Power glad year ended at state
Sydney Power of the Olentangy Liberty High School girls tennis team lost in the first round of the Division I state tournament Oct. 19 at Ohio State, but just reaching that level after a trying season was rewarding for the junior.
"I'm fortunate just to make it (to state)," said Power, who fell to Rocky River Magnificat's Emily Witt 6-1, 6-3. "I wasn't even sure if I was going to play back in July."
Power, who also lost in the first round at state in 2010 as a freshman, didn't have much training, summer practice or offseason tournament competition to prepare for the season because of a left wrist injury that required surgery in late July.
"I know she's disappointed, but coming from where she was to qualify for state after playing in only 14 real matches since last winter, that's pretty impressive," coach Christine Kaeding said. "She was lucky to be there. Hundreds of girls would like to have been in her shoes and she's got next year. Not everybody can recover that quickly to play at the level she played at."
Power qualified for state by finishing second in the district tournament Oct. 12 and 13 at Hilliard Davidson, as the top four finishers in singles and doubles at district advanced. She went 3-1 at district, losing to Dublin Jerome's Lauren Bellinger 6-1, 6-1 in the final.
Also competing district for Liberty were freshman Alexia Meyer, who went 0-1 in singles, and senior Olivia Groves and freshman Anna Delaney, who went 1-1 in doubles to miss advancing to state by one victory.
At sectional Oct. 4 and 6 at Upper Arlington, Power was the top seed and won the title, beating third-seeded Meyer 6-1, 6-2 in the final. Groves and Delaney finished third.
Also competing at sectional were senior Alicia DiMaccio in singles and the doubles team of sophomore Sonia Chhabria and freshman Avivah Wang.
The Patriots finished 13-6 overall and 6-1 in the OCC-Central Division. They totaled 61 points in league play to tie Dublin Coffman (61, 5-2) for second, behind UA (80, 7-0) and ahead of Davidson (45, 4-3), Thomas Worthington (31, 3-4), Marysville (23, 2-5), Central Crossing (8, 1-6) and Westland (4, 0-7).
"We're losing Alicia DiMaccio at third singles and Olivia Groves from first doubles and they'll be missed," Kaeding said. "We'll be young with Sydney being our only senior next year, but we have a freshman coming in who's supposed to be pretty strong and we're excited to take it from here and see where we're going."
Braves expect to return most of lineup
Senior Megan Brdicka and freshman Brianna Brdicka of Olentangy qualified for the Division I district tournament in doubles, but the sisters were forced to forfeit their first-round match against Pickerington Central's Nithya Raya and Kyah Thomas on Oct. 12 at Davidson because Brianna was sick.
The Brdickas had finished third in the sectional at Reynoldsburg.
Also at sectional, senior Sandhya Arya and junior Grace Cramer went 2-1 in doubles, losing a district-qualifying match to top-seeded Cristina DiLorenzo and Francesca DiLorenzo of New Albany 6-1, 6-0.
In singles, sophomore Jackie Vouis went 1-1 and classmates Pallavi Mannava and Elyssa Ackerman lost in the first round.
The Braves finished 11-7 overall and second (62, 6-1) in the OCC-Capital, behind New Albany (82, 7-0) and ahead of Orange (55, 5-2), Big Walnut (44, 4-3), Delaware (36, 3-4), Watkins Memorial (18, 2-5), Mount Vernon (14, 1-6) and Franklin Heights (2, 0-7).
Olentangy loses three seniors in Arya, Megan Brdicka and Morgan Bowden.
"Megan, as our No. 1 singles player, was obviously the most consistent player we had," coach Jeff Luxenburger said. "Megan and Sandhya will be difficult to replace and were great leaders. Morgan played (junior varsity) for us and showed improvement throughout the season, too.
"We have some strong players coming back and we expect to see more improvement next season. We hope the girls will get their offseason work in and play some tournament tennis as well."
Pioneers losing three seniors
Orange's season ended in the sectional at Reynoldsburg.
The doubles team of sophomore Jessica Phelps and junior Madison Wolfe went 1-1 at sectional, losing to Pickerington North's Melody Liu and Kelsie Weinstein 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 in a district-qualifying match.
Also at sectional, the doubles team of seniors Karlee Greene and Kendra Hopeck went 0-1 and freshmen Yoon Su Kim and Carly Vroom and sophomore Madison Riley all went 0-1 in singles.
The Pioneers, who finished 7-9 overall and third (55, 5-2) in the OCC-Capital, lose three seniors in Greene, Hopeck and Sneha Rajendran, who was unable to play in the postseason because of an injury.
Orange expects to have Anna Sanford back in its lineup next season. The junior was ineligible to play this season because she competed in a USTA match on Labor Day. A rule by the Ohio High School Athletic Association prohibits players from competing in organized events outside of high school play on Labor Day or later.
Sanford played first singles for the Pioneers as a sophomore, going 34-1 and qualifying for the state tournament, where she lost in the second round.