The Carmel High School boys tennis team has dropped only one dual match in the past three seasons. That 3-2 loss to North Central earlier this season didn't sit well with the team, either.
"We wanted another crack at North Central," Carmel senior Patrick Farrell said. "It was our first loss since 2009, so we had a little bit of a chip on our shoulder. We really wanted to get them back. So this being the biggest of all moments to get them back was really fulfilling."
The No. 1 Greyhounds downed No. 4 North Central 4-1 in the team state championship Saturday at North Central High School. It was a rematch of last year's state final which Carmel won 5-0.
"It doesn't get any sweeter," Carmel coach Mike Bostic said. "We never won a state championship after having lost to (North Central) in the regular season. We've got tremendous respect for them. It's so hard to come here and win. But our guys believed. They believed all season that this is where we wanted to be, and we were going to take advantage of it when we got here."
The Greyhounds (21-1) became the first team to win three state titles in a row since Park Tudor (1996-98).
"It's never been done before in history of the Carmel program and only five times in history," Farrell said. "So to do that is special."
He savored the moment lying on the court after beating Rudolph Frazier 6-2, 6-3 at No. 3 singles to get the deciding point.
"It was an emotional moment," Farrell said. "I didn't expect to get the clinch, but when I did, it was probably the best moment of my athletic career."
Carmel sophomore Sameer Kumar was the first Greyhound off the court, beating Riley Reist 6-1, 6-0 at No. 1 singles. Kumar (21-2) had to retire with cramps in the third set against Reist in the Greyhounds' dual meet loss.
"Sameer was phenomenal (Saturday)," Bostic said.
Seniors Charlie Emhardt and Dan Rodefeld got the second point by beating Patrick McAuley and William Reifeis 6-0, 6-3 at No. 1 doubles. Emhardt and Rodefeld advance to next weekend's doubles state finals.
The Greyhounds beat No. 10 Bloomington South 4-1 in the morning semifinals. North Central topped No. 2 Park Tudor 3-2 in the other semi. Three of the matches went three sets, including the top two singles spots that Park Tudor won.
"It was a battle. Park Tudor did a great job," said North Central coach Dan Brunette, whose team finished 21-2. "So Carmel was able to get a little more rest. But no excuses. Carmel played great, too."
North Central lost senior Andrew Stutz, a strong No. 2 singles player, to a leg injury late in the regular season. Brunette moved J.J. Kroot up from doubles to replace Stutz.
Kroot beat Carmel's Chris Quammen 7-5, 6-2 at No. 2 singles. Carmel's Jeffrey Chen and Michael Makio won at No. 2 doubles.
In the semifinal, Bloomington South got its only point at No. 1 singles, where two-time state champion Ronnie Schneider beat Kumar 6-1, 6-3. Schneider, a senior who took home the Indiana High School Athletic Association Mental Attitude Award on Saturday, is 24-0 and advances to next weekend's state singles final. The loss eliminated Kumar in singles.
Park Tudor sophomore Dan Rayl advanced in singles after beating Reist.