PORTAGE | LaPorte coach Bill Reed thought his boys tennis squad played its best match of the season in Tuesday's Portage Regional semifinal win over South Bend St. Joseph's.
A day later, No. 11 Penn ended the Slicers' season with a 4-1 decision, but that didn't mean Reed believed his team played poorly.
"Penn didn't make very many mistakes at all," Reed said. "I'm not that upset at all that we lost because I thought we played pretty well."
The Kingsmen (16-4) face host Culver Academies in semistate play Saturday.
The Slicers (17-5) lost four matches in straight sets, but Reed thought there were early signs of success.
Michael Curtis and Bryce Goetz broke the serve Penn's Sean Anderson and Brad Walter to go up 3-2 in the opening set at No. 1 doubles.
"They just let it slip away," Reed said. "We needed to get off to a quick start.
"(Penn) was hitting angles in the open court and getting the ball deep. Whenever we hit it short, they took advantage of it."
Senior Carter Perry, who lost 6-0, 6-1 at No. 1 singles, was disappointed with his performance.
"I made a lot more unforced errors because I was going for more today," he said. "I didn't play as well as I could've. Being my last high school match was tough."
Slicers freshman Michael Varda rallied for a 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 win at No. 2 singles.
But that was lone dent against the Kingsmen.
"By far, that's the best by all seven players," said Penn coach Eric Bowers, whose team won the program's eighth regional crown. "Once you get to semistate, there aren't any easy matches. You need everyone to play well."