The Olentangy Liberty High School boys tennis team enjoyed its best all-round season last year, as it went 14-3 in dual matches, won its first league title, advanced six players to the Division I district tournament and sent three players to state.

The Olentangy Liberty High School boys tennis team enjoyed its best all-round season last year, as it went 14-3 in dual matches, won its first league title, advanced six players to the Division I district tournament and sent three players to state.

With five returning starters on his roster, coach Steve Sisko believes the Patriots can equal or even surpass the success they enjoyed a year ago.

"This team has the potential to be stronger than last year's team, because our guys have all improved their games and our chemistry is stronger since the kids have had an extra year together," Sisko said. "I'm hoping we can pick up right where we left off last year and keep getting better."

Back to play first singles for a fourth consecutive season is senior Arren Carter.

The University of Louisville recruit qualified for the state tournament for a third time last year, losing to Boardman's Robert Salcedo 7-6 (9-7), 6-2 in the first round.

Junior Mitchell Lothes will play second singles.

Last year, the doubles team of Lothes and graduate Alex Solove qualified for state for the first time, losing to Toledo St. John's Jacob Kuhn and Josef Pontasch 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 in the first round.

Junior Alexander Hathaway has come back to play third singles, seniors Tyler Gibbons and John McMahon will play first doubles and senior Jake Kallenbach and sophomore Vick Chhabria will play second doubles.

Last year, the Patriots finished first in the OCC-Cardinal Division (7-0, 87 points), ahead of Dublin Jerome (6-1, 54), Dublin Scioto (5-2, 47), Olentangy (4-3, 39), Westerville Central (2-5, 29), Westerville South (3-4, 22), Westerville North (1-6, 13) and Marysville (0-7, 12).

Liberty won all five courts in the OCC-Cardinal tournament.

Carter went 3-0 at first singles, beating Jerome's Sean Stein 6-0, 6-0 in the final to become the OCC-Cardinal Player of the Year. Solove (second singles), Hathaway (third singles), graduate Scott Miller and Gibbons (first doubles) and McMahon and Lothes (second doubles) all went 3-0 as well.

Six Patriots placed in the top four of the sectional at Hilliard Darby to qualify for district.

The top seed, Carter went 5-0 to win his third consecutive sectional title, and the top-seeded doubles team of Lothes and Solove went 4-0 to place first.

Fourth-seeded Hathaway went 3-2 to place fourth and the third-seeded doubles team of Miller and Gibbons went 2-2 to place fourth.

Placing in the top four at district to qualify for state were Carter, who went 3-1 to place second, and Lothes and Solove, who went 2-2 in doubles to place fourth.

"We may be the favorite to win the OCC again, but Dublin Jerome has a good team and we've got to take every match seriously," Sisko said.

•Orange finished 5-10 overall last year.

Seven varsity players have returned in seniors Brett Cooper and Sam Meyung, juniors Tanner Greene and Matt Pennington and sophomores Doug Ganim, Joseph Lee and Jonathan Ricci.

Ganim will play first singles and Greene will play second singles.

Freshmen Tim Hawk and Ryan Jay also are vying for the third singles and first doubles positions.

"We have so many strong players, it's going to be hard to find enough varsity matches for all of them," coach Mark Latham said. "But that's a good problem to have."

The Pioneers finished fourth (3-3, 30 points) in the OCC-Capital last season, behind New Albany (6-0, 51), Big Walnut (5-1, 45) and Delaware (3-3, 33) and ahead of Mount Vernon (3-3, 26), Watkins Memorial (1-5, 13) and Franklin Heights (0-6, 3).

In the OCC-Capital tournament, the first doubles team of Greene and Cooper and the second doubles team of Meyung and Pennington each went 2-1 to finish second.

In the Division II sectional at Gahanna, the second-seeded team of Cooper and Greene went 4-0 to win the doubles title and Ganim went 3-2 to place fourth.

None of the Patriots placed in the top four at district, as Cooper and Greene went 1-1 and Ganim went 0-1.

"We made our schedule tougher to get ready for OCC, because we feel like we have a good shot at getting second or third behind New Albany," Latham said.

•Olentangy finished 6-4 overall last season.

Junior Chris Miller will play first singles, senior Simon Hoellebauer will play second singles and senior Jakob Hoellebauer will play third singles.

Junior Kyle Oleksiw and sophomore Adam Piccin will play first doubles, and junior Lars Vangen and sophomore Alex Petrak will play second doubles.

In the OCC-Cardinal tournament last year, the first doubles team of Miller and graduate Jordan Springer went 2-1 to place third.

None of the Braves placed in the top four in the Division I sectional at Upper Arlington to qualify for district.

"Chris is our only returning varsity player, but all of our guys work with tennis pros, so I think we'll be good this year," coach Barbi Henry said.

At a glance

LIBERTY

*April 1 at Marysville

*April 6 vs. Dublin Jerome

April 7 vs. Pickerington North

*April 13 at Olentangy

April 14 at Columbus Academy

April 16 at New Albany

April 17 vs. Shaker Heights

April 19 at Upper Arlington

*April 20 at Westerville North

*April 22 vs. Dublin Scioto

April 24 at Worthington Cup at Thomas Worthington

*April 27 at Westerville Central

April 28 at Worthington Kilbourne

April 29 vs. Dublin Coffman

*May 4 vs. Westerville South

May 8 at OCC-Cardinal tournament

May 10 vs. Orange

May 18 at Pickerington Central

*OCC-Cardinal match

OLENTANGY

March 31 vs. Marion Harding

April 1 at Pickerington North

*April 6 vs. Marysville

April 7 at Hilliard Bradley

*April 8 at Dublin Scioto

*April 13 vs. Liberty

April 14 at Orange

April 19 vs. Big Walnut

*April 20 at Dublin Jerome

*April 22 vs. Westerville Central

April 24 at Orange

*April 27 at Westerville South

April 29 vs. St. Charles

May 3 vs. Hilliard Bradley

*May 4 vs. Westerville North

May 6 at Delaware

May 8 at OCC-Cardinal tournament

May 10 at Gahanna

*OCC-Cardinal match

ORANGE

April 1 at Westerville North

*April 6 at Big Walnut

*April 7 vs. Mount Vernon

*April 13 vs. New Albany

April 14 vs. Olentangy

April 19 vs. Lancaster

*April 20 vs. Watkins Memorial

April 21 vs. Hamilton Township

*April 22 at Franklin Heights

April 23 at Village Academy

*April 27 vs. Hilliard Bradley

April 28 at Dublin Coffman

April 29 vs. Dublin Jerome

May 1 at Village Academy Cup

May 3 vs. Marysville

*May 4 at Delaware

May 6 vs. Pickerington North

May 8 at OCC-Capital tournament

May 10 at Liberty

May 12 at Reynoldsburg

*OCC-Capital match

LIBERTY

•Coach: Steve Sisko, second season

•Opener: Today at Marysville

•Key players: Arren Carter, Alexander Hathaway and Mitchell Lothes

OLENTANGY

•Coach: Barbi Henry, first season

•Next match: Today at Pickerington North

•Key player: Chris Miller

ORANGE

•Coach: Mark Latham, second season

•Opener: Today at Westerville North

•Key players: Brett Cooper, Doug Ganim and Tanner Greene