Tennis state finals: Defending champ Greyhounds play North Central in quarter-finals

Three of the eight state finalist teams have returned from a year ago including defending state champion Carmel and North Central (Indianapolis), the combined winners of the last seven titles, meeting in Friday’s quarterfinal round.
The Greyhounds-Panthers clash is one of two quarter-final matches to be played at 3 p.m. Friday at Carmel High School’s Todd Witsken Tennis Center. Two more quarter-finals will be played at 4:30 p.m. at Center Grove High School with the winning teams advancing to the semi-final matches at 10 a.m. on Saturday at North Central High School followed by the state championship match at 2 p.m.
Top-ranked and unbeaten Carmel (19-0) will make a record-setting eighth consecutive state finals appearance. The defending state champion Greyhounds have made it to the state championship match five of the last seven seasons winning it four times. All three singles players and their No. 1 doubles team are unbeaten so far this season including defending singles state champion Patrick Fletchall (20-0 overall) at No. 1 singles.
Second-ranked North Central of Indianapolis (19-1) returns for the seventh straight year and will look to turn the tables in the quarterfinal match on Carmel which is responsible for the Panthers only loss this season – a 4-1 setback on Aug. 31. The Panthers’ No. 1 doubles pair of Brian McAuley and Edward Prein is 24-1 this season.
Fifth-ranked Park Tudor (15-5) also returns to the state finals for the seventh straight year. The Panthers reached the title match in two of the last four seasons but settled for the runner-up spot to neighborhood rival North Central in 2013 and 2015.
Fourth-ranked Homestead (20-1) ended a drought last Saturday in winning the semistate and advancing back to the state finals for the first time since 2009. The Spartans were a near-regular participant for many years as their 19 state finals appearances attests. No. 1 singles player David Heiney is 25-2 on the year.
Unranked Terre Haute North (22-3) ended the longest drought of the eight advancing teams and will make its third appearance at state and first since 2004. The Patriots have won 14 straight dual matches and boast a pair of strong doubles teams in Jason Mundell and Matt Wilson (22-2) at No. 1 and Drew Bishop and Alex Sacopolus (19-2) at No. 2.
Culver Academies (20-2), ranked 22nd in the final coaches poll of the season, has reached the state finals for the eighth time in school history and the second time in four years. Henry Bilicic and Jose Santiago Peraza form the 13-1 No. 1 Eagles doubles team while Peter Gallagher and Vincent Huang are 11-1 at No. 2 doubles.
Jeffersonville (13-2) has ousted three ranked opponents so far this tournament resulting in the Red Devils’ fifth state finals appearance and third in the last four years. The 12th ranked Red Devils avenged a 3-2 loss to Floyd Central in their regular season finale with a 4-1 win for the regional title and then bested Bloomington North 3-2 in the semi-state. The Red Devils advanced to the state semifinals two years ago but will be looking to advance to their first state championship match.
Jasper (18-3) returns to the state finals festivities for the sixth time in seven years as 12th year overall. The 16th-ranked Wildcats faced fellow state finalists Homestead and Carmel in back-to-back matches on Sept. 23 falling 4-1 in both matchups. No. 2 singles player Eli Franks and the No. 1 doubles team of Noah Mendel and Noah Luebbehusen are both 17-3 this season.
Westfield’s Parker Kalis will compete in the individual singles regional at Kokomo on Saturday.
The Shamrocks senior will take on fellow senior Landon Weins of Frankton in a semi-final match at 10 a.m. The winner will advance to the championship at 2 p.m. Kalis is 12-8 for the season.
Meanwhile, the Hamilton Southeastern senior doubles team of Mark Slaninka and Andrew Myers will be competing in the Fishers regional on Saturday. The Royals duo will play the Frankfort team of senior Dylan Smith and junior Nicolas Kinder in a 10 a.m. match, with the winner playing the championship at 2 p.m. Slaninka and Myers are 11-9 for the year.