Watterson High School boys tennis coach Barb Woods is confident junior Chris Diaz can compete with anyone in the state at first singles. However, the 18th-year coach said the rest of her athletes will determine how her team fares in duals.

Watterson High School boys tennis coach Barb Woods is confident junior Chris Diaz can compete with anyone in the state at first singles. However, the 18th-year coach said the rest of her athletes will determine how her team fares in duals.

The Eagles finished 12-8 overall and tied DeSales and St. Charles atop the CCL standings with a 4-1 league mark a year ago.

"Chris is the strongest player I've ever coached, but he can't do it all by himself," Woods said. "We'll need our other guys to win matches, too, for our team to be successful. The rest of our players have had to move up at least one court to help replace (graduate Philip Diaz), so we'll need them to compete at a higher level this year."

Junior Aaron Casares will play second singles and senior Enzo Milano will play third singles. Senior Ben Heigel and junior Jared Clifton will play first doubles, and a rotating combination of juniors Eric Brunton and Danny Yersavich, and freshman Ryan Bibo will play second doubles.

"I'm hoping Aaron and Enzo will hold their own in singles," Woods said. "We need to find at least one strong doubles team to keep our team competitive.

"I hope we can stay on top in the CCL, but DeSales and St. Charles always are good competition."

The Eagles will compete in the Division II postseason tournaments this year.

Last year, the Diaz brothers went 4-0 at the Division I sectional at Pickerington Central to win their second consecutive sectional title. Milano went 4-1 to place third at singles and qualify for district for the first time.

The Diaz brothers went 4-0 at the district at Hilliard Davidson to win their second consecutive district title. Milano was 0-1 at district.

But after winning the state doubles title in 2008, the Diaz brothers went 3-1 to place second in the state tournament at Ohio State University. They lost to Worthington Kilbourne's Jonny Price and Kevin Metka 6-4, 6-4 in the final.

"Oh my goodness, yes, Chris could win (the Division II state singles title) if he plays well," Woods said. "It will be tough to make it to state in Division II, though, because only the top two district placers will move on."

•The boys volleyball team opened the season last Saturday by going 2-1 in the St. Charles Classic. Watterson beat Westerville North 25-23, 25-21, downed Cincinnati Sycamore 19-25, 25-17, 26-24 and lost to Cleveland St. Ignatius 25-20, 25-15.

The Eagles finished 19-8 last year. They played Gahanna Christian last Wednesday and play host to Pickerington North on April 9.

Six starters have returned to lead Watterson in seniors Erick Nelson (setter), senior Jack Otte (outside hitter), junior Brian Raderstorf (middle hitter), junior Kyle Storc (middle hitter/outside hitter), junior Ryan Storc (middle hitter) and sophomore Cory Randolph (libero).

Otte was second-team all-state and first-team all-region last year.

Rounding out the lineup are junior Hunter Doersam (outside hitter), junior Joey Viola (opposite hitter/setter), sophomore Peter Fiala (defensive specialist), freshman Cameron Golam (defensive specialist), freshman Chris Manamon (defensive specialist) and freshman Joe Mankovekey (opposite hitter).

The Eagles must replace graduate Anthony Randolph. The Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne recruit was the Ohio Player of the Year last season.

"Anthony is a big loss, but we've been grooming the rest of the kids to help keep the team strong, and I think we're still going to be very competitive," coach Larry Worth said.

Last year, the Eagles beat Gahanna Christian 25-8, 25-13, 25-11 in their Division II regional tournament opener, defeated Dublin Scioto 26-24, 20-25, 25-17, 25-18 in a semifinal and lost to eventual state champion St. Charles 25-22, 25-16, 25-21 in the final.

"We think we're as good as any Division II team in the state, so we feel like we have a shot at winning the championship this year," Worth said.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedule for the Watterson baseball, softball and boys tennis teams:

BASEBALL

Last Monday -- Game cancelled against Olentangy Orange

Last Tuesday -- Played Olentangy Liberty

Last Wednesday -- Played New Albany

Tuesday -- Home vs. Briggs

SOFTBALL

Last Tuesday -- Played Thomas Worthington in opener

Tuesday -- Home vs. Olentangy

BOYS TENNIS SCHEDULE

*April 13 vs. Ready

April 14 vs. Dublin Coffman

April 15 at Dublin Jerome

April 17 at Hilliard Davidson

April 19 vs. Columbus Academy

April 21 at Bexley

April 24 vs. Cuyahoga Christian Academy and Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit

April 26 at Wellington

*April 27 at DeSales

April 28 at New Albany

May 3 vs. Worthington Kilbourne

*May 4 vs. St. Charles

May 5 at Thomas Worthington

May 7 at Kettering Alter

*CCL match