Times Sports Editor
For the second consecutive year, a Northview senior class will graduate having never lost a boys tennis sectional during their high school careers.
The Knights won their fifth consecutive sectional on Thursday evening, posting a 4-1 win over Greencastle in the championship match of the Northview Sectional.
With an experienced lineup that included four seniors, the Knights cruised easily past the Tiger Cubs to earn the sectional title. With seniors, Carson Kleiber, Caleb Mershon and Sam Miller anchoring the singles play and Joey Thomas leading the doubles groups, coach Craig Cook expected big things to open the season.
"We knew coming into this year that expectations were a sectional (title) or it wasn't going to be a successful season," Cook said. "For those guys (seniors) to win all four years makes it special."
Cook also felt that his team continued to improve throughout the season and are peaking at the right time heading into next week's Center Grove Regional.
"I thought our kids got better as the year went on, which is the goal of any team," Cook said. "As for being the coach, I was happy to have them playing their best at the end of the year. For the seniors, to win a sectional on their last night playing at Northview is a great feeling."
In singles play, Kleiber provided a dominating victory over Ken Buchanan in the No. 1 spot. Buchanan trailed just 2-1 in the first set, but Kleiber bore down and swept the remaining 10 points of the game to earn the win.
"Carson (Kleiber), the whole year long and Caleb (Mershon) since the Sullivan match, have both been on top of their games. Every time we write their names down we're expecting two wins," Cook said.
Kleiber improved to 17-3 this season at No. 1 singles and Mershon is now 16-4 after the wins.
Dillon Reynolds missed nearly half the season with a shoulder injury, but returned late in the season to bolster the experience level of the No. 2 doubles team as he joined forces with Bryce Britton. The team remained unbeaten as the duo scored a 6-0, 6-1 victory against the Tiger Cubs' Kaden Faust and Anthony Gerard.
"It kind of secured that No. 2 doubles spot even more," Cook said of Reynolds return from injury. "We felt good with Garrett (Baysinger), he stepped in and did a great job, but having (Reynold's) experience of playing in a sectional and in big matches was a nice benefit."
In the No. 1 doubles spot, Cole Watts and Thomas were equally dominant in the No. 1 doubles spot as they improved to 11-1 this season by defeating Cyrus Spencer and Lee Hayes by a 6-1, 6-0 score.
"Ever since they got together, they've answered the call for any match we've played," Cook said.
Also advancing from the sectional are the No. 1 singles and doubles team from Owen Valley. Ethan Hoadley advances at No. 1 singles and the team of Dalton Vest and Corbin Worland move on as well.
Northview Boys Tennis Sectional
Northview 4, Greencastle 1
No. 1: Carson Kleiber (Nv) wins over Ken Buchanan (GC), 6-1, 6-0
No. 2: Caleb Mershon (Nv) wins over Landon Miller (GC), 6-1, 6-3
No. 3: Sam Miller (Nv) loses to Joseph Kass (GC), 6-1, 2-6, 5-7
No. 1: Joey Thomas and Cole Watts (Nv) wins over Cyrus Spencer and Lee Hayes (GC), 6-1, 6-0
No. 2: Bryce Britton and Dillon Reynolds (Nv) wins over Kaden Faust and Anthony Gerard (GC), 6-0, 6-1