CROWN POINT | The Times No.3 Crown Point Bulldogs had many tough opponents on their way to the sectional finals -- and most of them weren't on the court.
In addition to battles with Lake Central and Lowell, Crown Point took on rain, lightning, hail and a power outage. In the end the Dogs prevailed to win their fourth consecutive sectional crown. It was their 25th title overall.
"We certainly had a lot of adversity during the past few days," Crown Point coach Chris Korzeniewski said. "But this is a very tough and resilient team, and we found a way to overcome every obstacle."
The toughest obstacle proved to be the Times No. 6 Indians, who lost 3-2 in the semifinals. Four matches went to three sets, and two went to tie-breaker. The score was 2-2 with the final point on the court at No. 2 singles, playing a third set.
Bulldog Boris Pavlovski used a hard backhand to pull out a 7-5 win and seal the championship for the Bulldogs.
"That was pretty nerve-wracking," Pavlovski said. "I could feel everyone watching."
After the third rain delay of the last two days, C.P. put away Lowell 5-0 in the finals. The Red Devils advanced to the final round with a 5-0 win over Rensselaer on Thursday before the first rain delay.
"We played very well both days," Red Devil coach Dustin Hudak said. "We've been getting better as the year progresses. We played some of our best tennis in the postseason, and that's what you hope for."
The Crown Point vs. Lake Central match was halted twice on Thursday by rain and lightning. Then, after play had resumed a third time, a power outage forced the match to be postponed until Friday.
After the Bulldogs first win Friday afternoon, they started their final against Lowell. The two teams played for about 25 minutes before another rainstorm sent everyone inside for 90 minutes.
When play resumed only one court was dry enough to use. The Dogs took both points at doubles to go up 2-0. With two courts now useable, the singles players made it a clean sweep.