IHSAA men’s tennis chapters start playing on Wednesday
The Penn and Saint Joseph boys’ tennis programs each recorded impressive sectional championship streaks.
The talented pair of teams will be big favorites to do it again this week.
The 55th annual tournament series is set to open statewide on Wednesday with a section game involving 288 schools. Pairings for the tournament were made on Monday evening by the IHSAA.
Section play this week, with most venues planning to play their finals on Thursday night, will be followed by four-team regional games on October 5-6. The semi-states are scheduled for October 9 with the team final from October 15-16.
Penn, winner of 19 consecutive section titles, will once again be the host. The Kingsmen, who have a young team this fall, will face Marian in the semifinals. Coach Eric Bower’s team lost to Saint Joseph 3-2 in the LaPorte Regional in 2020.
Coach Steve Bender’s team in charge of St. Joe will look for the program’s 13th straight title in the clay section at Leeper Park in South Bend. Indians No.12 take on Clay in the semifinals.
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Saint Joseph won the regional title from LaPorte in 2020 before losing to Munster 4-1 in LaPorte semi-state. The Indians are led by their two best singles players, seniors Daniel Pries and Kyle Fernandez. Pries have advanced to the quarter-finals each of the past two seasons for the No.1 individual players in singles.
The number 25 from Bremen, with a veteran squad, is the big favorite in his section. The Lions have won two section titles in a row and face Triton in the semifinals. Bremen won the section and regional championships in 2020 before losing 5-0 to Carmel in the semi-state. Carmel won his fifth consecutive state title.
The other defending section champions are Goshen at NorthWood, Concord at Concord and New Prairie at LaPorte.
Regional hosts for the area are LaPorte, Concord and Culver Academy. The regional semi-final clashes at LaPorte will have Section winner Clay versus Section winner Portage and Section winner LaPorte versus Section champion Penn. In Concord, it will be the winner of the Concord section against the winner of the East Noble section and the winner of the NorthWood section against the winner of the DeKalb section. The Culver Academy regional semi-finals will pit the winner of the Peru section against the winner of the Warsaw section and the winner of the Bremen section against the winner of the Culver Academy section.
Full state tournament matches can be found at ihsaa.org.
Zone section pairings
Every hour ET
Sept. 29: 5 p.m .: Concord v Northridge. 5 p.m .: Jimtown vs. Elkhart. Sep 30: Championship
Sept. 29: 5 p.m .: Goshen v Bethany Christian. 5 p.m .: NorthWood v Fairfield. Sep 30: 5 p.m .: Championship
September 29: 5 p.m .: Goshen v Plymouth. Sep 30: 5 p.m .: Bremen v Triton. Oct 1, 5 p.m .: Championship
At Clay (at Leeper Park)
Sep 29: 4:30 p.m .: Saint Joseph vs Clay. 4:30 p.m .: Riley vs. Washington. Sep 30: 4:30 p.m .: Championship
September 29: 4:30 p.m .: Penn vs. Marian. 4:30 p.m .: Mishawaka vs. Adams. Sep 20: 4:30 p.m .: Championship
At LaPorte (at Kesling Park)
September 29: 5:30 p.m .: New Prairie v Michigan City. 5:30 p.m .: LaPorte vs Marquette Catholic. Sep 30: 5:30 p.m .: Championship