The Jeffersonville High School boys tennis team is just three wins away from the school’s first state championship in the sport after a 3-2 win over Bloomington North in the semi-state competition.
After a thrilling 3-2 win over rival Floyd Central to win the Regional championship, the Red Devils (14-2) kept the momentum rolling into the Oct. 7 match against North, a team that had bested JHS in the Jasper Invite earlier in the season.
This time, it was the Red Devils who got the upper hand, winning the match 3-2 en route to advancing to the state tournament for the fourth time in the last nine seasons.
“It feels incredible,” head coach Curt Roehm told The Evening News and Tribune of his first trip to state as head coach. “It’s been great watching this program and I feel like I’m still benefiting from the program that was built. It’s a great feeling.”
In the match-up against Bloomington North, it was the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles who saved the day for the Red Devils. At No. 1 doubles, the tandem of Trey Bottorff and Colby Kayrouz defeated BN’s Sam Orbaugh and Arpan Bose, 6-4, 6-3. The No. 2 team of Matthew Monroe and Adam Crawford were also victorious, downing Jack Ruche and Max Graf, 6-2, 6-4.
In singles, North’s No. 1 player, Mac Rogers, made quick work of Keith Asplund, beating the senior 6-0, 6-1. After the match, Roehm called Rogers “one of the top players in the state.” At No. 2 singles, Christian Gettelfinger managed to get by Jeff’s Jerid Inman, picking up a 5-7, 7-6 (7-2), 10-8 victory.
The deciding point came down to No. 3 singles, and senior Blake Winchell.
Winchell, a basketball player on the JHS Varsity team, displayed his poise and beat North’s Paul Dzubay, 6-3, 6-2, to give Jeff the match-clinching third point.
Next up for the Red Devils will be the toughest test of the year — a re-match against No. 16 Jasper (16-2), a squad they have seen a couple of time this season.
In the Jeffersonville Invitational in August, Jeff and Jasper finished in a tie for third place with 26 points. Ironically, Guerin Catholic and Bloomington North finished first and second, respectively, in that same tournament, but have already seen their seasons end.
Almost one month later, the two teams met in yet another tournament, this time in Jasper. While Bloomington North won the tournament, Jasper finished second with 36 total points. The Red Devils finished a distant third place, with 24 points.
For the state quarterfinal match, the two teams will meet on Friday, Oct. 13 at 4:30 p.m. The matches will be played at Center Grove High School, and admission is $5 for the day.
If the Red Devils were to win, they would face the winner of Terre Haute North Virgo and Culver Academies. That match would take place on Saturday, Oct. 14 at 10 a.m.
The state finals match would take place later that Saturday, with the championship slated to begin at 2 p.m.