BLOOMINGTON — University High School junior Dorath Chamarthi says focus is key to success in the sport of tennis.
"It's about placing the ball and how to finish a point and having the mental ability to sustain that all throughout the match," he said.
With both his forehand and backhand also working well Saturday, Chamarthi was able to zero in on a 6-0, 6-0 win over Cornerstone Christian's Seth Jorgensen to claim the Class 1A Sectional singles championship at Bloomington High School.
Chamarthi scored his third straight sectional title and will be joining U High teammate Vishnu Anagani and a pair of Pioneers doubles teams at the state meet beginning Thursday in the Chicago suburbs.
U High won the team title with 26 points. Bloomington was second with 14 and Central Catholic third with eight.
As Cornerstone's only player in the program's first year, Jorgensen scored all six of the Cyclones' points to earn them fourth place.
With a wealth of experience outside of the high school ranks and individual coaching at the Bloomington Tennis Center, as well as from Cornerstone coach Andrew O'Neall, Jorgensen entered the sectional without a high school match this season. As a second seed, he received a first-round bye before disposing of a Decatur Lutheran opponent, 6-1, 6-1, in the quarterfinals.
"It gave me a perfect (high school) record, so that gave me some confidence," Jorgensen said of Friday's quarterfinal win. "Actually, I didn't worry about it too much because I've had a lot of matches outside of the high school season. I had a bunch during the winter. I play year round."
Jorgensen prevailed 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 in a tough semifinal match against U High's Anagani before facing Chamarthi for the championship.
Bloomington's Adam Hanson will join Chamarthi, Jorgensen and Anagani at state after defeating Anagani, 6-1, 3-0, retired, in the third-place match following a 6-1, 6-2 loss to Chamarthi in the semis.
The U High doubles team of Josh Friesen and Carter Burk claimed the sectional crown with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Pioneer teammates Thomas Moh and Mason Runkel.
It was the second consecutive state berth for the Friesen-Burk combo. They're hoping to improve on last year's performance, when they entered as a second seed and finished fifth.
"We're looking forward to doing better this time around," said Burk. "We'll try to make things happen next weekend at state."
Their only loss this season came against a state championship doubles team from Kentucky.
"We're a good, aggressive team," Friesen said. "Carter is, like, 6-5 and has long arms so he's able to take over everything at the net. We win a lot of matches by being able to take control of the net and putting balls away."
Bloomington and Central Catholic also will be represented by doubles teams at state.
After losing to U High's Moh-Runkel in the semis, the Bloomington doubles team of Gagan Kadadevarmath and Evan Turnbull defeated Central's Ben Holley and Brian Wieland in the third-place match. Holley and Wieland also advance to state with their fourth-place finish.