By DAVID VANTRESS
THE GOSHEN NEWS
At sectional time — whatever the sport — the focus shifts to survival.
Wednesday afternoon at Goshen Middle School, NorthWood and Bethany Christian met in the opening round of the Goshen Sectional. At stake was a spot in the semifinals today against Fairfield.
It was the Panthers stepping up and moving on as NorthWood shut out the Bruins, 5-0.
NorthWood coach Tif Schwartz was pleased to see her team get a solid effort up and down the lineup.
“We talked about coming out here reach to go, and taking care of business,” Schwartz said. “It’s a whole new season, and when it ends is up to us.”
Coming out aggressive from the start was another pre-meet topic of discussion, and that seemed to work out well for the Panthers as well. The Panthers improved to 11-6 on the season with the win.
The No. 1 singles matchup between the Panthers’ Emily Hoffman and the Bruins’ Brooke Hershberger was the longest match of the afternoon, lasting a little over an hour. And the meet result had long been decided by then.
Still, Hoffman said it was important to her to close out her match strongly, and she did just that, earning the straight-set win.
“You still want to help your team get that 5-0 win,” Hoffman said.
As the No. 1 singles player — and a senior — Hoffman knows she’s expected to set the tone for her teammates, especially at tournament time.
She’s up to that challenge.