Fleming, Mangrum advance in tennis regional
CRAWFORDSVILLE -- A successful Greencastle Tiger Cubs boy's tennis team made it to the Crawfordsville regional after winning the Northview sectional Saturday. They faced the Crawfordsville Athenians.
Greencastle was supposed to compete at Crawfordsville, but atmospheric conditions forced the match to be moved to Wabash College at the indoor tennis complex.
Both Kaleb Flemming and Jake Mangrum won their number one doubles match in three sets. After losing the first set 6-2 things look glum for the Tiger Cubs.
Only the fuel was fired and Mangrum and Flemming took the next two sets 6-1 and 6-2, completely flipping the scores.
"We were playing at our pace and not theirs," Fleming said. "There were a lot of emotions going on."
Mangrum said those emotions helped greatly.
"We got really hyped up," Mangrum said. "We started making a comeback and hitting the ball harder."
Greencastle had to win only two more sets to advance as a team. All the sets were very competitive and only three of the five matches went only two sets. Unfortunately, they could only come away with one of those.
"I think they played great the whole way," coach Kevin Rowe said. "I think everyone played their heart out tonight. It was great to see. The whole outcome was disappointing, but the congratulations go to Mangrum and Fleming."
One of the matches that only went two sets was the number two doubles set of Adam Gerard and Nathan Gobert (Greencastle). They competed against Trey Barton and Reeve Hawkins.
Gerard and Gobert picked up the other Greencastle win 6-0 and 6-2.
All three of the single's player lost their events. Christian Ritchey of Greencastle faced off with Dane Baldwin in the number one match and lost 6-1 and 6-0. Jed Fajt lost to Chris King 7-6(1) and 7-5.
Jason Ummel had the deciding match of the night. Him and Juan Huesca of Crawfordsville were the last competitors on the court and both teams had two wins. Ummel played a great first set and won 6-3. The last two sets Huesca took over. He won 6-1 and 6-2 and ended the team hopes for the Tiger Cubs.
This has been a marvelous season for the senior led Tiger Cubs. They finished with a regular season record of 10-2. They won their sectional and they have a doubles team that can go very far according to Rowe.
"It's been a great year," Rowe said. "This was our first sectional championship since 2005. It is definitely something new and they played their hearts out all year long. Mangrum and Fleming have a chance to go far. They get to be competitive versus the bigger schools. They will get to face some bigger guys, especially being in doubles. I think our guys will be smaller, but I don't think they will be outplayed in terms of skill."
Greencastle loses three of their five seniors after tonight. Ritchey, Ummel and Gerard all played their final matches. Fleming and Mangrum are also seniors, but they still have at least one more match to settle.
"We got five seniors playing varsity," Rowe said. "It's been a very educating year for the underclassmen, especially the incoming freshman. We got some sophomores that will be very competitive. IF I can get some of these guys to put in the extra work, who knows how good they can be."
"It's a step up from last year," Fleming said. "We didn't go on last year, so it's big to move on."
"It's great that we get to move on," Mangrum said. "We've been on this the last three years, so it's good that our work is finally paying off."
The scenario Fleming and Mangrum will face will depend on the outcome of the Crawfordsville match. If Crawfordsville wins, but the number one doubles duo of Terre Haute South wins, then that duo and Fleming and Mangrum will square off. If there is any other scenario, both Crawfordsville and Fleming and Mangrum will automatically advance to semi-state.
"I think we came out kind of slow, but we came back and advanced," Mangrum said."
"It was kind of slow like Mangrum said," Fleming said about the match. "The next two sets we definitely stepped up the intensity."
At Wabash College
Baldwin (CV) d. Ritchey (GC) 6-1 6-0, King (CV) d. Fajt (GC) 7-6(1) 7-5, Huesca (CV) d. Ummel 3-6 6-1 6-2.
Mangrum/Fleming (GC) d. Laughlin/Douglas (CV) 2-6 6-1 6-2, Gerard/Gobert (CV) d. Barton/Hawkins (CV) 0-6 2-6.