Tyler Stephen, who recently was named coach of the Dublin Jerome High School girls tennis team, will enter his new job this fall with a fresh perspective of the sport in central Ohio.

Tyler Stephen, who recently was named coach of the Dublin Jerome High School girls tennis team, will enter his new job this fall with a fresh perspective of the sport in central Ohio.

Stephen and Worthington Kilbourne boys tennis coach Steve Metzmaier guided an 11-player team of some of the area's top boys and girls tennis players to a first-place finish in the Ohio Valley Davis Cup on June 18-19 in Charleston, W.Va.

"It was kind of nice to have all that talent on the same team," said Stephen, who also is coach of the Thomas Worthington boys team. "Most of the time these kids are competing against each other in tournaments, so they all knew each other. But it was a little different situation because now they were competing with each other. Everyone got along so well."

The Columbus team went 3-0 in the tournament. It defeated Cincinnati Gold 6-4 and Dayton 9-1 on June 18 to place first in the top division, and it also defeated Cincinnati Silver 9-1 on June 19.

Each match consisted of 10 courts - two boys singles matches, two girls singles matches, two boys doubles matches, two girls doubles matches and two mixed doubles matches.

The boys roster featured Watterson's Aaron Casares, Jerome's Kent Seitz, Gahanna's Canyon Teague and Upper Arlington's Eric Vannatta and Nate Wallace. The girls players were Lauren Bellinger and Sarah Stein of Jerome, Meghan Buell and Cristina DiLorenzo of New Albany, UA's Elaine Cloern and Watterson's Katie Shepherd.

Bellinger, Buell, Shepherd and Stein competed in the Division I girls state tournament last fall and Seitz, Vannatta and Wallace played in the Division I boys state tournament in the spring.

Stein, who teamed with Bellinger to place second in the state with a 6-4, 6-2 loss to Cincinnati Ursuline Academy's Komal Safdar and Mehvish Safdar in the doubles final, said the Ohio Valley Davis Cup provided a good tune-up for summer and fall competition.

"The main thing you pick up is confidence, I guess," she said. "It's mostly just for fun."

"The best thing was having us all together," Bellinger said. "We all know each other and we all hit with each other. I think that made us a good team."