Times Sports Editor
The last time the Northview boys tennis team saw Bloomfield, the Cardinals were loaded with six seniors in a tough lineup that won a sectional championship and went 16-2 overall, including a 4-1 win over a junior laden Knights squad last season.
The tables were turned this year as the Cardinals came to visit with a lineup that included just one player from last year's match. The result was a comfortable 5-0 win for the Knights. Northview was able to move Garrett Baysinger and Skyler Holifield into the No. 2 doubles spot to earn a 6-2, 6-1 victory over the Cardinals' Trenton Brinegar and John Reinhart.
"We knew that Bloomfield had graduated six players from last year and I was trying to reward a couple of kids who have worked really hard in the preseason and during the summer," coach Craig Cook said. "I just felt that it would be a good night to get Garrett (Baysinger) and Skyler (Holifield) in there."
Cook also didn't feel that his lineup was losing any intensity by bringing Baysinger and Holifield in for their first varsity victory.
"I expect them to win, I don't expect anything less of them than I do anyone else that I put out there. I knew they would come to battle and that's what I got out of them," Cook added.
The Knights played very well in singles action as well with Caleb Mershon cruising in his No. 2 match to take down Curtis Hasler, who played varsity No. 3 singles last year for the Cardinals. Mershon won a 6-2, 6-1 decision. In the No. 1 singles match, Carson Kleiber also played well, rolling past Brandon Thornsburg for a 6-2, 6-4 victory.
"Carson (Kleiber), you know, every time he steps on the court, no matter who we play, most teams are going to have a pretty solid No. 1," Cook said. "So he doesn't quite get the night off that maybe some of the other positions get. Carson always brings his best game and I was proud of him tonight."
"I think between (Carson Kleiber and Caleb Mershon) that they push each other to be better," Cook said of his top two singles players. "Just the competitive spirit that Caleb brings to the game, no matter who he plays, he's going to bring his best."
Sam Miller was part of a doubles to singles switch that Cook made to give the Knights' senior some extra work on the court. Miller moved up to No. 3 singles and picked up a 6-2, 6-3 victory against Eric Hendrix.
"Sam (Miller) did a good job. We wanted to get Sam some more work just in the overall game from serving to ground strokes," Cook said. "I used this night for a learning experience for him and hopefully he'll be able to take what he learned tonight and apply it to his doubles matches going forward."
Dillon Reynolds, who has played the early stages of the season at No. 3 singles, moved back to the No. 1 doubles spot to join up with Joey Thomas for a 6-1, 6-0 win over the Cardinals' Blake Kindred and Josh Wills.
Northview will get a break until Tuesday, Aug. 31 when the Knights take a 4-0 overall mark to Terre Haute South.
Northview 5, Bloomfield 0
No. 1: Carson Kleiber (Nv) wins over Brandon Thornsburg (Bl), 6-2, 6-4
No. 2: Caleb Mershon (Nv) wins over Curtis Hasler (Bl), 6-2, 6-1
No. 3: Sam Miller (Nv) wins over Eric Hendrix (Bl), 6-2, 6-3
No. 1: Joey Thomas/Dillon Reynolds (Nv) wins over Blake Kindred/Josh Wills (Bl), 6-1, 6-0
No. 2: Garrett Baysinger/Skyler Holifield (Nv) wins over Trenton Brinegar/John Reinhart (Nv), 6-2, 6-1
Next match: Northview (4-0 overall) visits Terre Haute South on Aug. 31 beginning at 5 p.m.