This state tennis team title had the most meaning for Carmel High School senior Presley Thieneman.
“This one is the most special to me, not only because it’s my last year, but because we made history with four in a row,” Thieneman said. “It was also was a challenging year. It wasn’t really a given. In the past years, we had a lot of talent. This year, we really had to work for it. That’s why it was so special.”
Thieneman, who transferred from Louisville Trinity High School as a sophomore, helped lead the Greyhounds to their IHSAA record fourth consecutive boys tennis state championship Oct. 19 at North Central. Top-ranked Carmel edged No. 5 North Central 3-2 in the final. The Greyhounds finished 24-0 and have won 83 consecutive dual matches during those four seasons. Carmel previously won three state titles in a row from 2010 to 2012.
Thieneman, the 2018 state singles champion, topped North Central’s Ian Brady 6-0, 7-5 at No. 1 singles. The Greyhounds earned its other points in the final at No. 1 doubles (senior Uday Lomada and junior Jones McNamar) and No. 2 doubles (senior John Zirkelbach and sophomore Broc Fletcher).
“We have a lot of depth,” Greyhounds coach Bryan Hanan said. “Our doubles have been strong all year. Depth is what has won it for us this year. We have a (NCAA) Division I player with Thieneman going to Northwestern. But other than that, we had a lot of guys with the same ability. We probably had 10 kids that were right around each other, so we could move them around and do what’s best for the team. Not a lot of teams have that kind of depth.”
Lomada said a big part of Carmel’s success is it doesn’t have one or two top players.
“Our entire team can compete with each other,” Lomada said. “Our No. 2 doubles can easily compete with us, compared to some of the other teams we play where the No. 1 and 2 doubles team have a massive difference between the two. It helps bond the players when we try to beat each other.”
Carmel advanced to the final by topping No. 3 Columbus North 4-1 in the morning semifinal. Along with winning at No. 1 singles and both doubles, Carmel senior Ethan Zhang won at No. 2 singles.