Lady Cats’ doubles go out in style vs. FC
Despite knowing as team that North Harrison was eliminated from the postseason at the hands of No. 16 Floyd Central, the No. 2 doubles team fought for more than two hours to win their final high school match.
Going to a third set tie-breaker, James and Nordhoff raced with gleaming smiles to hug one another when they scored the final point, sealing a victory over Floyd Central’s Kailyn Little and Emily Stock.
‘Senior year, final high school match, to win versus Floyd Central, it’s great,’ Nordhoff said.
Early in the match, the Lady Cats duo let the first set slip away, 6-4, after they led in the early going.
The second set was all James and Nordhoff, rolling to a 6-1 victory.
While the four other matches had wrapped up with Floyd Central winning each handily, all the attention went to the far court at Floyd Central.
The third set was back and forth. James put away an overhand smash to give North Harrison a 6-5 lead and an opportunity to serve for the match. With James serving, North Harrison had two match points, but Little/Stock fought them off to force the tiebreaker.
‘Each time we had a match point, I thought, ‘OK, if we get it here, it’s over’,’ Nordhoff said. ‘Then we’d get anxious.’
Floyd Central led at two points in the tie-breaker, but a Little/Stock double fault gave the Lady Cats pair a 5-4 lead. With Nordhoff serving, the lead grew to 6-4, setting up match point when James hit a winner to the left, deep corner. It paved the way for a win over the Lady Highlanders on the doubles court.
‘It’s big accomplishment to beat Floyd Central,’ Nordhoff said of the doubles win. ‘Not only for our program, but to show the improvements made from freshman to senior year.’
Nordhoff, who said their strength was net play in the sectional final, teased after the match that she didn’t think their match versus Floyd Central her freshman year lasted beyond 20 minutes.
She also called James her ‘backbone’ on the court because ‘she always has my back.’
Floyd Central was solid on the other four courts. In top singles, North Harrison senior Maddie Janes lost, 6-0, 6-1 to Giorgia Rossetto. Janes ended her career with a strong season, going 14-6. She had won eight consecutive matches going into the bout with Rossetto.
In other singles matches, Dana Frank defeated Lindsey Schumaker, 6-0, 6-0 and Alexis Applegate defeated Rachel Biddle, 6-0, 6-1. Playing in No. 1 doubles, Alex Jamison and Patterson defeated sisters Payton and Sydney Fravel, 6-1, 6-0.
North Harrison coach Bart Bigham said the Lady Cats ‘had a nice season.’
Outside of Janes, James and Nordhoff, the remaining sectional participants were freshmen.
To reach the sectional championship, the Lady Cats defeated rival Crawford County in the semi-final. Janes and Schumaker were straight set 6-0 winners over Makayla Young and Abigail Pierson, respectively.
Biddle also won in straight sets, 6-3, 6-0, versus Alia Satterfield. The Fravel sisters won 6-1, 6-0 against Shyanne Cook and Morgan Pittman while James/Nordhoff defeated Alice Guimaraes and Bailey Bean, 6-2, 6-1.
As a team, North Harrison finished with a 14-4 record.