Boys Tennis Players of the Year: Munster's Patrick Toth and Arlo Detmer
By Josh Lichtenfeld Post-Tribune correspondent December 6, 2013 11:22PM
Munster's season had come down to the wire. There was one match that would spell either the continuation of tradition, or a disappointing conclusion to a hard-fought effort. And the No. 1 doubles team of Arlo Detmer and Patrick Toth didn't want to let down an anxious crowd as the Mustangs' hosted regional.
Coming into the regional, for the first time in years, the Mustangs weren't necessarily the favorites. It was a rebuilding season that included five new faces on the varsity lineup. And immediately on the docket was a rematch with the same Crown Point team that upset Munster with a 4-1 loss to end the regular season. The tandem lost in that outing to Carson Hoogewerf and Dominic Peretin.
So, when the tournament dual escaladed into a 2-2 tie and the doubles match decided everything, it was a prime moment to step up. Especially considering that Detmer and Toth started out down a set, after a 7-5 loss.
"We needed to execute, or we were packing up and going home," said the junior first-year varsity member, Toth. "Every set you lose or win it's a new slate for the next set."
And with a great sense of urgency in front of them and the crowd reaction continuing to get more and more intense, the pairing fired back with a rigorous 6-4 victory in the second set. The duo finalized the rally by strolling away from Hoogewerf and Peretin with the 6-1 third set.
Just like that Munster went from being a team that was fighting to hold school pride to the eventual winner of its ninth consecutive regional victory and another trip the semi state.
"It was such a great moment because there were so many people watching the match," said Detmer, a second-year varsity player and sophomore. "After the match was over the team stormed the court, it was just the biggest win that I had ever experienced."
And for this impactful win, and helping the program to persevere against the odds, these all-district doubles partners share the 2013 Post-Tribune Player of the Year honor. After coming together in the middle of the season, the combination posted a 13-3 mark and also picked up two separate wins over a viable tournament threat in FW Canterbury (once at an invite and once at home).
Following the two-set loss to CP days prior, the pair didn't let the emotions get the best of them.
"The reason we weren't devastated was that we knew we had another shot at them," he said. "After that match, we decided that our biggest mistake was to lose confidence."
Of course, confidence comes from knowing the strength of your partner in doubles and both players can quickly point out each other's strengths. Detmer shifted over from the singles rotation and brought a solid backhand to Toth's strong forehand.
"He (Toth) had the best looking volleys on the team I would say," Detmer said, while Toth added: "He's consistent, he's got great leadership."
Detmer said, as a whole, the Mustangs supported each other in the quest to continue winning with a new fusion of players.
"That was awesome to have that many brothers, and all of that family, all that love, and all that teamwork,"he said. "It was such an exciting season (Munster finished 17-5 after losing to Carmel in the semistate and has the state record of 31 regional crowns).