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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Knights claim fourth straight sectional title

Friday, October 2, 2009

(Photo)
: Members of the Northview High School 2009 Tennis Sectional Championship team include Coach Mark Orr, Dillon Reynolds, Joey Thomas, Caleb Andrews, Trent Sims, Caleb Mershon, Sam Miller and Carson Kleiber. [Order this photo]
The Northview boys' tennis continued its reign as one of the school's most prolific and successful athletic programs Friday, by bringing home irs fourth consecutive sectional title.

The Knights showed no ill effects of playing in chilly and windy conditions, as they made quick work of Owen Valley in a sectional title match, a match originally slated for Thursday night, but was postponed due to rain.

Northview's singles jumped all over their Patriot counterparts, giving them no chance to find their rhythm. Caleb Mershon and Carson Kleiber each collected 6-0, 6-1 wins over Chase Rhoten and Seth Herndon, while Trent Sims was nearly as dominant in his 6-1, 6-1 win over Christopher Shipman.

In doubles, Joey Thomas and Caleb Andrews, whom coach Mark Orr said "were playing about as good as you can play," defeated Owen Valley's Merrick McBride and Luke Knight 6-1, 6-1. The Knights, who pitched a shutout in last year's sectional final against Linton, fell just short of repeating that task, as Patriot doubles squad Taylor Sloan and Cody Kocher defeated Northview's Sam Miller and Dillon Reynolds 5-7, 2-6.

Northview Athletic Charlie Jackson was praiseful of the tennis teams effort and their continued contributions to Northview athletics.

"The sectional experience is just great for these kids," Jackson said. "Anytime you can win four sectionals in a row, that's an awesome feeling."

Orr was equally emphatic about giving apt credit to his players. Coming off last year's title, Orr said he felt this year's team, which had considerably less varsity experience, would have to put in greater efforts to see results similar to those of the Knights' 2008 roster. Orr said it was very apparent the hard work paid off.

"I'm very proud of our team," Orr said. "I knew coming in these guys would probably have to work a little harder than last years team because we were less experienced, and they did. They've truly earned all their success."

While the four consecutive sectional titles are impressive, the Knights have a very good chance at pushing their success even further in the near future. Of all sectional championship competitors, only Sims and Andrews will be lost to graduation. Orr said as long as there was adequate replacement for the two departing stars, he struggled to envision Northview's tennis team not building on their recent success.

"This team could be really good next year," Orr said. "We will need a few guys to step up, but if they do that, we should be able to play as well as we have (in recent years.)"

Optimism about future success aside, Orr said he is much more focused on the present than he is the future. Up next for the Knights is the Center Grove regional on Tuesday. While it's not been determined whom Northview will play, the competition will no doubt be stiffer, as host Center Grove won last years' state championship. Though he acknowledge advancement would be difficult, Orr stressed he wasn't expecting his team to roll over to stiff competition.

"Anything can happen," Orr said when asked what he thought his teams chances for advancement were. "It's going to be tough, but I think some of our guys have a real chance of winning.

At Northview

Northview 5, Owen Valley 1

Singles:

No. 1: Caleb Mershon (NV) def. Chase Rhoten (OV) 6-0, 6-1

No. 2: Carson Kleiber (NV) def. Seth Herndon (OV) 6-0, 6-1

No. 3- Trent Sims (NV) def. Christopher Shipman (OV) 6-1, 6-1

Doubles:

No. 1- Joey Thomas and Caleb Andrews (NV) def. Merrick McBride and Luke Knight (OV) 6-1, 6-1

No. 2- Taylor Sloan and Cody Kocher (OV) def. Sam Miller and Dillon Reynolds (NV) 7-5, 6-2

The Knights return to action Tuesday, when they participate in the Center Grove Regional.