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.
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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.”