BOURBON — With six-peat champion Culver Academies hosting their tournament, the Lady Redskins have little hope of a sectional championship in their future.
Instead, Knox’s girls tennis team has set its sights on a Northern State Conference title.
So far, so good.
Knox opened its conference schedule on a high note as the Lady Trojans opened their 2011 season in a girls tennis meet at Triton Monday. With three wins already under their belt from last week, the Redskins rolled to 4-0 overall while kicking off the NSC season with a 5-0 win, blanking Triton with straight-set victories at all positions.
“We’ve got to go into sectionals not thinking we’re going to win, I guess, so our fight is really for conference,” said Knox head girls tennis coach Bruce Johnson. “This match is really big for us to start the conference season off.”
It was a tough way to start out the season for the Trojans as they faced a veteran Knox squad with everyone back from the 2010 season and already on a roll after last week’s wins.
“I think Knox is kind of one of the teams to beat in conference this year so it kind of made it tough playing them first match of the season,” said Triton head coach Jenny Potter. “Hopefully we can take what we learned and get them again at conference time.”
Although Triton took the lopsided loss Monday, Potter believes her team is ready for a solid showing this year with its 2010 No. 1 singles and doubles lineup returning, including seniors Aubrey Boardman and Britney Edington back at 1 singles and doubles, respectively.
“I think from last year we have improved greatly,” she said. “Scores do not show it today, but I think we can take what we learned from today’s match and carry it over to the rest, and, hopefully, next time the scores will go the other way.”
Not only does the Knox squad remain undefeated with the NSC-opening win at Triton, but the Redskins stay perfect at all positions with each of their wins coming 5-0 over opponents.
The team looks to be one of the top challengers for the NSC crown this year with its entire lineup intact at all positions except 2 doubles. Among the veteran cast are four seniors in 2010 NSC champs Kierstynn Combs and Elisabeth Caudill at 1 and 2 singles, respectively, as well as the No. 1 doubles tandem of Katelyn Peters and Brittany Shannon.
“Jimtown, Bremen, New Prairie — which won the conference last year — all lost girls,” said Johnson. “We’re coming in losing nobody. We’ve got everybody back. I’ve got competition for the varsity now; I’ve got girls fighting for positions.
“I’m expecting everybody to really do well at conference this year.”
• KNOX 5, TRITON 0
SINGLES: 1. Kierstynn Combs beat Aubrey Boardman 6-3, 6-2; 2. Elisabeth Caudill beat Savannah Baker 6-1, 6-2; 3. Shelby Gilbert beat Jessica Babendrager 6-0, 6-0.
DOUBLES: 1. Katelyn Peters-Brittany Shannon beat Britney Edington-Marissa Ross 6-3, 6-0; 2. Chelsea Collins-Kelsey Thomas beat Nargiza Amirova-Kendall Mason 6-1, 6-0.
Records: Knox 4-0 (1-0 NSC), Triton 0-1 (0-1 NSC).