Owls top Cougars 5-0 to advance to sectional final

Coach Brandon Davis said his Seymour tennis team turned in an excellent performance in a 5-0 win over Trinity Lutheran on Thursday afternoon in the Seymour Sectional.

Davis said it will take the same kind of effort at 5 p.m. today when the Owls (12-2) play Austin (13-3) for the championship of the Seymour Sectional. Austin advanced Thursday with a 4-1 win over Scottsburg.

The Owls and Eagles did not play during the regular season, but Austin has defeated Seymour in the sectional the past two years.

“It’s a sore subject, but we know what we need to do,” Davis said. “We’re ready, we’re hungry for it and we’re going to come out swinging like we always do. This year has proved that. Our only losses have come to two ranked teams (Bloomington North and Floyd Central). We don’t plan on losing (today). Austin is a good team, so we’ll just come out and prepare for it.”

Davis liked the way the Owls came out strong against the Cougars.

“It was a good match, and everybody fought hard,” he said. “We were content with the outcome. We knew we couldn’t count them out, so we just came out and still played the game we’ve played all year, and we did what we needed to do.”

The Owls won every set against the Cougars with Eli Meyer beating Solomon Hall 6-1, 6-0 at No. 1 singles.

Playing No. 1 singles in the sectional was a new experience for both players as Meyer played doubles last year and Hall played No. 2 singles.

Meyer said, “I’d say I’m about as adjusted to playing number one as I can get. If I’d played more singles during my high school career, I’m sure I’d be a little bit better. I’ve enjoyed playing the best players from these schools. In doubles sometimes, there is one good player and one not so good, but in singles, you know you’re always going to play the best player on the other team.”

Meyer credited his serve to Thursday’s win, and said with his height (6-foot-5), he is able to hit his serves on a downward slope.

“My serve was good against (Hall), and my volleys were pretty good,” Meyer said. “Coming to the net, I did pretty well. When I was at the net, I won a lot of points there.”

Meyer said the players had to adjust to the wind on Thursday.

“Every time I switched, I had to tell myself that I had to hit it a little bit softer or a little bit harder because of the wind, but I think I adjusted pretty well to it,” he said. “I played with my dad (Rick) growing up, and then I started competitive tennis in seventh grade. I enjoy coming out here in the summer and in the fall, and I just sweat everything off. It just releases a lot of pressure, and being with my teammates, it’s a good relaxer.”

Hall said he has enjoyed playing No. 1 for the Cougars and plans to play a lot in the offseason.

“It’s always good to play players a lot better than you to see what a lot of these 4A schools’ talent is. I was ready to come out. I’ll play him any time,” Hall said. “My record is not as good as it was last year playing two, but I like the challenge, and I feel that will prepare me a lot better for my senior year. I think we’re the first Trinity team to have a winning (11-10) record. I’m going to pick up Nathan (Finke) and come out here and turn the lights on and play.”

In other singles matches, Hunter Heckman topped Jack Stuckwisch 6-3, 6-1 at No. 2, and Reuben Kruse was a 6-0, 6-0 winner over Finke at No. 3.

Seymour’s one doubles team of Jack VonDielingen and Joe Schmidt topped Nathan Voelker and Jonathan Neawedde 6-0, 6-2, and Parker Thompson and Drew Handloser beat Will Gausmann and Max Peters 6-2, 6-0 at No. 2.

Trinity coach Kable Walton said the Cougars just lost to a better team Thursday.

“They had a good team that was loaded with seniors,” Walton said. “I saw this year as a successful year for Trinity tennis. I’m really proud of all the work the guys put in. We have a really young team. We’ll miss Nathan (Voelker) dearly. He’s a big personality on the team. We’re really looking to come back and having a good showing next year. We have a lot of young guys, and we’re going to keep working. I really appreciate the work they put in.”