By STU SWARTZ
THE GOSHEN NEWS
While Goshen made it interesting, Northridge prevailed Tuesday with its experience and consistent play.
The Lady Raiders captured a 4-1 decision over GHS in the opening round of a high school girls tennis regional on the NHS courts.
Northridge, 13-1, advances to today’s 5 p.m. finale against 14-1 Angola which defeated East Noble in the other semifinal. The winner advances to Saturday’s semistate at Fort Wayne Concordia.
Goshen, which captured a sectional championship on its home courts last week, wraps up a rewarding season with a 14-2 mark — both losses to Northridge.
“This was Phase One of the regional for us,” said Raider coach Angie Brenneman. “Goshen has had a great season and we expected them to push us. They got better as the season went along.”
The Redskins got their only team point at No. 2 doubles where Kayci Troyer and Leah Shetler notched a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Emily Erekson and Mackenzie Martin.
The Raiders swept singles with Sarah Smith over Miranda Kay at No. 1; Ashley Owens over Lisanne Scheffers 6-2, 6-4 at No. 2; and Emily Hughes over Sarah Rush 6-1, 6-1 at No. 3.
Northridge also won at No. 1 doubles with Olivia Erekson and Courtney Clark topping Alli Peters and Emily Halley 6-3, 7-6 (8-6).
“Our girls competed well,” said Goshen head coach Daniel Love. “It was a matter of capitalizing on opportunities and Northridge got the job done.”
The Raiders won the regular season matchup of the rivals, 5-0, but three positions were decided in three-set sizzlers.
At one point during Tuesday’s showdown, Goshen had the lead at all five positions during second sets but Northridge soon erased four of those deficits.
“Our girls played with a lot of character and can hold their heads high,” said Love. “This outcome in no way detracts from what this team accomplished.
“We did it with great senior leadership and showing how to compete at a high level. Hopefully, this is the start of a legacy in Goshen tennis.”
Brenneman commented, “We matched up good with Goshen at our most experienced positions. They closed the gap on us with each meeting this season.
“Our seniors remember some tough losses earlier in their career and they aren’t ready to go out in the tournament yet. That takes patience and some tough tennis.
“The girls chose to wear purple tops during the tournament just to show more team togetherness. So far, it is working.”