Times Sports Editor
There were plenty of questions surrounding the 2011 Northview boys' tennis team before the season started as the squad tried to replace the majority of its starting lineup. However, the newest edition of the program answered plenty of those questions in advancing to the regional championship match for the first time since 2007.
The Knights defeated Benton Central by a 3-2 score at Crawfordsville on Tuesday evening and returned home to host No. 8 ranked Terre Haute South for the title match on Wednesday.
The Braves were able to end the Knights' season by a 5-0 score that still couldn't dampen Northview coach Craig Cook's spirits.
"We're extremely happy with the results of this year," coach Craig Cook said. "Before the season started, Shawn (Hughes) and I both sat down and we didn't really know for sure what we'd be up against. We always set the same goals each year and we accomplished the same three goals that we set last year. We're extremely pleased with the kids and their efforts.
"We sat down and looked at how things were going to line up and we thought we'd play a lot of 4-1, 3-2 matches," Cook continued. "We've got the kids that have stayed mentally strong. The match might be even or a little behind, but they just don't quit. Garrett (Baysinger) won the deciding match for us last night. He's been in that position a few times and every time he's won."
The Braves got 6-0, 6-0 wins from Austin Foster at No. 1 singles over Skylar Holifield and from No. 3 singles player, Nathan Bogle over the Knights' Garretty Baysinger. At No. 2 singles, Northview's Bryce Britton won two games in the first set before succumbing 6-2, 6-0 to Krishan Kumar.
"We always know that South is going to be solid and there won't be many holes or errors in their game. I told the kids to relax, play and have fun and enjoy what this night may be," Cook said of playing the Braves. "I really think we battled them harder than we did during the season. To me, that shows that we've improved throughout the year and I'm happy with those results."
"Cole and Dillon have been guys that I've been able to count on," Cook said of his two seniors. "Every match I know that they are going to bring full effort and I still think the best move we made this year was putting those two together (at No. 1 doubles). They fed off each other and brought out the best in each other."
The Knights finished the season with an overall record of 15-5 while the Braves improve to 15-2 and advance to the Center Grove Semi-State on Saturday to face the winner of the Covenant Christian/Park Tudor regional match.
T.H. South 5, Northview 0
No. 1: Austin Foster (THS) wins over Skylar Holifield (Nv), 6-0, 6-0
No. 2: Krishan Kumar (THS) wins over Bryce Britton (Nv), 6-2, 6-0
No. 3: Nathan Bogle (THS) wins over Garrett Baysinger (Nv), 6-0, 6-0
No. 1: Neelay Purahit/Torey Fox (THS) wins over Dillon Reynolds/Cole Watts (Nv), 6-1, 6-1
No. 2: Alex Barksdale/Rodney Lockman (THS) wins over Alec Coughanowr/Devin Clark (Nv), 6-1, 6-1
Regional first round
Northview 3, Benton Central 2
No. 1: Skylar Holifield loses 6-0, 6-0
No. 2: Bryce Britton loses 6-0, 6-1
No. 3: Garrett Baysinger wins 6-2, 5-7, 6-4
No. 1: Dillon Reynolds/Cole Watts won 7-6 (7-5), 6-3
No. 2: Alec Coughanowr/Devin Clark won 6-3, 4-6, 6-0