Comets set for closing stretch
Coach Neil Hohman is preparing his Central Crossing High School girls tennis team for the postseason and hoping the Comets build confidence in the matches ahead.
The Comets face Briggs on Thursday, Sept. 20, and Teays Valley on Monday, Sept. 24, at home before playing their final OCC-Central Division dual at Westland on Tuesday, Sept. 25.
"We have been consistent so far throughout the season," Hohman said. "We are ... through the tough league matches and have had some hard-fought non-league matches. We have five competitive matches starting (this) week to end the season."
Those matches included Ready on Sept. 19 and a league dual against Marysville on Sept. 18.
The OCC-Central tournament will be Sept. 29 at Upper Arlington. Last season, the Comets finished seventh (9 points, 1-6) in the league, behind UA (72, 7-0), Dublin Coffman (54, 6-1), Hilliard Davidson (46, 5-2), Worthington Kilbourne (37, 4-3), Thomas Worthington (29, 3-4) and Hilliard Darby (18, 2-5) and ahead of Westland (3, 0-7).
"The girls have been doing a great job of remaining a team and working together to keep each other upbeat," Hohman said. "We have not had a lot of practice time because of the amount of matches we have been playing, but they have been working to improve during matches."
At the district meeting Sunday, Sept. 23, the Comets' Division I sectional site will be determined between Davidson, Pickerington Central, Reynoldsburg and UA. The sectional will be held Oct. 4 and 6, with the top four finishers in singles and doubles from each site advancing to the district tournament Oct. 12 and 13 at Davidson.
"Our singles players have been working to improve little components of their individual game to get some easier points," Hohman said. "Our No. 1 singles player, (senior) Hannah Gabriel, has been playing well all year and is working to improve her net presence in matches. She has come a long way in her hitting and ability to move and place the ball."
Senior Ally Gregio and junior Brooke Cosgray also have been playing singles. The doubles teams have consisted of senior Sierra Downing and sophomore Savannah Kovacs and juniors Kristen Chandler and Faith Pauquette.
"Both of our doubles teams seem to be getting comfortable with each other and having some more fun on the court together," Hohman said. "Both the singles (players) and doubles teams need to continue to develop and improve their net play."
Greyhounds improve through practice
Grove City players are fine-tuning their games in preparation of the OCC-Ohio tournament Sept. 29 at Reynoldsburg. The Greyhounds were 1-3 in league duals before playing Lancaster on Sept. 18.
"We're doing well," coach Dan Witteman said. "We would like to be doing better in the OCC, but we play in a pretty strong division."
The Greyhounds lost to Reynoldsburg 5-0 on Aug. 21 in the OCC-Ohio opener before falling to Pickerington Central 5-0 on Aug. 27 in a match that also was part of the OTCA team tournament. They defeated Groveport 5-0 on Aug. 28 and lost to Gahanna 5-0 on Sept. 13.
Witteman said senior Ali Ronau and juniors Taylor Shawver and Katie Swartzentruber have been playing well in singles. Junior Molly Brown and sophomore Viki Rohr are at first doubles, while a second-doubles rotation has included seniors Ashley Hughes, Lexi Pennington and Melissa Votaw and junior Nicole Burris.
"We have been having some good practices and the girls are using every opportunity to improve," Witteman said.
Last season in the OCC-Ohio, Grove City finished seventh (11, 1-6), behind Pickerington Central (75, 7-0), Pickerington North (47, 5-2), Lancaster (43, 4-3), Gahanna (39, 5-2), Reynoldsburg (33, 4-3) and Newark (15, 2-5) and ahead of Groveport (6, 0-7).
"We need to continue to work on all phases of the game," Witteman said. 'We need to improve our consistency and our overall hitting."