OSSIAN—Bellmont eliminated one Adams County team from the 44th annual IHSAA tennis sectional Thursday night and will face another one in tonight's semi-finals.
The Braves blanked South Adams 5-0 for the right to advance to the semi-final round against Adams Central. Also on the agenda tonight for the Norwell tennis sectional will be Huntington North, a 3-2 victor over Bluffton on Thursday, versus the host Knights. Both matches will begin at 4:30 p.m.
Payton Selking opened at number one singles by dominating a 6-0, 6-4 match against South Adams' Alex Huber. At number three singles, Phillip Bauman was stretched in the second set as he beat Mark Muselman in a tie-breaker 6-1, 7-6 (7-3). The number two doubles duo of Nick Faurote and Kyle Smith also earned straight set wins as they teamed up for a 6-4, 6-1 decision over Ian Frank and Reid Zurcher.
Kodee McIntosh found himself down 2-6 after the first set at number two singles to SA's Scott Hoeppner but McIntosh rallied for 6-2, 6-1 wins for the Bellmont team point. Bellmont took another tiebreaker win at number one doubles. Garrett McCord and Matt Stidam took the first set from Derek Schwartz and Kegan Sprunger of South Adams 6-2 but the Starfire pair rebounded with an identical win in the second set to force a third round. Bellmont survived with a 7-6 (7-1) third round effort to complete to sweep.
In the other match Thursday, Huntington North captured all three singles matches with Phil Truitt and Luke Hoffman winning three-set matches and Neal Hamilton providing a 6-2, 6-2 win at number three. In doubles play, Bluffton's Chandler Okey and Michael Vanderkolk took a 6-1, 6-2 win at number one and Alex Penrod and Brendan Baumgartner were 6-4, 6-1 winners. The win for Okey and Vanderkolk keeps them alive in the IHSAA's individual doubles tournament (number one winners from teams who are defeated continue on in individual play).