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GHS wins decisive set to advance

Thursday, May 21, 2009

(Photo)
Katie Collins gets ready to backhand the tennis ball coming her way in her No.1 single match in the Northview Tennis Sectional Wednesday afternoon. [Order this photo]
BRAZIL -- When a tennis match is tied 2-2 and one team has a one game lead over the other, that team usually wins.

That wasn't the case Wednesday at the Northview Sectional between South Putnam and Greencastle.

Both teams were deadlocked at two wins each and it came down to whoever won No. 2 doubles was moving on to face the hosting Knights today and South Putnam had a one game edge looking to move on.

But it didn't happen that way.

Greencastle's Bridget Tucker and Emalie McClaine battled back after losing the first game, 7-5, and won the second game, 6-4, forcing a game three. When South Putnam's Kylie Brown and Kaitlynn Nissen confidence was shaken, the Greencastle duo went for the kill and won 6-3, giving Greencastle the 3-2 win over South Putnam.

"Bridget and Emalie, put them together and anything is possible," GHS Coach Sally Martin said. "Emalie will run down anything and send it back and when they are off they have pretty low dips, but they don't like the feel of a loss.

"My. No 2 doubles will surprise you. They will gut it out every time," Martin said. "My No. 1s are struggling, but they are committed to work on everything they need to in the off season."

And struggle they did.

Earlier in the match, it looked like South was going to put on a repeat performance when the No. 1 doubles team of Tabitha Arnold and Megan Klotz quickly dispatched their Greencastle opponents 6-0, 6-3, but things are seldom as they seem.

Shortly after the No. 1 doubles finished, Greencastle's Katie Collins delivered the final blow to South Putnam's Abbie Trauner's chances of moving on, defeating her 6-3 in game two for the sweep. Trauner took a quick 1-0 lead in game one, but Collins battled back and beat her 6-2.

After Collins' win tied the match at 1-all, the eyes shifted to the No. 2 and No. 3 singles. South Putnam's Ashley Ross won the No. 3. singles 6-4, 6-1 giving the Eagles the edge once more, but that lead was short-lived.

Kate Babington, who was not in the lineup last time these two teams met, dominated Kendra Latham 6-2 in the first game and blanked her 6-0 in the second game -- an outcome totally different than last time these two teams met.

"I knew this would be a good match," SPHS Coach Johnnie Briones said. "Greencastle has definitely improved and it was a different lineup tonight than when we faced them at the start of the season."

In the season opener, Babington was out and Latham defeated her stand-in Katie Farris. Since then, Babington has been in the No. 2 singles spot for Greencastle and made a difference Wednesday night.

In the beginning, it looked like only Collins was going to move on, but now the whole Greencastle team is moving on and Martin couldn't be any happier.

"We wanted the team to go through today because we want to play Northview. I have seen all season long what these kids need to do, but when they finally see it -- that is when it clicks.

"Babington really made a difference tonight for us," Martin added. "We had a totally different doubles lineup when we faced them before because we had to move people around to fill Babington's spot."

Even though Briones watched his young tennis team's season come to a abrupt end, he is sending his No.1 doubles team to the individual sectional at Center Grove again. At the beginning of the season not many people would have guessed that. Since one of the players -- Tabitha Arnold -- never played doubles until this season.

"She (Arnold) adapted really well and as the season went on she improved and started to understand how doubles are played," Briones said. "I think a lot of her problems in the beginning of the season were mental problems, but as the season progressed she overcame that and she is playing some really good tennis right now and now is the time for it.

"This was a good season for both Varsity and JV and I'm really proud of the girls," Briones added. "I knew coming into this match with Greencastle it was going to be tough since we beat them the last time around."

Greencastle will play Northview today in the match that follows the first one that is slated for 5 p.m.

At Northview

Team Scores

Greencastle 3, South Putnam 2

Singles

Collins (GHS) def. Trauner (SP) 6-1, 6-3; Babington (GHS) def. Latham (SP) 6-2, 6-0; Ross (SP) def. Farris (GHS) 6-4, 6-1

Doubles

Arnold and Klotz (SP) def. Schroeder and Kenney (GHS) 6-0, 6-3; Tucker and McClaine (GHS) def. Brown and Nissen (SP), 5-7, 6-4, 6-3

Next Match -- Greencastle will play Northview today in the match that follows the first one that is slated for 5 p.m. South Putnam's No. 1 doubles moves on to the Center Grove individual sectional.