- Special Sections
FORT WAYNE — Six seasons in the making and Columbia City has set a standard of winning when it comes to boys’ tennis.
Tuesday, the Eagles wrapped up a sixth consecutive season with at least 14 wins. Three-set wins by Travis Johnson and No. 1 doubles Alan Murphy and J.T. Biggs helped the Eagles sweep Northrop on the road 5-0.
“It’s been a nice winning tradition,” Columbia City head coach Doug Stoffel said. “We’ve had guys that just understand how to win.”
As a contender in the Northeast Hoosier Conference the last six seasons, Columbia City inched closer and closer to a conference title. The Eagles narrowly missed it this season falling to NHC power Homestead 3-2.
A large part of the 14-4 regular season record comes from a senior class made up of four varsity players in Dylan Hinen, Travis Johnson, Alan Murphy and Cole Craven.
“Super group,” Stoffel said of his seniors. “Great leadership. Last year, our senior class had the most wins of any class in our program and this year’s seniors actually beat that with 57 wins.”
Over four seasons, the seniors proved the talent building at Columbia City and that was apparent Tuesday.
No. 1 singles Dylan Hinen capped of his final regular season match winning in dominate fashion 6-2, 6-1 over Bruins ace Yanni Stavretis.
Fellow singles senior Travis Johnson needed three sets to pull off a come-from-behind victory.
After dropping the first set quickly 0-6, Johnson found his rhythm winning the final two sets 6-4, 6-4 over Sam Oren.
The one-loss No. 1 doubles duo of senior Alan Murphy and junior J.T. Biggs came back from a 4-6 loss in the second set of their match to win 6-2 in a third set.
“We told them ‘you control this match,’” Stoffel said. “We said right now you’re slow and from now on just play your style which is upbeat and they did.”
Gabe Boles and Devin Moore came through on a close second set on No. 2 doubles beating Northrop’s T.J. Barshey and Brian York 6-3, 7-6.
Sophomore Derek Hinen finished up his season with just one loss as well winning at No. 3 singles 6-1, 6-0 over Colin White.