The New Albany High School boys’ tennis team held off a talented Providence squad on Saturday and repeated as New Albany Invitational champions at the NAHS courts.
The Bulldogs tallied 48 points in the winning effort, edging the Pioneers by eight points. New Albany reached the individual finals in four positions and won three individual titles.
“It’s always good to win this tournament,” Bulldogs’ coach Bob Dusch said. “I was pleased to get four groups to the finals, and we won three of those four. It seems that we have a good mix of seniors and underclassmen this year.”
Two of New Albany’s three individual championships were in doubles action. The Bulldog tandem of Ryan Zirnheld and Brett Medley captured the No. 1 doubles title by winning their final, 6-2, 7-6(3).
Dusch was proud of the way Zirnheld and Medley performed on Saturday after pulling out a three-set victory in the first round on Friday, 2-6, 6-3, 6-0.
“No. 1 doubles got pounded in the first set [on Friday]. But they fought back and I felt they were ready to play today,” Dusch said. “No. 1 doubles moved real well today. Both are big guys, but they moved back and forth on the court real well.”
New Albany’s No. 2 doubles duo of Jake Kennard and Tanner Goller prevailed in their final, 6-1, 6-2.
The Bulldogs’ lone singles championship occurred at No. 2 singles. Senior Arvind Dhanapal knocked off Austin’s Aaron McIntosh in the final, 6-1, 6-3.
Dusch is happy with the progress of Dhanapal, who began playing tennis about three to four years ago.
“Arvind could’ve been a sensational player if he started playing tennis earlier,” Dusch said. “He’s worked really hard to get where he is.”
Providence claimed two individual crowns this weekend.
Pioneer sophomore Will Andres defeated Charlestown senior Chris Braun in the No. 1 singles final, 6-0, 6-0. Andres won one of the most thrilling matches of the tournament on Friday, upending New Albany senior Kyle Landrum in Friday’s opening round 6-2, 5-7, 6-3. The match lasted 3 hours and 15 minutes. Landrum wound up fourth at No. 1 singles.
“It was nice to have Landrum in the back draw,” Providence coach Scott Gurgol said about Andres winning Saturday’s one singles final. “Will just dominates points. I don’t think I have ever coached a player like that.”
Pioneer sophomore Jacob Quinkert won the No. 3 singles title, as he defeated New Albany sophomore Alec Bates in the championship match, 6-4, 6-3.
“Jacob Quinkert has a style different than most players,” Gurgol said. “He likes to rush the net. His style is an advantage to him every time he plays.”
Finishing third for Providence were Nolan Carrico at No. 2 singles and the No. 1 doubles team of Weston Spalding and Luis Garcia. The Pioneers’ No. 2 doubles tandem of Patrick McPhillips and Brad Haas wound up fourth.
“We had three spots where we thought we would do significantly better. If we could’ve won one more match, we could’ve done better,” said Gurgol, whose team will play New Albany this coming Friday at Community Park in New Albany. “I remember reading in the paper that Bob said his team was rebuilding this year. But they’ve got a real good team.”
Dusch liked what he saw from Providence.
“They’re real strong at one, two and three singles,” Dusch said. “I knew it was going to be tough beating them.”
Charlestown finished fourth as a team with 20 points. Braun’s runner-up finish at No. 1 singles made him the Pirates’ highest-placing player. Teammate Ben Delaney wound up third at No. 3 singles. Charlestown’s Kameron Heil finished fifth at No. 2 singles.
The Pirates’ No. 1 doubles team of Kyle Jackson and Zach Gibson and the No. 2 doubles squad of Zach Whitten and Tyler Massie each placed seventh.
Senior Austin Johnson finished sixth at No. 1 singles to lead Clarksville. Also for the Generals, Adam Bryant was seventh at two singles and Brent Potter wound up eighth at No. 3 singles.
New Albany and Providence each will play Monday. The Bulldogs will host Clarksville, while the Pioneers will travel to South Central. Charlestown also will have a match on Monday, hosting Silver Creek.
NEW ALBANY INVITATIONAL
at New Albany High School courts
Team scores: New Albany 48, Providence 40, Austin 24, Charlestown 20, Scottsburg 19, Eastern 16, Lanesville 15, Clarksville 3.
Individual finals: No. 1 singles — Will Andres (P) d. Chris Braun (Ch) 6-0, 6-0; No. 2 singles — Arvind Dhanapal (NA) d. Aaron McIntosh (A) 6-1, 6-3; No. 3 singles — Jacob Quinkert (P) d. Alec Bates (NA) 6-4, 6-3; No. 1 doubles — Ryan Zirnheld-Brett Medley (NA) d. Sobe-White (S) 6-2, 7-6(3); No. 2 doubles — Jake Kennard-Tanner Goller (NA) d. Brasher-Dewitt (A) 6-1, 6-2.