CROWN POINT | According to Crown Point's No. 1 singles player, Daniel Smith, winning a sectional never gets old.
"No way," Smith said after a 6-1, 6-0 win over Lowell's Harris Rosenbalm in Thursday night's championship. "We work too hard all season for this win to ever feel anything except exciting."
The Bulldogs defeated the Red Devils 5-0 for their fourth straight sectional title. Earlier in the afternoon, Crown Point defeated Rensselaer 5-0 to advance, while Lowell edged Kankakee Valley 3-2 to move on.
Sophomore Patrick Mudd brought home the first point for the 'Dogs when he beat Trevor Serbin 6-0, 6-0.
"It felt good to give my team the lead," Mudd said. "I came out aggressive, especially with my serve. I wanted to try and come out strong and get a lead. I was fortunate to be able to keep building on it."
Crown Point (13-7) will get a chance to avenge an early season loss to Highland (13-5) when the two meet next Tuesday at the Munster Regional.
Kankakee Valley freshman phenom Luke Sanderson kept his perfect record intact when he won his 18th straight match in the opening round, a 6-0, 6-1 win over Rosenbalm.
"I played Harris earlier in the year so I had a good idea on what to expect," Sanderson said. "He's a great competitor, and the match was closer than the score indicated. I was glad to give my team a point, although I was disappointed we lost."
Sanderson's season will continue in the state individual tournament. He will play against Calumet's Jeff Stooksbury next week during the Munster Regional.
"I am excited and proud to be able to represent my school in the tournament," Sanderson said. "Obviously, it would be a lot more fun if the whole team was still playing. But I'm going to do the best I can and we'll see where it goes."
Chances are strong that it will go at least as far as the opening rounds in Indianapolis. Sanderson has defeated several quality opponents, including Munster's Aaditya Shah.
"There's a certain amount of pressure, but it's pretty exciting," Sanderson said about the postseason. "It's my first time, so I'm just taking it all in at this point."