Taylor’s boys tennis team had a less-than-promising start to the season.
“We lost to Peru in our second match and we lost to Logansport in like our fourth match. It was looking like we were just going to be a pretty average team,” longtime Taylor coach Dave Wise said. “From that point on, it just seemed like every match we got a little bit better.”
That improvement has carried the Titans to one of the best seasons in school history.
Taylor won a share of its second straight Mid-Indiana Conference championship during the regular season, then broke through to win the Kokomo Sectional for the first time since 1981.
Taylor has a 15-3 record, matching the 1982 and 2012 Titan teams for the second-most wins in school history. The 1981 squad went 18-1.
The 2012 squad, with a senior-laden lineup, went 15-4.
“Last year, I’m not sure we got better [over the course of the season] because they were already at such a good level, they were already experienced. The improvement this year has just been something that you just don’t see very often,” Wise said.
Wise is in his 39th season as Taylor’s coach. He topped the 400-win mark this year.
Taylor plays Logansport (17-3) at 4:30 p.m. today in a Kokomo Regional semifinal. No. 1-ranked and defending state champion Carmel (19-1) and Harrison (11-6) are in the other semifinal. The winners will return Wednesday to play for the title.
Logansport beat Taylor 4-1 in the regular season. The Titans’ point came from sophomore Camden Kimbler at No. 2 singles.
“The guys are looking forward to it. We played Logan really early in the year. We’re a different team now,” Wise said.
The Titans feature three rock-solid points. Senior Jack Lipchik at No. 1 singles, Kimbler at No. 2 and senior Austin Douglas and sophomore Cole Schroeder at No. 1 doubles all own 19-3 records.