Times Sports Editor
The Northview girls tennis team began its search for a sixth consecutive sectional championship with a 5-0 victory over Linton that was a bit closer than the final score might indicate.
The Knights posted a 5-0 win over the Miners in their second match of the season, but had shuffled their lineup a bit since that night. However, Northview still enjoyed the spoils of a battle won against the Miners.
In the No. 1 singles match, senior Hannah Pond made short work of Sarah Hensley in posting a 6-0, 6-0 victory and was the first competitor done with her match. Hensley had some difficulty against Pond's serve that had plenty of movement and the experienced Knight used her athleticism to her advantage in gaining the victory.
"Hannah (Pond) had a good match tonight," coach Emily Goff said. "She hit the ball well, she moved the girl and came to the net and was aggressive. That's really important for (tonight's) match. Her serve looked good tonight."
Both of the doubles matches went fairly smoothly as well for Northview as the Knights lost just three combined points.
The No. 2 doubles team of Carli Coughanowr and Elizabeth Emmert gained a 6-1, 6-0 victory against the Miners' Amy Goodman and Cheyenne Rickleman.
"Both of our doubles played well tonight. Both of them were aggressive," Goff said. "The placement of their shots, were where they were supposed to be. I was really impressed with the girls."
The No. 2 and No. 3 singles spots were battles to the end for the Knights' Kaci Kehrt and Conner Reinoehl.
Kehrt and her opponent, Bailey Knotts, had a great match going as the Knight was unable to open more than a one-point advantage in the first set.
Kehrt led 4-3 and then 5-4 before falling behind twice on set point before winning the first set with a nice shot that tied her opponent up for a 6-4 victory. The second set was more of the same after Kehrt climbed ahead 4-0 and looked to be ready to claim an easy victory. However, Knotts used her athleticism and battled back to within 5-4. Kehrt finally put the finishing touches on a hard fought battle for a 6-4, 6-4 victory.
"Kaci's a really good athlete and I think her mental attitude and her confidence is what brought her back," Goff said. "She knew she could beat the girl. (Knotts) is definitely really athletic. It was a good match.
"When (Kaci) hit her angle shots and when she really hit the ball, she'd win the point," Goff added.
The longest match of the night took place at No. 3 singles as Conner Reinoehl and Ashley Cooper were locked in a tight match that went to three sets.
Reinoehl won 6-3 in the first set and climbed ahead 4-1 in the second set before Cooper rallied back to tie the score and eventually won the tiebreak for a 7-6 (7-5) decision that pushed the match to a third set.
In the final set, Reinoehl took the early lead at 2-1 and then 4-3 before Cooper again came back to lead 5-4. Despite some obvious frustration with her play, and trailing 6-5, Reinoehl stayed the course and turned the tables for a 7-6, 7-5 clinching win in the final set to give the Knights a sweep.
After the match, Goff commented on a young Linton squad and tonight's match-up against Greencastle in the evening's second match following South Putnam vs. Owen Valley at 4:30 p.m.
"Linton has a couple of good freshmen and Greencastle is going to be tough (tonight)," Goff said. "I know the girls are ready to play (Greencastle) and we'll just see what happens."
Northview 5, Linton 0
No. 1: Hannah Pond (Nv) wins over Sarah Hensley (Ln), 6-0, 6-0
No. 2: Kaci Kehrt (Nv) wins over Bailey Knotts (Ln), 6-4, 6-4
No. 3: Conner Reinoehl (Nv) wins over Ashley Cooper (Ln), 6-3, 6-7 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5)
No. 1: Briana Cook and Lauren Reberger (Nv) wins over Olivia Wells and Abbey Burris (Ln), 6-1, 6-1
No. 2: Carli Coughanowr and Lizzie Emmert (Nv) wins over Amy Goodman and Cheyenne Rickleman (Ln), 6-1, 6-0
Next match: South Putnam vs. Owen Valley at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. Northview vs. Greencastle, following first match.