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Canterbury tennis earns state finals bid

– There were two objectives for the Canterbury boys tennis team at the Homestead Semistate on Saturday.

The first was the obvious, defeating Angola and advancing to the state finals.

The second was getting a peek at a possible state quarterfinals opponent in the other semistate match between Delta and Indianapolis North Central.

Mission accomplished on both counts.

Canterbury’s 4-1 win over Angola and North Central’s 5-0 win over Delta gave the Cavs a state matchup against North Central at 3 p.m. Friday at Carmel.

It’s a return to the state finals for Canterbury after losing in the state quarterfinals in 2010.

“It feels great,” Canterbury junior Chris Yahanda said. “My freshman year, we were able to taste it for the first time. The goal is to be the last team standing and be the first team in Fort Wayne history to win state. We want to be the best team in Fort Wayne history, and we have a chance to do that.”

The No. 3 Cavaliers (21-0) got more than a glimpse at the No. 4 Panthers (18-1).

“Their No. 1 doubles team didn’t get started right away, and we had a quick match, so we have been able to see them and kind of feel them out and see how good they are and see what they like to do,” Yahanda said.

It will be a postseason rematch for the Cavs, who lost to the Panthers 5-0 at last year’s semistate.

“Last year, we came into the semistate highly ranked, and we wanted to get back but we drew North Central and things didn’t go our way,” Yahanda said. “It’s great to go back and try to get some payback on North Central.”

It won’t be exactly the same, though, as the Cavs’ lineup went through their share of changes this year.

“It’s good to get a feel for them, and it just builds our confidence,” Canterbury sophomore Tom Filus said of watching North Central. “Any doubt in our mind gets wiped out because we know exactly how they play, and we are confident.

“We are all looking at who we are playing and seeing what their strengths and weakness are.”

Against Angola, Davis Huber beat Cameron Hall 6-2, 6-0 at No. 2 singles, Filus beat Blake Trusty 6-1, 6-0 at No. 3 singles, William Wright and Yahanda beat Marcus Arnold and Craig Nofziger at No. 1 doubles 6-0, 6-1 and Patrick Downs and Chad Schouweiler beat Matt Brown and Chris Calvelage 6-1, 6-1 at No. 2 doubles.

The lone loss for the Cavaliers was at No. 1 singles, where Clay Hoffacker lost to Jacob Stump 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.

“It’s been a good run, and everybody is playing well at the positions they ended up playing due to injury,” Filus said. “We are all focused and ready to go. We have had the best couple of weeks of practice since the state tournament started. There’s no messing around.”

Angola, which was playing in its second straight semistate, finishes the season 17-5.

gjones@jg.net

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