Upper Arlington Roundup
Tennis team's state run ends
For the first time since 1992, the Upper Arlington High School girls tennis team will not be represented in the Division I state tournament.
The doubles teams of sophomore Audrey Berger and senior Elaine Cloern and junior Beniva Ganther and senior Andi Smart both fell one win shy of qualifying for state in the district tournament held Oct. 12 and 13 at Hilliard Davidson.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles at district advanced to state Friday, Oct. 19, at Ohio State and Saturday, Oct. 20, at Davidson.
Berger and Cloern defeated Pickerington North's Melody Liu and Kelsey Weinstein 6-0, 6-0 in the first round but lost 6-3, 6-3 to Dublin Jerome's Emma and Sarah Stein in the second round, which was a state-qualifying match. Smart and Ganther beat Davidson's Laura Hagy and Natalie Hagy 6-2, 6-1 in the first round but lost 6-0, 6-0 to New Albany's Cristina DiLorenzo and Francesca DiLorenzo in the second round.
"We didn't come out off the bat playing well and didn't recover," said coach Shaun Stamps, whose team had a singles player or doubles team place in the top four at state each of the past five seasons. "(Berger and Cloern) dug a small, little hole right off the bat and gave them three points right away. Against a great team like that, you have to minimize your mistakes and we couldn't recover. We were more aggressive the second set and took a slight, 2-1 lead, but Jerome, that's a good team. Obviously, they deserved to win."
In singles at district, senior Emma Klebe lost 6-2, 6-2 to New Albany's Carol Vitellas in the first round and freshman Olivia Kompa lost 6-1, 6-0 to Jerome's Lauren Bellinger in the opening round.
UA won its 30th consecutive league championship this season, winning the OCC-Central Division title with 80 points and a 7-0 record. Olentangy Liberty (61, 6-1) and Dublin Coffman (61, 5-2) tied for second, followed by Davidson (45, 4-3), Thomas Worthington (31, 3-4), Marysville (23, 2-5), Central Crossing (6, 1-6) and Westland (4, 0-7).
The Bears won all five courts in the league tournament Sept. 29, with Cloern at first singles, Berger at second singles, Kompa at third singles, Ganther and Smart at first doubles and Klebe and senior Jessica Patton at second doubles.
UA reached a semifinal in the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association tournament before losing to New Albany 4-1 on Oct. 9.
The Bears lose six seniors in Cloern, Klebe, Patton, Smart, Lauren Stechschulte and Anna Tatakis but expect to return Berger, Ganther and Kompa.
"Hopefully, we can reload and try and come back again next year," Stamps said.
Boys, girls runners prepare for district
Cross country coach Dale Hartney believes being in the OCC-Central with perennially successful programs such as Coffman and Davidson should help his teams in the postseason.
"In some ways, the league meet can be harder than the district meet," Hartney said. "Coffman, Davidson, (Dublin) Scioto and us were the four (girls) teams that got to state last year, and we'll see Scioto at the district meet. It's a great way for us to see how we stack up."
In the league meet Oct. 13 at Hilliard Darby, the girls team scored 51 points to tie Davidson for second, behind Coffman (43) and ahead of Liberty (102), Thomas (107), Marysville (188) and Central Crossing (196). Westland did not have a team score.
Davidson won the second-place tiebreaker with better finishes from its sixth and seventh runners.
Dorrian Jaffe paced UA, finishing third in 18 minutes, 27.6 seconds. Megan Brewer (fifth, 18:32.2) was next for the Bears, followed by Ann Heuerman (eighth, 18:34.72), Erin Simko (17th, 19:43.85), Karla Jeggle (18th, 19:49.71), Kristen Seely (26th, 20:00.77) and Reyna Lusson (30th, 20:31.05).
The boys team finished fifth (141) in the OCC-Central meet, behind Davidson (28), Liberty (39), Coffman (86) and Thomas (128) and ahead of Marysville (142), Central Crossing (210) and Westland (226).
Stewart Silver led UA, finishing 13th (16:21.68). Ian Hamilton (20th, 16:32.49) was next for the Bears, followed by Jacob Fowler (29th, 16:54.7), Chengxiu Wang (53rd, 17:46.51), William Hamburger (56th, 17:59.24) and Payton Warner (57th, 18:07.05).
The girls team is seeded third in the district and will compete in the 18-team Division I, district 3 meet on Saturday, Oct. 20, at Watkins Memorial. Among the other teams competing in the race are fourth-seeded Scioto and ninth-seeded Jerome.
That same day, the 16th-seeded boys team will compete in the 18-team Division I, district 3 meet, which includes third-seeded Liberty, fourth-seeded Jerome and fifth-seeded New Albany.
In both races, the top six teams and top 24 individuals advance to the regional meet Oct. 27 at Pickerington North.
The boys team hopes to have its No. 1 runner, senior Nathan Perry, who has been sidelined for approximately a month with a foot injury. Silver, a senior, and Hamilton, a freshman, took over the top spot with Perry out.
Hamilton led UA in the Father Rudy Invitational on Oct. 6 at Cincinnati Elder, finishing 19th in 16:48.4.
"If (Perry) runs well at district, we should be in good shape," Hartney said.