MUNSTER | The Times No. 1 Munster Mustangs have received many accolades over the years for their successful tennis program.
On Thursday they added a new record to the list. The Mustangs, currently ranked No. 9 in the state, won their 32nd consecutive sectional title when they defeated Griffith 5-0 in the sectional finals.
Munster’s sectional streak dates back to 1981. They were tied for 31 straight with Homestead. But Homestead’s streak was stopped in 2009, while the Mustangs continued to gallop to the record book.
“This is a very huge source of pride for us,” Munster coach Steve Lopez said. “It is huge for this group to maintain the legacy that was started 32 years ago. History is made every year in high school sports. (On Thursday), the members of this team will have their names added to that list.”
When they were presented with the sectional plaque, Lopez had a message to deliver to the Mustangs.
“It is our responsibility to keep this streak intact and alive,” he said. “This is a great day for our program. But there is still a lot of work to do, this year and next year. We need to focus on the next match, the next point. We need to work hard. We owe it to those who came before us to do everything we can to keep this streak going for years to come.”
The Panthers (9-10), who made it to the sectional final for the second consecutive season, came into the match with a five game win streak. But on this day they were no match for the Mustangs, who won in straight sets across the board.
“Our team started out a little slow this season,” Panther senior Jordan Long said. “I was part of that slow start. But I worked with my coaches on my top spin and my forehand, and I got a lot better as the year progressed. We won five in a row before today, and it turned out to be a good season for us.”
At No. 2 doubles, the Munster tandem of Arlo Detmer and Aaron Handler won their very first sectional title with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Matt and Dion Seiluns.
Handler, a senior, played varsity for the first time this season. The sectional win was a special way to finish his career.
“It feels really good to be a part of something so special,” he said. “I’m grateful that I got the opportunity to be able to be part of this.”
“This is the first of what I hope are four more sectional titles,” Detmer, a freshman, said. “I want to be part of the team that keeps this streak going.”
Griffith coach Tracy Sines was proud of the way her team finished the season.
“We’ve had a lot of success each of the past two seasons,” Sines said. “With the returning group we will have, we are looking forward to continuing that success.”