DUNLAP — The emotion of the moment hit NorthWood boys tennis coach Tif Schwartz hard.
Talking about her team's tough 3-2 loss to Westview in the Concord Boys Tennis Regional on Wednesday, Schwartz teared up when talking with pride about her team.
"This team has accomplished so much this season and I am very proud of them,'' Schwartz said through tears. "They may not think about it right now, but we have an awful lot to be proud of.
"This is just a great bunch of guys and we're going to miss the seniors for sure.''
The Panthers definitely have plenty of reasons to smile when they think about their season. For one thing, the Panthers finish with a 17-2 record this year, with both losses coming to unbeaten Westview. NorthWood also won both the regular season and tournament title in the Northern Lakes Conference, while also winning the sectional crown and reaching the regional finals.
On Wednesday, the teams were tied at one win apiece, with NorthWood's Ben Vincent winning 6-1, 6-1 at No. 2 singles and the Westview No. 2 doubles team of Will Clark and Brady Hostetler also posting a win two-set win.
Then in a heartbeat it was over.
First, Westview's No. 1 singles player Kurtis Davis finished a tough 6-1, 7-5 victory over NorthWood's Wes Troyer to give the the Warriors a 2-1 lead.
Less than a minute later, Warriors' freshman Isaiah Hostetler beat NorthWood's Chase Horner at No. 3 singles to give Westview the winning point.
"It happened quick, that's for sure,'' Westview coach Tyler Miller said. "This is just a tremendous accomplishment for us and it goes back to the work our kids put in during the off-season to get ready for this year. We had six kids back from last season, but that didn't mean anything if they hadn't kept working on their game.''
Westview, now 23-0, had also beaten the Panthers 3-2 during a regular-season match last month.
"We tried to mix things up a little, but we just couldn't find a way to get that third point,'' Schwartz said. "I thought Wes played really well tonight, especially in the second set and Chase also did a really good job and nearly one the first set. But credit to Westview, they're awfully good.''
NorthWood would win the final point of the night, when the No. 1 doubles team of Landon Holland and Jack Wysong posted a three-set victory, winning 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. Because they remain unbeaten in the tournament, Holland and Wysong will return Thursday to Concord to play for a sectional championship and the chance to move on to the regional.
The NorthWood duo will face Northridge's Evan Nay and Aaron Cripe for the championship.
Another bright spot for NorthWood was Vincent finishing the season unbeaten and without even dropping a set at No. 2 singles.
"That is just such a great accomplishment,'' Schwartz understated. "For Ben to not even drop a set during the season is pretty amazing. He's been tremendous for us all season and it will be great to have him back next season.''
Westview will now face Marion on Saturday at the Homestead Semistate. It's just the second regional tennis title for the Warriors in school history
"One of the things that has made us a good team this season is our depth,'' Miller said. "Curtis has been very strong for us all season at one singles, but there have been matches where he's lost and it really hasn't bothered our kids. It's a strong group of kids, but from now on, we'll be the underdog and we'll have to see how we react to that.''
IHSAA CONCORD REGIONAL
WESTVIEW 3, NORTHWOOD 2
Singles: Kurtis Davis (WV) def. Wes Troyer 6-1, 7-5. Ben Vincent (NW) def. Justin Schwartz 6-1, 6-1. Chase Horner (WV) def. Isaiah Hostetler 7-5, 6-2
Doubles: Landon Holland/Jack Wysong (NW) def. Tim Brandenberger/Elijah Hostetler 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. Will Clark/Brady Hostetler (WV) def. Bryce Harner/Treyton Martin 6-2, 6-1.
Records: Westview 23-0, Concord 17-2.