MERRILLVILLE | It was a night of good tennis, bad weather and lengthy delays.
After evening storms forced part of the first round indoors and a lighting outage delayed play during the championship, host Merrillville held on to beat Andrean 4-1.
The Pirates led the finals before it officially started because Andrean did not field a No. 2 doubles team. Merrillville ran away with that advantage as the No. 1 doubles team of Ronald Mayersky and Sam Dinka rolled to a 6-0, 6-0 win.
Just minutes later, No. 1 singles player Nygel Jackson closed out a 6-0, 6-1 win and gave the Pirates the sectional title.
“It went pretty well,” Jackson said. “(We) would have hoped it would’ve gone better, with the lights and the weather and stuff, but it went all right.”
Play had been delayed for nearly 25 minutes during the championship round when the court lights suddenly went out. After the bulbs finally warmed up again, Merrillville turned the figurative lights out on Andrean.
“It was a struggle at the beginning,” Jackson said of dealing with the delays. “But the same kind of thing happened two years ago, so I was kind of used to it and more confident.
“Now, we want to go deep in regionals. We’ll face whoever is up next and hope to win.”
At No. 3 singles, Montriel Shell picked up a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 win for the Pirates. Mike Kinasiewicz won 6-3, 6-2 at No. 2 singles for Andrean.
Rain started falling heavily about an hour into the night’s first round, forcing players off the court. At that time, Merrillville already led 4-0 against Lake Station, but Andrean trailed River Forest 2-1.
Officials and coaches decided to finish the first round inside the Bryant J. Matthews Fieldhouse. Once inside, the Pirates finished off a sweep of Lake Station as Williams won 6-3, 7-5 at No. 2 singles.
Andrean and River Forest were quickly tied 2-2 after Kinasiewicz won at No. 2 singles. A long No. 1 singles match finally gave the 59ers the win as Anthony Zaleski earned a hard-fought 6-1, 7-6 decision over Bryan Fleming.
The championship match between Andrean and Merrillville was played outside.