News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local Interest

May 22, 2012

Greencastle new site for girls tennis regional

TERRE HAUTE — The starting times might prove to be a bone of contention, but otherwise coaches Bill Blankenbaker and Emily Goff are thrilled their respective girls high school tennis teams will begin play today at the Greencastle Regional.

It’s the first regional that’s been played at Greencastle for either Blankenbaker’s Terre Haute South team or Goff’s Northview squad, and figures to be a more convenient trip than Vincennes — former regional site for the Terre Haute sectional winner — or Center Grove, where the Knights have been sent in the past.

“I’m glad we got past our sectional,” said Blankenbaker, whose Braves avenged a one-sided regular-season loss to Terre Haute North, “and we’re excited about going up [to Greencastle today].”

“We were really excited when we found out [the regional] moved to Greencastle,” Goff agreed. “That’s a better drive than Center Grove.”

Both teams will be facing first-time opponents with better records, the Knights meeting Crawfordsville in the first match and the Braves taking on a 17-1 Fountain Central team in the nightcap. But it wasn’t long ago that neither team expected to be playing anyone at all at this point in the season.

“We’ll be excited to see what it’s like [at a regional],” said Goff. “We have a lot of inexperienced players, but they did well at the sectional. We’ll have fun and see what happens.”

Northview’s lineup will include Haley Leach, Nicole Linton and Kelsey Oehler at the three singles positions plus doubles teams of Trisha Cox-Jenna Smith and Kaysia Reberger-Shelby Timberman. The Cox-Smith team has the best record among the Knights at 9-4.

South’s key to getting this far in tournament play was solidifying a lineup that went through many adjustments. Now the singles lineup of Maddie Kesler, Tabitha Fagg and Jordan Davis and the doubles teams of Miranda Camp-Nicole Howe and Madison Manning-Shivani Purohit give the Braves some stability.

“I like the way all my girls are playing right now,” Blankenbaker said. “We’re peaking at the right time.”

Winner of Wednesday evening’s championship match will play the winner of the Richmond Regional at Saturday’s Center Grove Semistate for the right to advance to the eight-team state finals, and there’s opportunity there for someone: none of the eight teams at Greencastle or Richmond are ranked in the top 30.

That doesn’t mean South is the favorite today or even Wednesday, although the Braves do have a 5-0 win over Northview during the regular season. But it’s fairly certain no team at Greencastle has played more top-30 teams already than the Braves have.

“We’ve had a good season to prepare us for what we’re doing [now],” Blankenbaker agreed. “We’ve seen the best. But at this state, no matter who you play you have to play your best.”

The only drawback to the Greencastle site is that only five courts are available, and apparently no lights. Matches are 4 and 6 p.m. today and the championship match at 4 on Wednesday.

Girls tennis regional

At Greencastle

Today

Crawfordsville (12-2) vs. Northview (7-7), 4 p.m.

Fountain Central (17-1) vs. Terre Haute South (11-7), 6 p.m.

Wednesday

Championship, 4 p.m.

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