BLOOMINGTON — When Seymour tennis head coach Brandon Davis was trying to find the right lineup and combinations for the 2022 season, he had a feeling the spirited Jack VonDielingen could mesh well with the steady-headed Joe Schmidt as a doubles pairing.
But what Davis has gotten out of that tandem has been even better than he had hoped. The duo had under three losses the whole regular season, and on Tuesday as Seymour took on Bloomington South in regionals, VonDielingen and Schmidt won their match 6-2, 7-5 to stay alive in the postseason tournament.
“They’ve really pulled it together and they’re very concrete together,” Davis said. “They play to each other strengths and weaknesses very well.”
VonDielingen’s presence at the net can be intimidating for opponents, especially after he sends a couple volleys ricocheting off their side of the court and lets everyone know about, too. Meanwhile Schmidt has a smooth stroke and can keep the ball in play as well as anyone.
Those skillsets aided them in Tuesday’s victory over the Panthers’ Nicholas Walker and Luka Jovanovic.
“Jack is very excited about every point, whether it’s good or bad, and Joe is calm, cool and collected,” Davis said. “They feed to each other well. Joe has great ground strokes, and then Jack is there at the net ready to punch it back at them.”
The Owls’ one dubs had a 5-2 lead in the second set before South rallied and evened things up at 5-5. Trying to avoid a third set, VonDielingen and Schmidt regrouped and were able to win the next two games.
“They knew what they needed to do,” Davis said. “They knew they wanted to finish it, so they came together collectively and said, ‘OK, we gotta do it. We’re not gonna lose.’”
VonDielingen and Schmidt were the only ones from Seymour who were able to score a victory over South on Tuesday.
Michael Asplund defeated Eli Meyer 6-0, 6-2 at one singles, Chris Lian beat Hunter Heckman 6-0, 6-0 at two singles, Alexander Busch beat Reuben Kruse 6-0, 6-1 at three singles, and Joshua Sang and David Ciucu beat Parker Thompson and Drew Handloser 6-1, 6-1 at two doubles.
South’s 4-1 victory advanced them to the regional championship later today against Columbus North.
As for the Owls, Davis was pleased Seymour was able to reach this point after beating Austin 3-2 last week to claim the program’s first sectional title since 2019.
“It was fun to be able to do with them and with this senior group,” Davis said. “I think it was a good last hoorah for them to win the sectional and see how far they could go.”
Meyer, Heckman, Kruse, VonDielingen and Trevor Alberring are all seniors. Schmidt, Thompson and Handloser will be able to carry this regional experience with them into next season.
“It’s good to have experience and build that for the upcoming years,” Davis said.
Brownstown Central’s Connor Gwin and Bryce Reaser were also at Bloomington South Tuesday as they were competing in the individual doubles tournament after beating Austin’s one doubles team last week in sectionals.
The two Braves were matched up against Scottsburg’s Mayson Cutter and Noah Bagwell. After dropping the first set 6-3, both teams had to move courts after the net broke on the original court they were playing on.
Gwin and Reaser got off to a great start in the second set, going up 3-1, but then Scottsburg battled back.
The two teams went into a second set tiebreaker to seven points, and it was the Warriors who were able to prevail 7-3.
Gwin and Reaser were both seniors for the Braves, and it was their second-straight season playing at one doubles together.
Scottsburg now advances to take on Bloomington North’s one doubles team later today while VonDielingen and Schmidt will also be in action against Greensburg’s one doubles team, who defeated Hauser on Tuesday.
Matches are slated to begin at 5:30 p.m. today at Bloomington High School South.