Several members of the Dublin Jerome High School girls tennis team wept after the Celtics lost to Rocky River Magnificat 3-2 in an OTCA state semifinal last Sunday at Hilliard Davidson.

Several members of the Dublin Jerome High School girls tennis team wept after the Celtics lost to Rocky River Magnificat 3-2 in an OTCA state semifinal last Sunday at Hilliard Davidson.

Jerome was ranked first in the final state poll ahead of runner-up Magnificat.

"We're all disappointed because we were ranked No. 1 in the state all season and we had such high expectations," senior Kelly Doran said. "We gave it our best shot, but they were our toughest opponent and three of the courts just didn't go our way."

However, after the Celtics bounced back to beat Toledo Notre Dame Academy 3-0 in the consolation final to finish 18-1 in dual matches, their perception of the season quickly changed.

"We realized that finishing third in the state isn't such a bad thing," Doran said. "We beat Upper Arlington (3-1 on Sept. 14) and a lot of other great teams to make it this far, so we're lucky to end our season at the final four."

Doran and Kathryn Farrar went 2-0 at first doubles and Sarah Stein went 2-0 at second singles last Sunday.

Farrar and Doran also went 3-1 to place third at doubles in the Division I state tournament held last Friday and Saturday at Elysium Tennis Center.

Doran and Farrar opened with a 6-0, 6-3 win over Centerville's Anastasia Voevodin and Elise Ranich, before beating Toledo Central Catholic's Morgan Delp and Sydney Delp 6-4, 6-4.

"We had a lot of energy in our first match and we made most of our first serves, returns and volleys," Doran said. "Our second match was tough, because both teams were aggressive at the net. Teams that are as aggressive as us usually give us trouble, and I think that's why it was so close. Kathryn and I made some good shots to beat them there."

But Doran and Farrar lost to Liberty Township Lakota East's Carolyn Pitman and Taylor Holden 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) in a semifinal, before winning the consolation match over West Chester Lakota West's Ashleigh Witte and Tori Turner by injury default.

"We just had too many unforced errors in the semifinal," Doran said. "Kathryn and I played really well this weekend, but we missed shots that we normally make and we could have played better in that match. The last match was disappointing because we waited to play all day and then couldn't because one of their girls had a hamstring injury."

Stein opened state with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 loss to Avon Lake's Nikki Chiricosta.

"I played really well," Stein said. "I just got a little tight in the third set. She was playing well and not missing much. Winning the first set gave me a little bit of confidence but I knew she wasn't going to give up. It was going to be a tough match the whole time. It gave me a little bit of an edge but I didn't let my guard down. I am really excited for next year. I made it to state as a freshman, so now I want to do better there as a sophomore."