BEDFORD — Columbus North got off to a little bit of a slow start in Tuesday’s boys tennis regional semifinals against Scottsburg.
The Bull Dogs, however, turned things up an extra notch.
North used quick victories from both of its doubles matches to help pull away from Scottsburg 4-1. The 23rd-ranked Bull Dogs will now face No. 10 Bloomington North, who beat Greensburg 5-0 in the other semifinal, in today’s regional championship.
“We did not come out fast out of the gate, no doubt about it,” Columbus North coach Kendal Hammel said. “We were not playing aggressive right off the bat. We kept plugging away and holding serves and then breaking serves and doing things we needed to do.”
The first point of the day for the Bull Dogs (16-6) came at No. 1 doubles, where Kevin Lin and Ammar Khaled defeated Isaiah Walker and Camden Jones 6-1, 6-3. Lin and Khaled rallied after losing the first game and being down 40-love the second game.
“After we just won a point, we just got going and the momentum helped us,” Khaled said. “We were on a roll after that.”
Lin said he and Khaled had to start getting more aggressive.
“Our intensity was way down,” he said. “Once we won a game, our intensity came back, and we were moving our feet much more.”
Khaled says that they must adjust accordingly if they want to pull through against Bloomington North.
“Some of our points took us two or three volleys to put them away,” he said. “(Today), we won’t get those chances, and we have to put it away on the first volley.”
North picked up its second point of the match when Isaac Jackson and Walker Thomas downed Malachi Carr and Mark Hays 6-3, 6-4 at No. 2 doubles. The Bull Dogs secured the match when Ben Mathew put away Mason Noble 6-3, 6-2 at No. 3 singles.
The Warriors scored its victory at No. 2 singles, where Caleb White outlasted Akshaya Sabapathy 7-5, 6-4.
The most competitive match came at No. 1 singles, featuring North’s Nathan VanDeventer and Scottsburg’s Isaac Everitt. Everitt won the first set in a tiebreaker 7-6 (5) before VanDeventer stormed back to claim the second set 6-4 and the third set 6-1.
“First off, I have to credit (Everitt),” VanDeventer said. “He is a great player and he fought all the way through. He played an excellent match, great kid. In the first set, I was hesitant of my shot. In the second and third set, I started hitting the ball like I used to and played with more power. He started making mistakes, and I was moving around and getting to the ball.”
In individual singles competition, Columbus East senior Matt Furnish ended his high school career with a 6-1, 6-1 loss to Hunter Sylvester of Martinsville.
Furnish reflected on his time at East.
“It’s great, and it’s the best team I have ever been a part of,” Furnish said. “I have always been a part of a group that has had great leaders from my freshman year on. It’s been a lot of fun playing with the guys. I’m sad that is over, but it has been a good run.”