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Vikings split weekend matches

by Eric Andrews - eandrews@h-ponline.com

GIRLS TENNIS

The Huntington North girls tennis team wrapped up their regular season with a pair of matches over the weekend, defeating South Adams 4–1 on Friday before falling 4–1 to Norwell in a Northeast 8 Conference (NE8) matchup on Saturday.

The split finished the Vikings’ regular season record at 12–4, including a 6–1 NE8 record.

On Friday, Jessica Henline continued her strong senior season with a 6–0, 6–1 win over Hannah Dull of South Adams in first singles action.

South Adams’ Alexa Kinsey stole a thrilling second singles victory over Emily Bokel to earn the lone match win of the day for the visitors. After Bokel scored a 6–4 decision in set one, Kinsey battled back for a pair of 6–4 set victories to claim the overall match win.

After cruising through set one 6–1, Emily Daas grabbed a 6–4 victory in set two to wrap up her third singles match with Anna Dee from South Adams.

Macy Wohlford and Maisy Kesler scored a 6–2, 6–4 win in a competitive first doubles match with South Adams’ Josie Grabau and Gabi Bailey, while Crosley Stanley and Sydney Smekens breezed to a pair of 6–0 set wins in second doubles action against Mileena Mowery and Ashleyn Claghorn of South Adams.

The Saturday loss to Norwell decided the NE8 conference championship, as both teams entered the match with spotless 6–0 NE8 records. With the Knights defeating Huntington North, Norwell earned the title with a perfect 7–0 conference mark, winning the NE8 for the second year in a row.

Norwell’s Breann Barger outlasted Henline 6–2 in set one of first singles action before sweeping set two 6–0 to get the Knights out to a good start.

Ashley VandenBoom of Norwell also cruised to a victory with 6–2 and 6–1 set wins over Bokel in second singles play.

What was clearly the best matchup in singles action of the day came in third singles. Daas claimed a thrilling 6–6 (7–5) win the first set, but the Knights’ Dani Gavilanez stormed back for 6–4 and 6–3 victories in sets two and three, respectively, to complete the singles trifecta for Norwell.

The Vikings’ lone win of the day came in first doubles play, as Wohlford and Kesler tallied a 6–1, 6–3 victory over Ashlee Xayyachach and JadeLyn Heyerly-Jones of the Knights.

Norwell also grabbed the contest’s second thrilling match, as Jordan Page and Tianna Moser duked it out with Stanley and Smekens in second doubles action to eventually outlast Huntington North’s duo in 6–6 (7–4) and 6–6 (7–5) set outcomes.

“I thought the girls played well this weekend,” said head coach Blake Childs. “We were able to beat South Adams but come up short against a good Norwell team. The girls played hard in both matches and showed a lot of fight. I think the girls have really improved this year and worked hard to get themselves ready to go for Sectionals. We are looking forward to having a couple of days of practice to prepare for Sectionals. I think the girls are ready and excited for Sectional play to start.”

The Vikings are slated to compete in the Norwell Sectional later this week. Sectional pairings were announced on Monday evening, but were not available as of The Herald-Press’s deadline.

BASEBALL

The Huntington North baseball team was shut out 3–0 by Norwell in a Northeast 8 Conference (NE8) matchup on Friday night, dropping the Vikings’ season record to 8–11 and NE8 record to 2–3.

The Knights opened the scoring in the second inning, plating a run on a fielder’s choice for a 1–0 lead.

Norwell doubled their advantage to 2–0 in the third inning, as an RBI single from Beldon Glasgow brought in Levi Ledig.

The Knights threatened to tack on to their lead in the fourth with runners on first and third with one out. However, a pop out and pick off allowed Huntington North to escape the frame unscathed.

The game remained 2–0 until Ledig drove in Mason Dehoff in the top of the seventh to extend the Norwell lead to 3–0.

The Vikings failed to answer in the bottom of the seventh, resulting in a 3–0 decision for the Knights.

Nathan Hall got the start on the mound for Huntington North, allowing five hits and two runs—though one was unearned—and striking out on Norwell batter in three and one-third innings of work to take the loss.

Trey Williams came on in relief to throw one and two-third innings for the Vikings, giving up no hits and no runs while striking out a pair of Knights.

Austin Oswalt pitched the final two innings for Huntington North and allowed two hits and one earned run while striking out two Norwell batters.

The Vikings struggled offensively, mustering just two hits throughout the game, with one apiece by Keegan Bartrom and Brooks Nicely.

“We really struggled offensively tonight and didn’t put very much pressure on Norwell's defense,” said head coach Jarod Hammel. “Our pitching keeps us in every game, and our defense makes most plays, but right now we are really searching for our identity at the plate. I look forward to getting a good practice or two in with our kids. We need to get them back into a warrior’s mindset in the batter’s box.”

Huntington North will return to the field for a home NE8 duel with New Haven on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.