Hilliard Bradley High School boys tennis coach Ben Lilly has discovered that he really doesn't need to motivate his team this season.

Hilliard Bradley High School boys tennis coach Ben Lilly has discovered that he really doesn't need to motivate his team this season.

That's because seniors Chris Bowman, Nick Brown, Kevin Girardi, Dan Smith and Kyle Vermillion already have heard most of his pre-match speeches.

"That experience really helps us out," Lilly said. "The guys work hard in practice. I haven't had to do too much to keep them motivated. They know what our goals are and they are working pretty hard to get them. It's refreshing to have them work pretty hard and be on the same page."

Lilly is looking for his team to improve on last year's fifth-place finish in the OCC-Capital Division. Last year, Bradley went 3-3 in its league dual matches and finished the league tournament with 24 points.

The Jaguars were 1-2 in the OCC-Capital after losing to New Albany 5-0 on April 9 and Big Walnut 5-0 on April 10 and defeating Mount Vernon 5-0 on April 12.

New Albany is the defending league champion, having gone 7-0 and finishing with 76 points. Olentangy Orange (52, 6-1) was second in the league a year ago, while Big Walnut (39, 5-2) finished third.

"We lost a couple of tough matches in the OCC, but we're feeling good that we can turn it around," Lilly said.

Nickel likes what he sees from singles players

Darby coach Scott Nickel credits his singles players for helping the team go 3-3 in its first six matches.

"Our singles players are playing solid tennis," Nickel said. "Kyle Chilcote, Jason Pelfrey and Siddartha Revur are winning the matches they are supposed to win.

"Jason is really getting it done out there (at second singles) on the tennis court. His backhand is firing on all cylinders. He is really leading by example and helping to set the right tone for our program."

Nickel would like to see improvement from his doubles teams.

"Our doubles play has to improve in order for us to be more competitive within our league," he said. "In practice, we are focusing on playing percentage doubles tennis, court positioning and movement. We have to make more shots and also be more aggressive at the right times to finish points."

Rain forces cancellation of Hilliard Doubles Classic

The Hilliard Doubles Classic was canceled on April 14 because of bad weather and will not be rescheduled.

"It's very hard to reschedule," said Davidson coach Steve De Dent, whose team is the host of the event. "It's disappointing. We had been working last week on improving as doubles teams to have a chance to compete for the top spot."