Marysville High School girls tennis coach John Merriman has been coaching for about 55 years. He is not surprised when his players have positive results, especially when it follows a productive offseason.
He said that has been the case with the Monarchs, who were 9-3 overall and 2-3 in the OCC-Central Division after losing to Hilliard Davidson 5-0 in a league match Sept. 5.
"The girls worked very hard this summer, so the start was not unexpected," said Merriman, who was promoted from assistant to head coach over the summer after Stephanie Linder retired.
Last season under Linder, Marysville finished 7-10 overall and 2-5 in the league.
The Monarchs exceeded last year's win total when they defeated Caledonia River Valley 5-0 on Aug. 26.
Although Merriman has been pleased with the early season effort, he would like to see more consistent play against league opponents.
Marysville defeated Westland 4-1 on Aug. 20 and Central Crossing 5-0 on Aug. 29, but lost to Dublin Coffman 5-0 on Aug. 27 and Olentangy Liberty 5-0 on Sept. 3.
After playing Davidson, the Monarchs visit Thomas Worthington on Tuesday, Sept. 10, and Upper Arlington on Thursday, Sept. 12.
Last season, UA finished 15-2 overall and 7-0 in the OCC-Central.
"We are now playing schools with strong junior high programs, so this too was to be expected," Merriman said of the league schedule. "We need to be more consistent in our play. Our next (few) matches will be very difficult for us, but should make us stronger for the remainder of the non-league season."
Posting 9-3 records were junior Katie Martin at second singles, senior Haley Willoughby and junior Taylor Shirk at first doubles and junior Mikayla Knox and sophomore Sammi Hunt at second doubles. Sophomore Regan Yoakam was 8-3 at third singles and junior Megan Marsh was 8-4 at first singles.
Football team opens with win
The football team opened the season by defeating Hilliard Bradley 21-7 on Aug. 30, avenging a 17-10 loss to the Jaguars last season.
The Monarchs won despite committing six turnovers.
"Yards-wise (354) were great," coach Morgan Cotter said. "Our problem was we had six turnovers. If you had told me we'd have six turnovers and we won, I would have called you a liar. We played great defensively."
Marysville, which played Jonathan Alder on Sept. 6, will face Dublin Scioto on Friday, Sept. 13, at home.
Last season, the Irish defeated Marysville 51-27.
Scioto opened the season by rallying past Worthington Kilbourne 22-21 on Aug. 30. Darius McDonald's 6-yard touchdown reception from Nathan Densel and Elijah Berry's two-point conversion with 22 seconds remaining provided the winning points.
"We got beat by a better football team last year," Cotter said of Scioto. "When you play a better football team, you have to play good football and we didn't play good football the first half last year. This year we have to play sound football and we have to play better defense. That's the key."
Against Bradley, quarterback Matt Mulholland completed 16 of 29 passes for 206 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.
"Matt played really well," Cotter said.
"He had two interceptions. One of them was just a bad read (when) he threw it into traffic, and the other one came out of his hand and it sailed over our kid's head. I thought he played real well overall for his first start."
Marysville snapped a 7-all tie when Mulholland scored on a 1-yard run in the third quarter. Mulholland then connected with Jimmy Applegate for a 6-yard touchdown in the fourth.
Aron Mowery rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries.
"It was real exciting," Cotter said. "It's always good to pick up that first (win). It makes that next practice easier. We talked to our kids about winning game one is always a goal for us. It sets you up for the following week."
Boys soccer team looks to bounce back
After starting 0-2, the boys soccer team won three consecutive games before losing to host Coffman 5-1 on Sept. 3. The Monarchs fell to 1-1 in the OCC-Central.
The Shamrocks took control early, scoring four goals in a span of less than six minutes in the first half.
"It was 13 minutes of a mess," coach Terry Smith said. "We tell the boys all the time there's always going to be a stretch where you're not going to play good soccer, you can't keep possession of the ball, the ball is bouncing all over the place, but you have to be able to make it through and, unfortunately, we let one go and they just kind of snowballed after that."
The Monarchs averted the shutout on Jared Wolfe's goal with 24:01 remaining.
"We lost the first half 5-0 and we won the second half 1-0," Smith said. "It's a game of halves, so you have to play 40 minutes, and we then regroup and play another 40, but within that stretch we kind of fell apart.
"We gave them a little talk and they played a better second half. We just have to regroup."
Marysville was 4-3 overall after defeating Delaware 3-0 on Sept. 5 in Crew Stadium.
Justin Greilich, Ryan Husband and Andy Latimer scored for the Monarchs.Goalkeeper Corey Mankins had three saves.The Monarchs defeated Westland 3-1 on Aug. 27, as Jordan Payne scored two goals and Luke Kisor scored one. Mankins had four saves.
Girls golf team third in league
Led by MacKenzie Edgar, the girls golf team finished third in the third OCC-Capital tournament Aug. 27 at Mentel Memorial.
Edgar was medalist with a career-best 74. Emma Romine and Deanna DeHoff each had an 86.
"MacKenzie's 74 at Mentel was unbelievable and shows what kind of golfer she is," coach Bill Romine said.
The Monarchs (344) finished behind Coffman (308) and Kilbourne (333) and ahead of Westerville Central (359), Bradley (383), Westerville South (410), Grove City (423) and Westerville North (561).
Through three league tournaments, Marysville was third (19-5) behind Coffman (24-0) and Kilbourne (20-4). The final round is Tuesday, Sept. 10, at Westchester.
Marysville was seventh (350) in the 16-team Lima Central Catholic Invitational on Aug. 31 at Hawthorne Hills behind champion Toledo St. Ursula (313). Romine had an 83, Abby Ketterman had an 86, Edgar had a 90 and DeHoff had a 91.
The Monarchs were fifth (370) in the 18-team Midwest Classic on Aug. 24 at Skyland Pines behind champion Massillon Jackson (318). Edgar had an 89 and Romine had a 91.
"The girls' progress to this point has been very good," coach Romine said. "We have had some outstanding rounds of golf. We just have not been able to put four good scores together like we can. I believe this will happen very soon for the girls, who are working really hard on their game and have a great attitude, which in turn will mean great things for us in the OCC finals, sectional and district."