Men’s tennis wins IHSAA State Championship over North Central 4-1

For the first time since 2012, the men’s tennis team has won the IHSAA State Championship. The team beat the past three-year champion North Central 4-1 on Oct. 15 at North Central’s tennis courts. The men’s tennis team has gone undefeated 17-0 this season, and beat North Central in the regular season 3-2.

“For the past three years, North Central has beaten us in the state championship, and I am happy to say that we have broken that cycle. The team really came together and won this together. I am incredibly proud of the progress and efforts that were made on that court. They dug in in a way that was much different than before. We understand how to win better than ever,” said Head Coach Spencer Fields. This is Fields’s second year at Carmel and his first state championship win at Carmel. He coached North Central’s team from 1999-2008.

In the State Finals, schools are only allowed to play #1 singles, #2 singles, #3 singles, #1 doubles, and #2 doubles. Carmel played junior Patrick Fletchall for #1 singles, junior Andrew “Drew” Michael for #2 singles, freshman Nishanth Basavareddy for #3 singles, seniors Ethan McAndrews and Jay Natarajan for #1 doubles, and senior Rohit Nagaraj and sophomore Timothy “Timmy” Dixon for #2 doubles. The only match that North Central won was #3 singles. 3 matches, #1 singles, #2 singles, and #2 doubles all went to 3 sets. Junior Patrick Fletchall’s win at #1 singles solidified the state championship win for Carmel because his match was the 3rd match that was won. For seniors, especially Ethan McAndrews and Jay Natarajan who have played for Carmel all 4 years, this state championship win means even more.

“As a senior, it is exciting to win our first state championship, especially over the team that beat us for the past 3 years. Even though we beat (North Central) in the regular season, I knew that we had to bring extra focus and drive today if we wanted to come up on top. We did that and more today, and I am extremely proud of all of us. It’s humbling to know that hard work for the past 4 years has paid off,” Natarajan said.