LOWELL | Before the bys tennis season began, Lowell boys tennis coach Dustin Hudak admitted he didn't imagine Ben Roesel and Jayson Savich playing together.
"Jayson is really outgoing, and Ben is really quiet," Hudak said. "Even though they grew up playing together, I didn't know how their personalities would match."
Their playing styles are also different. Savich is a power player who attacks at the net, while Roesel is more of a finesse player who concentrates on shot placement.
However different the two may be, it's a combination that meant wonders for the team this season. The juniors are 21-4 this at No. 1 doubles and helped the Red Devils (10-4) finish second in the Northwest Crossroads Conference.
"When I put them together, I didn't pull any punches," Hudak said. "I was like, 'For us to win, you have to win every single match. We're not winning as a team if you guys aren't winning.' They responded."
Roesel and Savich turned that added pressure into motivation, and they've been rewarded with success in the individual state tournament. The duo is playing against Angola's Craig Nofziger and Marcus Arnold (20-1) at today's LaPorte Regional.
Of the duo's four losses, two came to Crown Point, one was to Munster, and the other was a tough tiebreaker against Terre Haute North in the Crawfordsville Tournament on Sept. 7.
"I feel like that tournament, the first match gave us something to look forward to after barely losing," Roesel said.
"I think what that Terre Haute North (match) gave them was (confidence) to play with the best teams in the area," Hudak added. "I would consider Terre Haute North up there with the Crown Points and the Munsters of the world."
At a school that's not a traditional tennis power, Savich is pleased to put the Red Devils back on the map in the sport. It's been eight years since an individual Lowell player made it out of sectionals.
"It really feels good," Savich said. "We've been working with our team all year. For them not to move on and us to; we're doing this for them. We're getting a lot of recognition for it. It feels good to represent Lowell High School."