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Showers can't halt Knights run to title

Thursday, September 29, 2011

(Photo)
Garrett Baysinger stares down a return shot on the way to a singles victory. [Order this photo]
By CAREY FOX

Times Sports Editor

Even Mother Nature couldn't derail Northview's quest for a sixth straight boys' tennis sectional on Thursday night.

Intermittent rain showers put the match on hold twice, but when the second wave of rain swept in, the Knights had already posted its third win of the match to secure the title. The No. 1 doubles match wasn't yet completed as Northview's senior duo of Dillon Reynolds and Cole Watts had a one-set advantage and a 4-1 lead in the second set when heavier showers stopped the match.

However, with a 3-1 lead in the sectional championship match, the Knights had already officially earned the program's 12th title since 1991.

The Patriots had battled their way into the sectional championship match with a 5-0 win over Greencastle, which solidified the resurgent Owen Valley squad's strong second half. The Knights had scored a 4-1 regular season win over Owen Valley a week earlier, but the Patriots were seeking to reverse that decision in the postseason.

Northview's No. 2 singles player, Bryce Britton did his part by repeating his 6-0, 6-0 victory against Jonathan Carey to put the Knights on top quickly in the team race. However, Owen Valley's standout freshman, Kendal Norman, evened things with a 6-0, 6-1 victory at No. 1 singles against Skylar Holifield.

The 15-year-old Norman hasn't lost a match all season and has dropped just one set on his way to a 17-0 record. He'll advance in the postseason despite his team's loss.

(Photo)
Cole Watts stretches to hammer home a point in his No. 1 doubles match. [Order this photo]
Northview reclaimed the lead at No. 2 doubles as Alec Coughanowr and Devin Clark picked up a 6-3, 6-4 victory against Owen Valley's Hogan McHaley and Noah Woodruff.

The Knights' Garrett Baysinger earned a first set win, 6-1, at No. 3 singles and finished strong to earn a 6-3 victory that clinched the championship.

The No. 1 doubles match between the Knights' Reynolds and Watts and the Patriots' duo of Corbin Worland and Dalton Vest, was a battle from the opening serve.

Both teams made remarkable shots and saves on their opponents' shots with Watts and Reynolds covering extraordinary amounts of court during the match. The Knights' fell behind 4-3 in the opening set, but rallied to win the next two points to gain the lead and eventually a 7-5 win.

The momentum swing carried over into the second set after Owen Valley had won the opening point, Watts and Reynolds, regained their footing to win the next four points before the second wave of rain stopped the match.

The Knights advance to Tuesday's Crawfordsville Regional and will play the winner of the Fountain Central Sectional.