INDIANAPOLIS — The Ben Davis boys’ tennis team beat Avon on Wednesday, in a contest that came down to a three-hour marathon in No. 3 singles.
Long after the other four matches had been decided, Ben Davis’ Bryce Hernly beat Nathan Kessling, 4-6, 7-6, 6-4, pushing the Giants to a 3-2 victory.
“We’ve played a lot of matches where we were on the verge of getting over the hump in that situation, so it was nice to do it this time and beat a really tough opponent,” Ben Davis coach Kevin Vanderbush said.
During the third set of the finale, Kessling was on his back with a calf cramp for around 10 minutes. When it resumed, Kessling, who entered the day with a shoulder issue, won two games before Hernly ended it.
“When you have that type of cramp, it doesn’t go away, it affects your whole game,” Avon coach Robert Mize said. “When you can’t bend your legs, you top the ball, and he was real gutsy and gave it his best shot.
“It was unfortunate we didn’t win, but from a competitive standpoint, you love to see kids play their hearts out.”
Vanderbush was equally impressed by Hernly’s effort.
“He played as well as he’s played this year,” Vanderbush said. “He played good, smart tennis, did what we’ve told him to do all along and I think he enjoyed it.”
Ben Davis (10-4) swept singles play, as No. 1 Ian Deters beat Ryan Lingle, 6-1, 7-6, and No. 2 Jacob Volbers defeated Alex Meronk, 6-1, 6-1.
“The top of our lineup is really tough, guys who have played year-round and really developed in the offseason,” Vanderbush said.
Avon (5-6) took both doubles matches. At No. 1, Nate Toney and Tyler Habig beat Garrett Bear and Tyler Schaffer, 6-4, 7-5.
“They’re starting to gel and that was a great win today for them against a good team,” Mize said.
At No. 2, Mark Bode and Vitor Hara topped Quinn Schaffer and Ben Myers, 6-3, 6-4.
“They have our highest winning percentage and they are very smart players,” Mize said. “They’ve really progressed since the start of the year.”