Fans attending New Albany High School girls tennis player Meghan Buell's only match at the Division I state tournament certainly got their money's worth.

Fans attending New Albany High School girls tennis player Meghan Buell's only match at the Division I state tournament certainly got their money's worth.

The senior started strong but eventually lost 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-1 to Hudson's Alex Bastock last Friday at Ohio State. The first-round singles match lasted 3 hours, 5 minutes.

"That's still about 40 minutes shorter than the last time those two played," coach Tim O'Haver said, referring to Buell's three-set loss on Aug. 18. "We dropped a third-set tiebreaker (8-6) in that one, so we knew this match was going to be pretty tightly contested. Looking around, the other singles matches here are in the second round already and we just finished our first one. We were expecting something like this, definitely, but we were hoping to be on the other side of it.

"Meghan's very disappointed right now, obviously, but give her a few days and she'll realize she accomplished quite a bit during her career."

Bastock won two matches at state and eventually placed fourth. Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame's Sandy Neihaus upset defending champion Niki Flower of Upper Arlington 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the singles final last Saturday at Hilliard Davidson.

In another mild surprise, Cincinnati Ursuline Academy's Komel Safdar and Mehvish Safdar defeated Dublin Jerome's Sarah Stein and Lauren Bellinger 6-4, 6-2 to win the doubles championship.

Buell was making her third trip to state but first in singles. She teamed with Syracuse-recruit Maddie Kobelt to win last year's doubles title.

"Doubles was totally different," Buell said. "It wasn't like I was necessarily expecting to win (the singles title), but I was hoping to get into the later rounds. (Bastock) and I played at a Nike tournament (last) summer, too, and I won that one. Today she just played better than me."

Buell is one of four seniors for the Eagles, who finished 17-3 overall and advanced to the district final in the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association team tournament for the first time in Division I before falling 5-0 to Upper Arlington on Oct. 13. The other seniors are Amy Dennis, Alyssa Setnar and Dionne Wu.

Setnar and Wu captured the first doubles title at the OCC-Capital Division tournament on Oct. 12 by defeating Hilliard Bradley's Selina Clubbs and Christy Showalter 6-0, 6-2 in the final. Setnar and Wu placed third in doubles at the sectional tournament on Oct. 9 at Upper Arlington by defeating teammates Priyal Reddy and Alyssa Seneviratne 6-3, 7-6 in the consolation match, with both teams qualifying for district. Reddy and Seneviratne, both of whom are freshmen, captured the OCC-Capital second doubles title by defeating Bradley's Abby Maguire and Taylor Ruby 6-3, 7-5 in the final.

Freshman Carol Vitellas also made an impact this season. She defeated Watterson's Olivia Ott 7-6 (8-6), 6-3 at third singles for the decisive point in a 3-2 victory over the Eagles in an OTCA semifinal on Oct. 6. That avenged an earlier loss against Ott, who qualified for state in doubles.

Junior Kylie Hess, who contributed in both singles and doubles, also is expected to return along with sophomore Christina DiLorenzo.

The Eagles went 7-0 in OCC-Capital duals, but Bradley managed to outscore them 66-64 in points to win the league championship. Olentangy Orange (48) placed third, followed by Big Walnut (33), Delaware (28), Watkins Memorial (12), Mount Vernon (8) and Franklin Heights (4).

New Albany edged the Jaguars 3-2 on Aug. 19. The Eagles played in nine matches deciding by a 3-2 score, winning seven. Among those wins was a 3-2 victory over Division II juggernaut Columbus Academy on Sept. 21.

"We played a lot of seniors and a lot of freshmen," O'Haver said. "And we'll have some more eager freshmen coming up from the middle school next year hoping for the same kind of success our freshmen had this year.

"We'll be even younger, really, and will have to endure some ups and downs along the way, I'm sure. But we'll approach next year with a great sense of adventure."

At a glance

•Record: 17-3, 7-0 (second, 64 points) in OCC-Capital

•Seniors lost: Meghan Buell, Amy Dennis, Alyssa Setnar and Dionne Wu

•Key returnees: Kylie Hess, Priyal Reddy, Alyssa Seneviratne and Carol Vitellas