Hauser came into the Columbus North Sectional following one of its best boys tennis regular seasons in school history.

Unfortunately for the Jets, they ran up against a North team in the first round that has enjoyed a strong season of its own. The 24th-ranked Bull Dogs had too much firepower in a 5-0 first-round victory.

“This (Hauser) team was a seasoned, veteran team,” North coach Kendal Hammel said. “They’ve had a good year, they have a lot of good athletes, they have a lot of athletic ability, and you have to watch how they play the game.”

The Bull Dogs (14-4) advance to take on Edinburgh in today’s semifinals. Columbus East and Brown County will meet in the other semifinal, and the sectional title match will be Friday.

Story continues below gallery

Click here to purchase photos from this gallery

Kevin Lin wasted little time getting North off to a fast start with a 6-0, 6-0 win against Sam Meek at No. 1 singles.

“There’s always a few things to improve on, but overall, I thought I played decent,” Lin said.

The Bull Dogs’ Joey Zhao followed shortly after with a 6-1, 6-4 victory against Justin Compton at No. 2 singles. Isaac Jackson and Ben Mathew then finished off a 6-1, 6-3 win against Alex Gross and Jacob Johnson to give North a 3-0 win to clinch the match.

Akshaya Sabapathy beat Sean Miller 6-2, 6-4 at No. 3 singles for the Bull Dogs. North’s Chris Ruble and Adam Saad topped Jacob Rudd and Ethan Wallace 6-4, 6-2 at No. 2 doubles.

“I feel like I definitely should have played better than I did,” Zhao said. “I made a lot of mistakes, but a win is a win, I guess.”

The Jets started a little bit slow before improving in the second set at three of the five positions.

Hauser finished 14-3 and won the Mid-Hoosier Conference title. They’ll lose four seniors — Meek, Compton, Gross and Johnson.

“We’re not used to playing competition at this high of a level, so it’s almost like if we could throw out the first sets and then start the match, I think we could have a different story,” Hauser coach John Pratt said. “Obviously, I wanted to win. But when you come in with a great group of seniors — and my seniors started playing tennis when they were in the ninth grade and no professional lessons — to see them play hard for four years and compete out here, you can’t ask for more.”

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