By DAVID VANTRESS
THE GOSHEN NEWS
The suspense at Wednesday’s Northridge Regional girls tennis finals didn’t last very long.
Northridge successfully defended its regional title with a 5-0 sweep of Angola.
The Raiders (14-1) did not give up a set in the dominating performance.
It was just the kind of performance Northridge coach Angie Brenneman wanted to see from her team.
“We had some tough matches yesterday (in the regional semifinals against Goshen) and we wanted to come out and be aggressive today,” Brenneman said.
As the Raiders shift their focus to this weekend’s semistate tournament, Brenneman said her team’s chemistry has been key so far.
“Our experience has helped us, and not just the experience on the court,” Brenneman said. “We’re playing our best tennis at the best time, and that’s because the girls apply the lessons they learn off the court as well as on.”
After having one of the easier matches on Tuesday, Northridge No. 3 singles player Emily Hughes was the last player on the court Wednesday afternoon, as she had to rally from a 5-2 deficit in the first set of her match against Angola’s Alyssa Rhoades.
Hughes said she had to refocus her efforts after finding herself down.
“I was able to break her serve and hold my own, and that got it down to 5-4,” Hughes said. “That made a big difference.”
Hughes prevailed in the first set 7-6 after taking the tiebreaker, 7-2, and went on to take the second set, 7-5.
Angola coach Scott Hottell saw his team’s postseason run come to an end, but was proud of his team’s effort against the Raiders.
“We’re losing some of our top girls, but we will have some promising freshmen next year,” Hottell said.
The Raiders will take on Fort Wayne Carroll (21-2) on Saturday at Fort Wayne Concordia in the semistate tournament.
Northridge 5, Angola 0
No. 1 — Sarah Smith (N) def. Kirstyn Quandt, 6-1, 6-0.
No. 2 — Ashley Owens (N) def. Tracey Byrne, 6-0, 6-3.
No. 3 — Emily Hughes (N) def. Alyssa Rhoades, 7-6 (7-2), 7-5.
No. 1 — Olivia Erekson-Courtney Clark (N) def. Kylie Bidlack-Kristen Heierman, 6-4, 6-1.
No. 2 — Holyn Eldridge-Samantha Lutian (C) def. Hannah Cowen-Victoria Yagodinski, 6-1, 6-1.