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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

South Putnam tennis falls at Northview Sectional

Saturday, May 17, 2008

BRAZIL -- Friday marked the end of the line for South Putnam's tennis team, but for a pair of seniors, things haven't ended just yet.

Megan Criss hits a return in her No. 1 doubles match. After a slow start, Criss and Cassie Davis won their match 1-6, 6-3, 6-4. For their win, the seniors advance to Tuesday's Center Grove Regional.
While the Eagles lost 3-2 to Northview in the semifinal of the Northview Sectional, seniors Cassie Davis and Megan Criss came from behind to win their No. 1 doubles match, sending them on to regional action.

Things looked bad for the duo early, as they lost the first set quickly. However, they came back to take control of the second and third matches and capture a 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over the Knights' Andrea James and Bonnie Froderman.

"That was an incredible match. They lost that first set, and I thought they were done. But they fought back and pulled it off," Eagle coach Johnnie Briones said.

The match was really an example of how the whole season has been for Davis and Criss. They weren't even the number one team at the year's beginning.

"They've been playing really well anyway. At the start of the season, they were No. 2 doubles. They just improved and improved and improved," Briones said. "All their hard work and effort has paid off right here. I was definitely proud of them, the way they came back in that match."

Almost the entire Eagle team appeared to be on the ropes early, as only No. 3 singles player Liz Mink was in control of her match early.

Two matches went that way, as both No. 1 singles Chelsea Clark and the No. 2 doubles team lost in straight sets. Clark lost to Jazmine Kellum 6-0, 6-2. Megan Klotz and Samantha Callahan fell 6-0, 6-2.

But the remaining Eagles battled back.

Ultimately, Mink won her match over Ali Rentschler 6-3, 6-3.

In the end, though, the No. 2 singles match decided it all, and Northview's Allie Melega got the better of South's Whitney Warren, 7-5, 6-2.

The Davis/Criss win made the final count 3-2.

After the slow start, though, Briones was happy with the team's resilience.

"That's the way they've played all season long. They've been down in a game or in a set, and they've just battled back and pulled it out. We're 9-2 now, but there were a lot of close games. I think their maturity and experience pulled them through."

While the early exit from the sectional was a disappointment, Briones saw nothing but positives from his team's 9-2 record this year.

"I'm on cloud nine. It's been a record-setting year," the coach said. "I just can't be more proud of a bunch of girls, the seniors especially. They've gelled together as a team with the freshmen and all. They've done such a good job of making them feel like a part of the team. They're just a great bunch of kids."

He also gave a tip of the cap to county-rival Greencastle. They Eagle's season-opening win over Trish Lowe's squad was still the highlight of the year for Briones.

"To go 9-1 and beat Greencastle, that was a big win for us there. That kind of made the season. It's hard to beat Greencastle, year in and year out."

At this point, though, the attention turns solely to Davis and Criss. The duo will compete Tuesday at the Center Grove Regional.

"It's just gonna be a lot of fun for them to experience that," Briones concluded.

At Northview

Girls' Tennis Sectional Semifinals

Northview 3, South Putnam 2

Singles -- Kellum (N) def. Clark (S) 6-0, 6-2; Melega (N) def. Warren (S) 7-5, 6-2; Mink (S) def. Rentschler (N) 6-3, 6-3.

Doubles -- Davis/Criss (S) def. James/Froderman (N) 6-4; Kumpf/Pond (N) def. Klotz/Callahan (S) 6-0, 6-2.

Next match -- With their win, South Putnam's No. 1 doubles team of Cassie Davis and Megan Criss advances to Tuesday's Center Grove Regional.

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