This season, one spot on the Brownstown Central lineup always has scored a point in match play.
The Braves duo of junior Sy Zickler and freshman Ethan Carlin haven’t dropped a match this season, at 11-0, in the No. 2 doubles spot.
Those wins include a pair of first-place medals from the Brown County Invitational.
Tuesday’s match was no different for the tandem, as they defeated Corydon’s Dawson Spaulding and Blake Wiseman 6-0, 6-0, and the Braves swept the matchup 5-0 against the Panthers.
“We play loose and have fun,” Zickler said. “We don’t try to play any game but ours. We mold to our opponents, and that’s how we adjust in matches.”
“In the beginning of the year we didn’t play together as well because we didn’t know each other. Our games have kind of molded together, and we’ve been pretty successful since.”
Moving forward, Zickler knows it will be tough to keep the winning streak alive.
“We want to keep the undefeated streak up, but it will be difficult,” Zickler said. “On Thursday, we have Bedford which might be hard, and we play in a tournament in Scottsburg in a couple weeks and will probably face Franklin. Hopefully we win sectionals this year. I think this could be our year.”
For Carlin, this season already has exceeded expectations.
“It’s been a really great time. I didn’t really think coming in that I would be playing varsity let alone being undefeated,” Carlin said. “I’m really happy I get to play with Sy.
“I don’t really have any expectations on myself. I just want to do my best. I like playing doubles because there are a lot of opportunities because you have a person to psych you up the whole game.”
For Braves coach Ron Slaton, the No. 2 doubles and No. 3 singles spots have always been a strength in his years of coaching, and this year is no exception.
“You’ve got a freshman whose eager and will chase down anything in Ethan,” Slaton said. “He has very strong ground strokes. Sy has a very level head and knows the doubles game. There’s an understanding when they play together. They are willing to work together to be successful.”
Last season, Zickler finished 17-3 at No. 2 doubles playing with Kent Criminger.
Criminger, a senior, now plays No. 3 singles for the Braves and is 10-1 on the season after besting the Panthers’ Shaun Showalter 6-0, 6-2.
At No. 1 singles, the Braves’ Lute Lahrman bested Clayton Schreck 6-0, 6-1, while fellow-senior Cole Brock topped the Panthers’ Max Glordon 6-0, 6-1, at No. 2 singles.
In No. 1 doubles play, the Braves’ Riley Carlin and Sam Hoff defeated Cameron Allen and Tristan Kaiser 6-0, 6-1.
The Mid-Southern Conference matchup lasted no longer than an hour, as the Braves dominated the courts.
Last Friday, the Braves (9-2) led Seymour 2-1 when play was suspended due to lightning.
Lahrman and Criminger were in third sets when play ended, and the match is going to be made up sometime next week.
Slaton said that his team needs to learn to close-out in tight matches to get where they want to be.
“We had a tough match over at Seymour on Friday,” Slaton said. “Our mindset today was relaxed and it was over quick. We just need to focus on when we get into close matches on staying strong mentally. Tennis is a very mental game.”
Thursday, the Braves head to Bedford North Lawrence.