Tippecanoes Hackenberger, Davis brothers win sectional tennis titles


TROY — It was a perfect day of tennis for the Tippecanoe boys tennis team at the D-I sectional semifinals and finals Saturday at Troy High School.


Sophomore Kessler Hackenberger and the doubles team of junior Aaron Davis and freshman Cameron Davis both went 2-0 to win the D-I sectional singles and doubles titles respectively.

“I am so proud of our team,” Tippecanoe coach Kaci Matthews said. “If you notice, they are always cheering for each other. They have a great chemistry. They have put the hard work in and deserve everything they have accomplished. I can’t wait to see how far they can take it.”

And the Davis brothers capped the day by rallying for a 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 win over Troy’s Noah George and Genki Masunaga.

In the semifinals, they had defeated Matt Bess and Henry Johnston of Troy 6-2, 7-5.

They were on serve down 5-4 in the third set when they won three straight games to finish it off.

“The energy just changed,” Aaron Davis said about the last three games. “We had a lot of positive energy.”

His younger brother agreed.

“We just started taking things one point a time instead of thinking about the whole game,” Cameron Davis said.

Matthews had a simpler execution.

“They started playing what we like to refer to as ‘Davis Doubles’,” she said.

The brothers had cruised through to the semifinals, before being pushed twice.

“No doubt, this is going to help us,” Aaron Davis said. “We knew this (the title match) was going to be a tough match. We are good friends with Noah (George) and play against him all the time in the summer. It (the district) is going to be tough, but we are going as a 1 seed. This was the goal (to be sectional champions).”

Hackenberger, the second seed and top seed Grant Hoying of Sidney won their semifinals matches to set up the most anticipated match of the day.

Hackenberger advanced with a 6-1, 6-1 win over third seed Matthew Correll of Northmont.

Hackenberger had lost to Hoying in three sets during the season, before beating him in a pro-set at the MVL tournament.

And he hadn’t forgotten that loss.

He led from the start in a 6-3, 6-0 victory.

Hackenberger took a 3-0 lead in the first set off an early break and never lost the momentum.

“I really wanted to beat him (Grant Hoying),” Hackenberger said. “That (getting off to a good start) helps. It makes you more comfortable at the end of the set. I expected today’s match to be closer. I gained confidence in the first match with Northmont and it carried over.”

Hackenberger had to overcome a shoe problem.

The inner sole of one of his shoes came loose during the match.

“It wasn’t very comfortable,” he said with a laugh.

Matthews wasn’t surprised by Hackenberger’s play.

“Kessler (Hackenberger) is a very smart player and you could see that today,” she said. “He really played well.”

Now, he heads to district against some very good players from the Mason/Cincinnati sectionals.

“It will be tough, I have played against some of those guys,” Hackenberger said. “But, at least going as one seed, I have a shot. It will definitely be good experience for me.”

The Red Devils will look to continue their success Thursday at the Linder Family Tennis Center at the district tournament.

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