CROWN POINT | Steve Lopez wanted to see his team rebound from a poor showing against Fort Wayne Canterbury on Saturday.
Chris Korzeniewski was looking for a momentum builder headed into postseason play.
Both coaches got what they were looking for, albeit in different ways, as the Times No. 1 Mustangs defeated the No. 3 Bulldogs 4-1 in the regular season finale for both teams.
“We couldn’t have played worse on Saturday,” Munster coach Lopez said. “I’m not sure why, but we seemed to have little or no focus. So I was looking for the team to refocus and be mentally prepared for sectionals. We did a much better job of that today.”
The Mustangs (14-2) swept all three singles positions as well as No. 1 doubles.
“I played better today,” No. 1 singles player Jack Heiniger said. “I was more intense and aggressive on the court. I used my forehand to control the volleys and keep the ball where I wanted it.
“Coach talked to us about making sure we were mentally prepared for this week,” Heiniger said, referring to the sectionals that start Wednesday. “We were all cognizant of the fact we didn’t show up on Saturday.”
Korzeniewski knew beating Munster would be a challenge, but he was looking for tough, competitive matches to light a spark under his players.
“We want to build some momentum going into sectionals,” Korzeniewski said. “We want to play very tough today and build off of that.”
The Bulldogs (15-3) were able to accomplish that. They cut Munster’s lead to 2-1 when the No. 2 doubles team of Chris Dietrich and Brendan Ray rebounded from a first-set loss to win in three sets.
“We dropped the first set (0-6) because of a lot of unforced errors on our part,” Dietrich said. “We bounced back in the next two sets with better footwork and much better positioning. Once we played our style of tennis, we were able to take control of the match.”
Mustang Nathan Kondamuri defeated Patrick Mudd at No. 2 singles by the score of 7-6 (7-3), 6-3. It was a tough back-and-forth match that gave the Bulldogs the kind of intensity they were looking for, even though they lost.
Both teams take the court on Wednesday to defend sectional titles.
The Bulldogs, who have won five consecutive championships, will face Lake Central at home.
The Mustangs hold the state record with 31 straight titles. They will face off against Highland, also at home.