Brandywine second at Division 4 regional

Published 8:36 am Friday, October 9, 2015

The Brandywine tennis team qualified for the Division 4 state finals by finishing second at the regional Thursday. (Leader file photo/SCOTT NOVAK)

The Brandywine tennis team qualified for the Division 4 state finals by finishing second at the regional Thursday. (Leader file photo/SCOTT NOVAK)

SOUTH BEND — All eyes were focused on the final match Thursday at the Division 4 boys tennis regional at Leeper Park.

Brandywine needed a win at No. 4 singles final to gain a share of the regional title with Paw Paw.
Instead, Bridgman’s Tim Dunkel played the role of spoiler as he outlasted Brandywine’s Caleb Cole, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4).

The Redskins finished with 13 points, while Brandywine totaled 12.

Those two schools, along with Berrien Springs and Bridgman, qualified for the state finals on Oct. 16 and 17 at Kalamazoo College. Anyone school that scores at least 10 points advances to the state finals. The Shamrocks and Bees totaled 11 at the regional.

Cole and Dunkel had split the two matches against each other during the year with Dunkel winning the first one and Cole winning the second.

“He’s a great competitor and I’m happy with the way he played,” said Brandywine coach Dave Sidenbender about Cole’s performance. “This is the third, three-set match he’s played against that kid this year. He just didn’t come out on top this time, but I’m proud of him.”

Brandywine, which qualified for the state finals for the third straight year, got a first place finish from No. 3 singles player Cole Searles, who beat Blake Rudlaff from Berrien Springs, 6-3, 1-6, 6-1, in the finals. Brandywine’s Mark Conrad competed in the championship round at No. 2 singles, but he came up short in his bid for a title. Bridgman’s NIck Knowlon beat Conrad, 6-2, 6-1.

“I was really happy with my team today,” Sidenbender said. “When I saw the draws I thought we would have a tough time in some spots, but we really come through. We got through some injuries. I couldn’t be more proud of a team after graduating seven guys.”

Searles suffered a cramp or a hamstring injury in his finals match.

“Hopefully, it’s not too serious,” Sidenbender said about Searles’ injury. “He played the last set on pretty much one leg. He did a great job and gutted out a win. That gave us a chance to win or at least tie for the regional title.”

Individually, Buchanan’s Alex Lindamood qualifed for the state finals after placing second at No. 1 singles. New Buffalo’s Vincent Karren beat Lindamood, 6-2, 6-2.


At Leeper Park, South Bend
Team Scores

Paw Paw 13, Brandywine 12, Berrien Springs 11, Bridgman 11, Buchanan 5, New Buffalo 3, Dowagiac 1, Coloma 0


1: Vincent Karren (New Buffalo) d. Alex Lindamood (Buchanan), 6-2, 6-2; 2: Nick Knowlton (Bridgman) d. Mark Conrad (Brandywine), 6-2, 6-1; 3. Cole Searles (Brandywine) d. Blake Rudlaff (Berrien Springs), 6-3, 1-6, 6-1; 4. Tim Dunkel (Bridgman) d. Caleb Cole (Brandywine), 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4)

1. Lucas Schupbach-Connor Wellling (Paw Paw) d. Alex Kroeze-Ian Kauffman (Bridgman), 6-3, 6-1; 2. Garrett Amstutz -Jake Baker (Paw Paw) d. Donovan Roach-Jangwon Seo (Berrien Springs, 6-0, 6-1; 3. David Heidema-Drew Miller (Paw Paw) d. Justin Litaker-Celton Wales (Berrien Springs), 6-1, 5-7, 6-2; 4. Ben Holst-Ben VanRoekel (Paw Paw) d. Daniel Huspen-Zach Mugo (Berrien Springs), 6-3, 7-6 (7-5)