Times Staff Reporter
GREENCASTLE -- Girls tennis sectionals came to a close Friday, and for just the second time in a decade, the Knights of Northview went home empty handed.
Northview dropped a tough 3-2 decision to the Patriots of Owen Valley, in the championship match of the Northview sectional. For the second evening in a row, play was moved to the indoor facility at DePauw University in Greencastle, due to inclement weather conditions (conditions which still managed to make their presence felt in the form of a 10-minute power outage).
The Knights fell in a 2-0 hole early. No. 1 singles seed Hannah Pond was out of sync throughout, dropping a 6-2, 6-2 decision to Nicole Duling. No. 3 seed Conner Reinhoel faired better than Pond, fighting valiantly, but still losing in straight sets to Aneta Tomesova by the score of 6-4, 7-6.
The Knights fought back, however, as top-seeded doubles squad, Lauren Reberger and Briana Cook advanced to individual regional play, taking a 6-2, 7-5 win over Madeline Sego and Erin Traux.
The most impressive effort on the Northview side on the evening came from Kaci Kehrt.
"Kaci Kehrt played her best tennis of the year tonight," Goff said. "She finally played to her potential this evening."
With the sectional title on the line, all eyes focused the No. 2 doubles court, as Northview's Carli Coughanowr and Elizabeth Emmert were in a one set apiece tie with Morgan Richardson and Anitra Thompson of Owen Valley.
With the final set tied at one game apiece, the Knights had four opportunities to take the game, but were unable to do so. The Patriots finally made them pay during a fourth deuce, taking back the Northview serve and the momentum.
Coughanowr and Emmert didn't go away quietly, though.
Trailing 4-2, they took the serve back, winning three consecutive games, and earning a 5-4 lead.
Sadly, the momentum didn't carry over long enough, as a string of mishits and misjudgements defensively proved too costly, as Thompson and Richardson buckled down, and with a 7-5 win, ended Northview's consecutive sectional win streak at five.
Goff, currently in her fifth year as the program's head coach, didn't hide the frustration she felt in finishing second.
"We're definitely disappointed," Goff said. "Owen Valley is a good team, and they just played better than we did."
Though the season ended prematurely by her usual standards, Goff said she was still "very proud of her girls" for their season. Though they are losing a great deal of talent (Pond, Reinhoel, Reberger and Coughanowr are all departing via graduation), she says she expects a return to sectional prominence with both her returning and new talent.
"We'll definitely miss the girls we're losing, but we've got some younger girls coming up who we think can fill in nicely," Goff said. "Every year we look to win sectional and next year will be no different."
Greencastle 3, Northview 2
No. 1: Nicole Duling (OV) def. Hannah Pond (NV) 6-2, 6-2
No. 2: Kaci Kehrt (NV) def. Elizabeth Schenck (OV) 7-6, 6-3
No. 3: Aneta Tomesova (OV) def. Conner Reinhoel (NV) 6-4, 7-6
No. 1: Lauren Reberger and Briana Cook (NV) def. Madeline Sego and Erin Traux (OV) 6-2, 7-5
No. 2: Morgan Richardson and Anitra Thompson (OV) def. Carli Coughanowr and Elizabeth Emmert (NV) 6-7, 6-2, 7-5