.
“The biggest thing I enjoy about playing doubles with Jack is definitely getting hyped with someone else on the court. We can always have somebody to rely on,” Meyer said. “You can’t get in your head as much in doubles as you can in singles. Sometimes even if you miss a shot, your teammates can hit it over, which is big sometimes.”
VonDielingen is right-handed and Meyer is left-handed, so they would play on the side of the court that their dominant hand was on.
“Usually, your forehand is better than your backhand, so on the serve, we both get a forehand to hit and that made it a lot easier,” VonDielingen said. “I like tennis because I get to play with all my friends. I like being on a doubles team with Eli. We communicate well. We play well. I feel when I get up to the net, it gives us some momentum, getting an overhead or something, getting excited with Eli.”
VonDielingen and Meyer agreed that winning the first set was a big strategy of theirs.
“Winning the first set is probably one of the biggest things you can do in tennis,” Meyer said.
He thinks the strongest part of my game is his shot placement.
“The warm-ups are pretty big because you can’t watch film in tennis like you can in basketball, volleyball or football. Warm-ups are probably when you learn the most about your opponent,” Meyer said. “Both of us are good at moving laterally. We’re pretty athletic. I really think that helps in tennis. That goes a long way.”
VonDielingen said if he and Meyer play together next fall, “I’m looking forward to getting revenge on a few of those teams, honestly, and maybe having a better record than this year, get a few more wins than we did.”
Meyer said, “Next year is the year we’re going to have to do pretty good, and that’s the year we’re really going to have to test ourselves and prove to everybody that we’re a good tennis team, that we don’t just beat bad teams.”
He said playing a competitive schedule helped prepare them for the postseason tournament.
“Playing the big schools and the hard competition, even though we lose a few of those matches, it gets us ready for the other ones that we need to win,” Meyer said.
The remainder of the All-County Tennis team:
Ethan Davis, Brownstown Central (senior), Brownstown MVP, all-Mid-Southern, all-district, honorable mention all-state, 14-6.
Andrew Levine, Seymour (senior), SHS most valuable singles player, 17-6, academic all-state.
Reuben Kruse, Seymour (junior), 15-5 in doubles, academic all-state.
Nathan Voelker, Trinity Lutheran (junior), 8-8 in doubles, earned conference medal.
Solomon Hall, Trinity Lutheran (sophomore), 9-7, earned conference medal.
Joe Schmidt, Seymour (sophomore), 14-5 in doubles, academic all-state.
Parker Thompson, Seymour (freshman), 15-5 in doubles, most outstanding freshman, academic all-state.
Pierson Wheeler, Brownstown Central (freshman), 19-3 in singles, Brownstown’s most improved, all-Mid-Southern.
Brownstown Central: Smith Hackman, Connor Gwin, Bryce Reaser.
Seymour: Hunter Heckman.