Times Staff Reporter
The Northview Knights' tennis squad came up just short in their bid to avenge a narrow loss in last year's Northview Tennis Invitational, held Saturday.
On the rarest of days in which local sporting events weren't brought to a halt by punishing rain storms, the Knights finished second out of four teams in the yearly invitational, falling short to North Montgomery by a count of 26-22. Other finishers were Greencastle with 12 and Linton with 0.
Head Coach Emily Goff said she felt her team played well, but was disappointed they were unable to come out victorious.
"We really hoped to pull it out this year," said Goff, whose team lost by a single point to South Montgomery last season. "The girls gave it their best effort but we just couldn't win."
Northview wasn't without first place representation.
Allie Melega was the first place winner in the No. 1 singles bracket, while the duo of Kaci Khert and Alison Stearley won the No. 2 doubles bracket.
Stearley and Khert took home the title with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Bridget Tucker and Emalie McClain of Greencastle. Stearley said she was elated about her and her partner's personal accomplishment, but also expressed pleasure with the performance of her teammates.
"We did really well," said the senior Stearley, who earned her first invitational victory. "I think this team has a lot going for it and that we have a lot we can accomplish."
Goff used visualization to help get Melega motivated.
Trailing 4-3 in the decisive third set of her first match with North Mont's Emily Williams, Goff pulled Melega aside and had one of her assistants pull out one of the trophies she would get as a tournament victory. Melega could be overheard whispering "I want that."
The tactic seemingly worked, as Melega won the next three games earning a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 win. She then cruised past Greencastle's Katie Collins 6-3, 6-0 in the finals. Goff said she believed seeing the reward that awaited her was a big motivational tool for Melega.
"Allie played great today," Goff said. "She was really excited to get a trophy and I felt like if she saw one, she would be motivated to get one."
Other finishers for Northview included Ali Rentschler who finished second in the No. 2 singles bracket, losing a 6-7, 6-1, 6-1 decision to Shannon Joyce of North Mont. Hannah Pond also finished second, finishing as the runner-up at No. 3 singles, while Bonnie Froderman and Lauren Reberger finished third in No. 1 doubles.
The Knights have very little rest coming up as they have a total of five matches this week, kicking off tonight with the continuation of an important conference match at Owen Valley, which was suspended last week.
As it stands, the doubles team of Bonnie Froderman and Lauren Reberger hold a 2-1 lead in the third set. This is the only match yet to be decided and the winner of this match will decide the overall victor.
With sectional play fast approaching, Goff said she likes the way her players are progressing, but said there was much ground to be covered if they hope to achieve postseason success.
"We still have a lot of work to do," Goff said. "We have played well for the most part, but we are nowhere near where we need to be by sectional time."
North Montgomery 26, Northview 22, Greencastle 12, Linton 0
No. 1 Bracket
1. Allie Melega- NV
2. Katie Collins- GC
3. Emily Williams- NM
4. Sara Hensley- GC
No. 2 Bracket
1. Shannon Joyce- NM
2. Ali Rentschler- NV
3. Kate Babington- GC
4. Arial Brown- L
No. 3 Bracket
1. Samantha Storms- NM
2. Hannah Pond- NV
3. Katie Farms- GC
4. Amy Goodman- L
No. 1 Bracket
1. Kiera Bonebrake & Kelly Kyle- NM
2. Hiliary Schroder & Lauren Kiney- GC
3. Bonnie Froderman & Lauren Reberger- NV
4. Olivia Villain & Sabrina Coxx- L
No. 2 Bracket
1. Kaci Khert & Allison Stearley- NV
2. Bridget Tucker & Emalie McClain- GC
3. Hannah Cox & Sarah Storms- NM