Bull Dogs fall in regional final

BEDFORD — For a few fleeting moments Wednesday evening, the Columbus North boys tennis team had a punchers’ chance at upsetting Bloomington North.

But the 10th-ranked Cougars quickly slammed the door on a Bull Dogs’ comeback attempt. Bloomington North won two matches early and then two more close ones in a 4-1 victory in the Bedford North Lawrence Regional final.

The Cougars, who had beaten the 23rd-ranked Bull Dogs 5-0 twice during the regular season, jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with wins at No. 1 singles and No. 3 singles. Bloomington North also won the first set at the other three positions, but at one point, Columbus North was leading in all three in the second set.

“We sort of did ourselves in,” Columbus North coach Kendal Hammel said. “Double faults, missed a volley, missed an overhead. We’ve talked all season long — errors, errors, errors. Errors are not going to win the matches. I felt like we did have the opportunities to make the match much closer.”

Any hope of a Bull Dogs comeback was ended when Isaac Jackson and Lucas Huang fell to Sam Orbaugh and Scott Bode 6-1, 7-5 at No. 2 doubles after the Columbus North duo was serving for the second set.

Kevin Lin and Ammar Khaled still had a chance to move on in the doubles tournament with a win, but they lost to Christian Gettelfinger and Mick Thompson 7-6 (5), 6-4 at No. 1 doubles. After dropping the first set tiebreaker, Lin and Khaled were serving to go up 5-2 in the second set.

“I was disappointed for No. 1 doubles,” Hammel said. “They played so well. If they could have got that first set with that tiebreaker, that would have changed the complexion for them overall.”

The Bull Dogs did manage one victory when Anay Gangal pulled out a third-set supertiebreaker at No. 2 singles. Gangal beat Paul Dzubay 2-6, 7-5, (10-8) victory.

Gangal had lost to Dzubay twice this season.

“The difference today was the way I was feeling going into the match,” Gangal said. “The last few times, my record against him kind of daunted me, but this time I kind of wanted to go fresh since it’s my last match. I’m just happy to pull off the win.”

The Cougars’ Mac Rogers was first off the courts after a 6-0, 6-0 win against Nathan VanDeventer at No. 1 singles. Bloomington North’s Jace Day then finished off a 6-0, 6-1 victory against Ben Mathew.

Columbus North finishes its season 16-7.

“I was proud of the team,” Hammel said. “Our third chance, we really pushed them. We had a good year. We got beat by a better team — a team that will probably go on to the state.”

Author photo
Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.