CROWN POINT | Times No. 6 Crown Point began its 2010 tennis season with an exclamation point, capturing a second straight Crown Point Invitational title with a pair of 5-0 wins over Griffith and Rensselaer.
The tournament was reduced from four teams to three when another team dropped out midway through the week. Crown Point coach Chris Korzeniewski modified the format to make it a three-team round-robin affair.
Griffith defeated Rensselaer 3-2 in the first round. The Panthers (1-3) got past the Bombers (0-3) when sophomore Jordan Long brought home the winning point with a three-set win at No. 3 singles over Alex Gumz.
"It's really great to play teams that we don't see during our regular season," Griffith's Garrett Litke said. "It gives us a chance to work on our game before we get into (Northwest Crossroads) conference matches."
Litke's game was a little rusty, as he spent the spring and early summer playing varsity baseball for the Panthers.
"But a little better each time out," he added. "Two or three more and I should be good to go."
The Bulldogs then defeated both the Bombers via shutout.
Paul Kendall, playing his first-ever varsity match for Crown Point, got the first Bulldogs point of the season with a 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 3 singles.
"I'm really happy for both myself and for the team," Kendall said afterward. "We lost several seniors to graduation, and most people don't think we'll be tough this season. But we have a very good team and we want to show everyone we'll be right in the thick of the (Duneland) conference race."
Junior Jordan Steinner played No. 1 doubles for the Bombers after splitting practice time this summer at both singles and doubles.
"I'm still getting used to the position," Steinner said. "I played No. 3 singles last year, so the doubles game is still really new to me. I have a few things to work on before we get into (Hoosier) conference matches. As a team, we're playing pretty well, considering how young we are. We have a lot of guys at new positions this year, so there is still a lot of learning going on."