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Hauser put away Edinburgh for the third time this season in boys tennis action Wednesday, this time to earn a spot in the semifinals of IHSAA sectional play at Columbus North.
The Jets defeated the Lancers 4-1 and face the host Bull Dogs today, while Brown County and Columbus East meet in the other semifinal battle.
Both of Hauser’s doubles teams made quick work of their opponents to give their squad an early 2-0 lead before Jets junior Kyle Benedict clinched the team’s win with a straight-set victory at No. 1 singles.
Edinburgh was edged out by Hauser 3-2 on Saturday but could not match the effort four days later. The Jets also prevailed 5-0 when the two crews met early in the season.
“It’s disappointing to lose because I thought we had a really good chance to come away with the win,” Lancers coach Pete Khensouri said. “We played Hauser straight up last time, but this time they just plowed right through us.”
Hauser coach John Pratt also expected a close battle after explaining how his team needed a 10-7 super-tiebreaker win to turn away the Lancers.
“Pete’s done a great job and has his kids playing good tennis,” Pratt said. “We were able to step it up today, and we’re excited to be moving on.”
Benedict’s 6-4, 6-3 clincher came against Edinburgh sophomore Kinser Bryant.
Hauser’s No. 2 doubles team of Adam Carr and Luke Meier blanked Tommy Schneider and Isiah McKintosh 6-0, 6-0 in just 35 minutes. They were closely followed by the Jets’ No. 1 tandem of Zane Urbans and Joel Benedict, who disposed of Dalton Bieker and Anthony Weber 6-0, 6-3.
Hauser pushed ahead to 4-0 after sophomore Will Rose took down lone Lancers senior Chris Quillen 6-2, 6-1 at No. 2 singles.
However, Edinburgh prevented the shutout when No. 3 singles player Zach Pendleton battled back to a 4-6, 7-6 (7-3) tie before Hauser’s Avery Tallent retired, surrendering the team point.
“The kids have worked so hard this year,” Khensouri said. “But Hauser came to play.”
And, according to Pratt, the Jets will also be ready against the favored Bull Dogs.
“We’ve been pumped up all week,” Pratt said. “North is a strong team, but I promise you we’re going to show up.”
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