MUNSTER | Steve Lopez was looking for his team to hone in on certain skills during their sectional opener.
“I want to see better serves and better net play this week,” the Times No. 1 Munster coach said. “If we are going to be able to advance deep into the postseason, then now is the time we need to step up.”
Munster (15-2) took that first step Wednesday when it defeated Highland 5-0 to advance to today's sectional final.
“I was working to getting to the net a lot faster on volleys,” Kelan Harish said.
The No. 1 doubles player, along with partner Michael Kitchell, won 6-1, 6-0.
“Serving better and deeper allowed me to pick up my front-court game and get up on the net,” Harish said. “Michael and I have been trying to incorporate what coach wants into our play on a more consistent basis. We did a good job of that today.”
Calumet (5-10) defeated Gavit 5-0 in the first round, setting up a rematch with Griffith, who defeated the Warriors 3-2 last week.
This time, the Panthers came out on top by a 4-1 score.
“I moved up from No. 3 singles to No. 1 singles this year,” Calumet’s Joshua Borst said. “The footwork is a big difference in the level of play. I did a good job in my match with Gavit today.”
But Borst ran into a buzz saw against Griffith’s Brett Tauber, losing 6-1, 6-2.
The win gave the Panthers (9-9) their second straight trip to the finals.
“We now have a five-game win streak,” Griffith coach Tracy Sines said. “That will help our confidence level when we go up against Munster.”
Highland coach Mickey Childers sees a bright future for the Trojans, who finished the campaign 8-9.
“We have five returnees next year and a very strong JV club to help out,” Childers said. “We should be in good shape. I think we will have a deep and talented team.”
Munster will try to make it 32 consecutive sectional titles, the most in recorded IHSAA history. Currently, the Mustangs share the record with Homestead.
“We are confident that if we play our game we’ll keep the streak going,” Lopez said.