VINCENNES — It was lucky number seven for the Vincennes Rivet boy’s tennis team.
The Patriots defeated Washington 3-2 Saturday afternoon at Vincennes Lincoln to win their seventh consecutive sectional championship.
The Hatchets came out quickly and took at 1-0 advantage with Jacob Luttrell and Jonathon Harner beating Rivet’s Seth Miller and Collin Wirth in straight sets (6-0, 6-1). That advantage was short lived as Hatchets No. 1 singles’ Lucas Miller fell to Dalton Robbins 6-1, 6-0 and Corey Thompson lost to Alex Stenger 6-2, 6-0.
Rivet won their third and final match to clinch the sectional championship with Aaron Pea’s hard fought victory against Matthew Pancake 6-3, 6-4. The Hatchets won No. 1 double to finish the match on the losing end of 3-2.
Washington head coach Jason Johnston thought his team competed, but his team didn’t do enough in the areas that were needed to advance to the Jasper Regional.
“We did what we thought were the right moves as far as our lineup goes,” Johnston said. “We put our strongest team out there and we just got beat. It came down on the shoulders of a couple of singles players in particular, but we didn’t execute in some spots and other spots we did very well.”
All year the Hatchets saw strong performances from freshman Lucas Miller, but on Saturday he struggled to get into a rhythm against Robbins.
Johnston said this was a learning experience for his youngest player.
“Today he was against a more experience player in a senior that would hit the ball with some considerable pace,” Johnston said. “It’s not that he couldn’t handle it, he just hasn’t adapted his game to that style yet. He still has all the skills to lead this team.”
While the previous six sectional championships with Rivet were special, head coach Gary Robbins said this year’s tops them all, because of the hard work it took to achieve it in Robbins’ final year as coach.
“This one is really special,” Robbins said. “We had a tough match with Washington earlier in the season and we knew we had to be playing well to win today. This is my last year and we didn’t want to go out losing.”
Washington first doubles team of Garrett Burton-Tyler Stoll will play Tuesday in the doubles sectional at Jasper.
The face the first doubles team from Forest Park at 5:30 p.m.
Johnston said that while the loss was hard to swallow, the future is bright for Washington boy’s tennis.
“We’re still considerably a young team,” Johnston said. “We look to make asectional run for the next three.”
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