FORT WAYNE – Canterbury’s boys tennis has had to deal with injuries and lineup changes for a second straight season. But for the fourth year in a row, the No. 4 Cavaliers are sectional champions after beating host Homestead 4-1 on Thursday.
They are the only four (sectional titles) in school history, and I have been a part of all of them, senior Chris Yahanda said. We got another one today, and that is always a good thing. We are moving on to the next round with state in mind.
Last year it was then-senior Patrick Downs’ injury that shuffled the lineup, and this year, senior Clay Hoffacker has missed more than half the season dealing with a pulled muscle in his abdomen. It has caused players to move around, but Canterbury coach Jerry Gerig said with Hoffacker back to 100 percent the lineup has been set since Monday.
The last two years we have had a lot of injuries, so we are kind of used to it, Gerig said. I thought this year we would be OK, find a good lineup and go with it. But with the injuries we have had, it was a lot like last year. A lot of times we had to maneuver the lineup in a way to get our three points. Fortunately, we were able to do that most of the time. It wasn’t until the night of the sectional draw we were sure with the lineup.
Davis Huber beat the Spartans’ Mitch Gray 6-0, 6-3 at No. 1 singles; Hoffacker beat Jordan Andrews 7-5, 6-1 at No. 2 singles; Tom Filus won 7-5, 6-1 over Sang Jun Park at No. 3 singles; and Chad Schouweiler and Yahanda defeated Ross Johnson and Jeff Reinking 6-3, 6-1 at No. 1 doubles. Homestead’s lone point came from Mitch Gilbert and Jack Stanley’s 6-4, 6-3 win over Ankur Lal and Michael Wang at No. 2 doubles.
Yahanda and Schouweiler (3-1) played only their fourth match of the season together in the sectional finals.
I have had a couple different doubles partners this season, but Chris’ backhand is a really powerful weapon, and my forehand is a lot more consistent so that puts together a lot of opportunities for us to break, Schouweiler said.
No. 4 Canterbury (17-1) will play at the Carroll Regional semifinals Tuesday against the winner of the Concordia Sectional.
We have a special group of seniors who have been around for four years and had the privilege to win four in a row, Gerig said. Our ultimate goal is to get to state, and we even think we have a legitimate chance at winning a state title. But there are steps only the way, and if we look past those we are in for a bumpy road.