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Monday, May 2, 2016

One dynamic duo

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Northview sophomore, Briana Cook (left) and senior, Lauren Reberger (right) will compete in the 20th annual doubles state tournament on Saturday.

Times Staff Reporter

Though the Northview girls tennis squad failed to win its sectional for just the second time in 10 years, two members of the team have since reached heights which are previously unparalleled in the program's history.

The No. 1 doubles squad of Lauren Reberger and Briana Cook have carried out an impressive string of victories recently, and are set for action at the 20th Annual Doubles State Tournament, which will be held in Carmel Saturday, at 10 a.m.

After going 8-1 during the regular season, the duo has rolled through postseason play, with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Owen Valley's Madeling Sego and Erin Traux in the Knights' team sectional championship match.

The duo then took their play up a notch, taking a decisive 6-3, 6-1 win over the Southwest (Shelbyvilley) duo of Katelyn Smith and Shelby Eversole. Most impressive about the victory over Smith and Eversole was that the duo entered the match a perfect 14-0 before facing Reberger and Cook.

Lauren Reberger fires a shot back in the sectional against Greencastle.
Knights' coach Emily Goff, who took over the head coaching reigns five years ago after serving as an assistant to Tom West, says Reberger, a senior, and Cook, a sophomore, are the first girls she knows of who have reached such a height in the program's history. Goff was very quick to sing the praises of her top-performing duo, saying great chemistry has been crucial to their success.

"Coaching Briana and Lauren has been a real treat," Goff said. "Their communication is one of their best attributes. They are both great athletes, and they never give up on anything."

Cook and Reberger seemed to agree in their assessment that their success comes from their polar opposite playing styles. Cook's greatest asset is a powerful playing style and a blitzing serve, while Reberger plays with more finesse, excelling the most closer to the net.

Aside from their complimentary styles, the girls say they have fine-tuned their communication skills as the season has progressed, making their game incredibly strong.

Briana Cook returns a shot against South Vermillion earlier this season.
"When one of us is struggling, we both know what to do to get them going again," Cook said. "We've had good chemistry all year, but it's just continued to get stronger."

Reberger, who will attempt to expand her success next year at the collegiate level at Rose-Hulman, said she was very excited to be ending her high school career on such a high note, and looks forward to taking on a higher class of competition.

"(All out success) means all my hard work has paid off," Reberger said. "It's exciting to get to continue doing what I love for awhile longer."

The ride is presented from a different perspective for Cook, who still has two more years of high school play when the 2010 campaign comes to a close. She says having a greater level of experience will help her better prepare for future on-court endeavors.

"(Advancing this far) will help me go into sectionals with experience behind me," says Cook, who says she's open to playing either singles or doubles in future seasons. "It will really help me to prepare."

The road doesn't get easy for the Northview duo. Their opponents Saturday are the Brownsburg team of Katie Bullock and Hannah Kenninger, who come into the competition with a record of 27-0. Despite the seemingly uphill climb, all parties seemed relaxed in preparation for the event, saying they are simply looking forward to the chance to compete.

"I just want the girls to have fun and give it all they have," Goff said. "They are both really great girls and it's been great coaching them and watching them compete."

An old cliche about good duos, be they in either a social or competitive setting, is their ability to complete each other's thoughts, and this practice seems quite prevalent when speaking with Reberger and Cook about their success. The two seemed on the same wavelength, not only about their success, but also their preparation for Saturday's difficult match.

"We just want to go out and play our hearts out," Reberger said.

Without missing a beat, Cook added, "We don't plan on holding anything back."