News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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December 23, 2013

Terre Haute’s Gonzales making his way up tennis world rankings

TERRE HAUTE — It hasn’t happened overnight, but part-time Terre Haute resident Ruben Gonzales Jr. is gradually climbing the ladder to be among the world’s elite tennis players.

Now 28, the Chicago native and former University of Illinois standout is ranked 165th in doubles by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Tour. That’s his highest ranking ever. In the summer of 2012, Gonzales hovered around 500th in the world, he said.

“On the ATP Challenger Tour, I reached the finals of tournaments two times, which I had never done before 2013,” Gonzales told the Tribune-Star while visiting Terre Haute family for Christmas. “And I made the semifinals six times.”

The ATP Challenger Tour goes pretty much all year and takes place all over the world. This year, Gonzales competed in countries such as the Philippines, Mexico, Colombia, Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, Romania, Korea, Japan and Thailand.

“This was the most I’ve ever traveled,” admitted Gonzales, who has played professionally since 2009. “I was on the road 30 weeks. I played in only three [ATP Challenger Tour] tournaments in the United States this year.”

Another highlight of Gonzales’ 2013 was playing No. 1 singles for the Philippines in the Davis Cup Group II tournament that stretched over several months. The group also included New Zealand, Thailand, Pakistan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Sri Lanka and Syria.

“In April, I beat Thailand’s No. 1 singles player [Danai Udomchoke], who had been ranked No. 70 in the world a couple years ago,” he mentioned. “He made the third round of the Australian Open twice. I beat him in straight sets [6-4, 6-3, 6-2] to clinch the match for my team. That led us to the finals. … Probably the biggest win of my singles career so far.”

In the Group II finals in September, the Philippines lost to New Zealand 3-2. Gonzales played two singles matches — one that he lost in five sets and one that he won in five sets.

“I played over 10 hours of tennis [combined] in those two matches,” pointed out Gonzales, who was participating in his eighth Davis Cup ever but first at No. 1 singles. “I was probably the most tired I’d ever been in my whole life.”

Now Gonzales, who was 3 when he first picked up a racket at Rea Park and attended Dixie Bee Elementary and Honey Creek Middle School as a youth, is looking forward to the Philippines taking on (and defeating) Sri Lanka next month in the 2014 Davis Cup.

Asked about his long-range goals, Gonzales replied: “I want to be ranked in the top 100 in doubles and I want to qualify for the French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open [in doubles] sometime soon. Obviously, another big goal for me would be to make the 2016 Summer Olympics [representing the Philippines] in Rio de Janeiro.”

Beyond that — specifically, his post-playing career — Gonzales would like to coach college tennis. But that shouldn’t be necessary for several more years.

Back to the more immediate future, Gonzales doubts he’ll be in Terre Haute much again in 2014.

“I’m going to travel more, almost guaranteed,” he predicted.

Yet Gonzales, who attended Indianapolis North Central as a freshman before being home-schooled for his final three years of high school so he could play tennis internationally, still calls Terre Haute home, regardless of where or how often he travels.

“I do — always,” he insisted.

“The Terre Haute community helped raise me. I grew up here. The local tennis community was a big part of my development.”

Having just started his off-season training for 2014, Gonzales thinks he’ll be entering a tournament in Russia for the first time ever.

“I’m really looking forward to 2014,” he emphasized.

 

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Tribune-Star/Jim Avelis Catch me if you can: Terre Haute South's Justin Jenkins takes a lead off first base while Northview's Jacob Harden holds him close. Nathan Thomas is on the mound for the Knights.

  • Herrin's pitching effort leads South to win over Northview

    When two good high school baseball teams get together, each using one of its better pitchers, the margin for error figures to be slim, and some defensive plays that weren’t made were the difference Friday evening as Terre Haute South beat Northview 7-1.

    April 19, 2014 3 Photos

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    Former Indiana State guard Jake Odum had a productive first night at the Portsmouth Invitational late Thursday.
    The Terre Haute native scored 16 points, had six assists and three steals for the Portsmouth Partnership team in its 88-81 victory over Cherry Bekaert.

    April 19, 2014

  • Stout home run sparks South softball at Sullivan

    Terre Haute South junior Mariah Stout made her father proud and helped her team win its eighth game of the season at the same time Friday evening.
    With the previously flat-looking Braves trailing host Sullivan 1-0 with two outs and nobody on base in the top of the second inning, Stout woke up her dugout mates by hammering a McKenzie Pirtle pitch over the fence in left-center field for a score-tying home run.

    April 19, 2014

  • ISU falls to Canisius in first of three-game road series

    The Indiana State baseball team fell behind early and never could get the lead as host Canisius posted a 3-1 victory in the opener of a three-game series Friday at Demske Sports Complex.
    The Sycamores (24-11) and Griffins (21-13) will meet again at 2 p.m. today, but the venue will switch to Dwyer Stadium in Batavia, N.Y. The same two teams also will play Sunday back at Demske Sports Complex in a noon start.

    April 19, 2014

  • Terre Haute North baseball cruises past Warren Central

    Terre Haute North swept a high school baseball doubleheader against Warren Central on Friday night by scores of 14-1 and 10-4.

    April 19, 2014

  • PREP ROUNDUP: Sollars, Morrison lead West Vigo softball to win

    Kaitlyn Sollars had a double, triple and four runs batted in and winning pitcher Leah Morrison contributed a pair of triples and a double to lead visiting West Vigo over Riverton Parke 14-1 in high school softball.

    April 19, 2014

  • SPT041714 WV BB shaffer.jpg West Vigo baseball wins in rout

    When Brandin Behringer drove in his first run Thursday evening, it gave West Vigo a short-lived lead in nonconference high school baseball.
    The remainder of the Viking senior’s RBIs came four at a time in the bottom of the fourth inning, his grand-slam homer capping the second of consecutive seven-run innings that sent his team to a 15-3 win over visiting North Vermillion.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • College Report: Haley Chambers making noise in OVC softball circles

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    Former Riverton Parke and Cascade standout pitcher Haley Chambers was recognized for a string of dominant performances in the circle by being named Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week on Monday.

    April 18, 2014

  • Colts take another look at Shakir Bell

    Under general manager Ryan Grigson, the Indianapolis Colts have searched nationally and internationally for talent to build a program that has won 23 of 34 games in the last two seasons.
    On Wednesday, the Colts took a look at some Indianapolis-area talent, including former Warren Central High School and Indiana State standout Shakir Bell.
     

    April 18, 2014

  • Prep roundup: Vikings get big hits to beat North Vermillion on softball diamond

    The West Vigo softball team improved to 4-3 for the season with an 11-4 victory over North Vermillion on Thursday.
    Leah Morrison busted the game open with a three-run double in the Vikings’ seven-run fourth inning.
    Kenzie Little chipped in with a two-run triple in the sixth and Hannah Harden tossed a complete-game for the pitching win.

    April 18, 2014

Local Interest
  • METRO ROUNDUP: Waltman's funeral Saturday at Indianapolis

    Royce Waltman’s visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at St. Luke’s Methodist Church at 100 E. 86th Street, Indianapolis.

    April 10, 2014

  • METRO ROUNDUP: Burnham leads Woods softball to wins

    After dropping a pair of games to Missouri Baptist on Wednesday, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods beat Lindenwood-Belleville 9-7 and 1-0, both games in eight innings, on Thursday afternoon.
    Sarah Burnham’s seventh-inning homer in the first game tied the score 4-4, and the Pomeroys took a 5-4 lead later in the inning on an RBI double by Brooke Jordan before the Lynx tied the score in the bottom of the inning.

    March 21, 2014

  • METRO ROUNDUP: ISU softball splits pair in Florida

    Pitching dominated Tuesday’s opening day of play in the Rebel Spring Games for the Indiana State softball team, which defeated Bucknell 2-0 before falling 2-0 to Creighton.
    “The girls did a great job in the first game getting a couple runs,” ISU coach Shane Bouman said. “We leaned on [sophomore] Yvette Alvarez who pitched really well. We probably got as much as we could out of her and probably should have changed earlier so put that on me. We have a couple little things we can clean up and get a little better and we will be ready to go tomorrow.”

    March 11, 2014

  • Tony Dungy, wife Lauren signing books today in Terre Haute

    Former NFL coach Tony Dungy and his wife, Lauren, are at Sam’s Club in Terre Haute today, Feb. 12, signing books until about 1:30 p.m.

    February 12, 2014

  • Vigo County Jail Log: Feb. 7, 2014

    The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Thursday, based on jail records.

    February 7, 2014

High School
College
  • METRO ROUNDUP: Odum shines in Portsmouth Invitational

    Former Indiana State guard Jake Odum had a productive first night at the Portsmouth Invitational late Thursday.
    The Terre Haute native scored 16 points, had six assists and three steals for the Portsmouth Partnership team in its 88-81 victory over Cherry Bekaert.

    April 19, 2014

  • ISU falls to Canisius in first of three-game road series

    The Indiana State baseball team fell behind early and never could get the lead as host Canisius posted a 3-1 victory in the opener of a three-game series Friday at Demske Sports Complex.
    The Sycamores (24-11) and Griffins (21-13) will meet again at 2 p.m. today, but the venue will switch to Dwyer Stadium in Batavia, N.Y. The same two teams also will play Sunday back at Demske Sports Complex in a noon start.

    April 19, 2014

  • SPT041614 SMWC jordan.jpg Saint Mary-of-the-Woods sweeps doubleheader over Rose-Hulman

    Over the years, defeating its crosstown rival has not usually been easy for Saint Mary-of-the-Woods or Rose-Hulman when they’ve met in college softball.
    But on Wednesday afternoon at The Woods, the home team made its doubleheader sweep look easy to first-year coach Mark Feller with five-inning decisions of 10-0 and 11-1.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPT 030714 ODUM 02O'LEARY.jpg Terre Haute North grad O'Leary to transfer from Loyola

    Matt O’Leary is one of three men's basketball players at Loyola recently granted a release from his scholarship from the Missouri Valley Conference school.
    The former Terre Haute North standout told the Tribune-Star he doesn’t yet know his next move.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • Rose-Hulman, Woods to face off on softball diamond

    The Rose-Hulman softball team will visit a familiar foe today when the Engineers take on crosstown rival Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in a nonleague doubleheader.

    April 15, 2014

Sports Columns
Pro Sports
Terre Haute Rex
SPT 041614 ROSSELLI REX.jpg

Tribune-Star/Joseph C. Garza Expanding the fan base: Bruce Rosselli, manager of the Terre Haute Rex, displays the team's new slogan, Wabash Valley's Own, during a press conference on Wednesday at Clabber Girl.

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