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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Northview wins sectional championship

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Members of the 2005 Northview Tennis Sectional champion Knights include (front row, from left) Madison Stevenson, Sarah Cox, Ramey Hayes and Heather Palmer. (Back) head coach Tom West, Kristen Hauser, Kristy Backfish, Laura McCrea, Melissa Miller and assistant coach Emily Goff.

Even though the Northview High School girls' tennis team had already claimed the 2005 NHS Sectional title, the No. 1 doubles match was still going on.

The Knights had a 3-1 lead, ensuring a trip to the regional, but Northview's No. 1 doubles team of Madison Stevenson and Sarah Cox had something to prove.

Greencastle's No. 1 tandem of Makenzie Carr and Anna Harmless had not lost the entire season.

But Stevenson and Cox had other plans on Saturday as the junior duo from Northview handed Carr and Harmless their first loss of the season, 6-2, 6-7 (2-7), 6-4, for the 4-1 sectional win.

"That's pretty special," Northview coach Tom West said of his No. 1 team's win. "That was a good match."

The third set of the match was a see-saw trip back and forth as both teams broke each other through the first five games.

But Stevenson and Cox took a 4-3 lead and held off the Tiger Cub duo for the win.

For the seven Northview tennis players, the thought of winning the sectional slowly crept in following the conclusion of the No. 1 doubles match.

"This feels good," West said. "We started planning for this way back. They were focused. They were ready for this."

Saturday's sectional victory was the third in four seasons for the Knights and two players, Kristy Backfish and Melissa Miller have been there for all of them.

The two seniors were thrilled to be making a regional trip after falling to Rockville in the sectional last year.

"This is awesome," Miller said. "It's awesome to go to regional."

"It was a good day," Backfish added.

Miller knocked off Jess Gilliam at No. 3 singles, 6-1, 6-2, to leave the courts first while Backfish fell to Greencastle's Ellen Hanson at No. 2 singles, 6-1, 6-0. She managed to finish the match despite rolling her ankle early in the first set.

At No. 1 singles, Northview's Heather Palmer knocked off Hannah Fenlon, 6-2, 6-2.

Northview's No. 2 doubles team of Laura McCrea and Ramey Hayes also knocked off Kara Phillips and Kayla Birt, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4).

Hayes did not play in Friday's semifinal match against South Putnam after injuring her ankle in practice. McCrea is the other senior on the NHS roster.

The Knights will compete in the Center Grove Regional on Tuesday.

"We've been planning for that," West said, referring to a regional appearance. "We've worked a certain strategy all year working for that."

At Northview

Northview Tennis Sectional


Northview 4, Greencastle 1

Singles -- Palmer (NHS) def. Fenlon (GHS) 6-2, 6-2; Hanson (GHS) def. Backfish (NHS) 6-1, 6-0; Miller (NHS) def. Gilliam (GHS) 6-1, 6-2.

Doubles -- Stevenson/Cox (NHS) def. Carr/Harmless (GHS) 6-2, 6-7 (2-7), 6-4; McCrea/Hayes (NHS) def. Phillips/Birt (GHS) 6-3, 7-6 (7-4).

Next Match -- The Knights will compete in the Center Grove Regional on Tuesday.

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