With the Division I postseason ahead, the Central Crossing High School girls tennis team got a warm-up for the bracket-style format by competing in the OCC-Central Division tournament.
The Comets finished seventh (3 points) in the league tournament Sept. 29 at Hilliard Davidson. Upper Arlington won all five courts to finish with 40 points. Dublin Coffman and Olentangy Liberty tied for second (27), followed by Davidson (21), Thomas Worthington (14), Marysville (11), Central Crossing and Westland (2).
"(The OCC-Central tournament) is good because of the tournament aspect," coach Neil Hohman said. "It helps get you ready for the sectional."
The Comets compete Thursday, Oct. 4, and Saturday, Oct. 6, in the Division I sectional tournament at Pickerington Central. The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to district Oct. 12 and 13 at Davidson.
"(A tournament) definitely has a different feel," Hohman said. "You don't just get off of the bus, warm up and play like you do in duals. Sometimes it helps to sit around awhile and watch the matches. The kids can pick things up that can help them in the matches ahead."
The Comets' first-singles player, senior Hannah Gabriel, opens sectional play against Newark's Rachel Gough, while junior Brooke Cosgray, their second-singles player, will face Pickerington Central's Audrey Covert. Senior Allyson Gregio opens with Westerville South's Katie Gough.
The first-doubles team of junior Kristen Chandler and junior Faith Pauquette opens against Chloe Hallman and Marisa Sponsler of Mount Vernon, while senior Sierra Downing and sophomore Savannah Kovacs will face Westerville South's Ama Kwarteng and Lexi Hunkler.
"We're at Pickerington Central, which is different because a lot of times we're at Davidson or Upper Arlington," Hohman said. "I thought Pickerington Central was the best fit for us with the teams there. I think it was the best fit for where we are at as a team."
The final OCC-Central standings were not complete after the league tournament because Central Crossing and Westland had to play their regular-season dual Oct. 2. Both teams were 0-6 in league duals.
In the OCC-Central tournament, Gabriel won a seventh-place match in first singles against Cassidy Dyer of Westland 8-0. In second singles, Cosgray lost to Westland's Jenna Neff 8-5 to finish eighth. Gregio defeated Westland's Karen Olgwin 8-1 to place seventh in third singles.
Chandler and Pauquette took seventh place in first doubles with an 8-1 win over Mackenzie Smith and Sierra Trimmer of Westland. In second doubles, Downing and Kovacs lost to Madison Qualls and Brittany Wolford of Westland 8-5 in the seventh-place match.
Greyhounds headed to Davidson sectional
Grove City plays in a Division I sectional Thursday, Oct. 4, and Saturday, Oct. 6, at Davidson. The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to district Oct. 12 and 13 at Davidson.
First-singles player Ali Ronau, a senior, opens sectional play against Davidson's Mary Carson, and second-singles player Taylor Shawver, a junior, plays Shyla Smith of Marion-Franklin. Junior Katie Swartzentruber opens against Hilliard Darby's Abby Schuster.
The first-doubles team of junior Molly Brown and sophomore Viki Rohr has a bye before playing either Marysville's Katie Martin and Amy Stammer or Hilliard Bradley's Kayla Bushee and Haley Jackson. Seniors Ashley Hughes and Melissa Votaw play Marysville's Sammi Hunt and Reagan Yoakom in their opener.
In the OCC-Ohio tournament Sept. 29 at Reynoldsburg, Grove City finished sixth (5) behind Pickerington Central (35), Reynoldsburg (16), Gahanna (15), Pickerington North (14) and Lancaster (10) and ahead of Groveport (1) and Newark (1).
The league standings were not complete because Reynoldsburg and Groveport had their final league match Oct. 3.
"We had some wins (in the league tournament)," coach Dan Witteman said. "We didn't (finish) first, second or third, but we had some girls who came out here and this was their first tournament experience.
"Everybody got a chance to play three good tennis matches and we have some girls who will gain from this and learn and grow and become better players next year because of this."
In first singles, Ronau lost to Shaili Kothari of Pickerington North 8-5 in a fifth-place match. Shawver was sixth in second singles after losing to Emily Robinson of Pickerington North 8-1. Swartzentruber lost to Siara Patrick of Lancaster 8-3 to place sixth.
Brown and Rohr placed seventh in first doubles after defeating Newark's Rachel Grough and Emily Metille 8-3. In second doubles, Hughes and Votaw finished sixth after losing to Reynoldsburg's Jadelyn Cheng and Peggy Thompson 8-7 (7-2).
"My seniors got to experience a tournament, some of them for the first time," Witteman said. "I only have one player with varsity experience coming into this year (Ronau). She's my first-singles player and she played doubles last year as a junior.
"I'm very pleased with all the girls. We had a couple seniors who played second doubles. That's a spot they earned and they did well all year. They didn't win every match, but they competed hard."