Wellington School boys tennis coach Tom Haddow was concerned that his team would struggle after losing its first singles player, Nick Sweeney, to a wrist injury sustained during a 3-2 win over Upper Arlington B on April 9.
Instead, a number of players stepped up to help the Jaguars win their next four matches to improve their record to 7-1.
"I wouldn't have thought we'd do this well after losing our No. 1 player, but everyone has moved up a court and a different person has come through for us in each match," Haddow said.
The Jaguars won their first three matches after Sweeney's injury by a 3-2 score, beating Village Academy on April 15, St. Charles on April 18 and Hilliard Darby on April 22, and defeated Hilliard Bradley 5-0 on April 25.
Lincoln Ficek moved up to first singles and posted wins in the St. Charles, Darby and Bradley matches. Lucas Rooney moved up to second singles and was 6-1 at second and third singles combined through eight matches and Will Gross and Nick Mayne entered the week 7-1 at second doubles.
Haddow said Iakovos Anastasakis has played well at third singles and Temidayo Dairo has played well at first doubles with a variety of partners.
"We don't have any superstars carrying our team, but we don't have any bad players, either," Haddow said. "When we won four straight 3-2 matches, we had different players win key matches for us in each match."
The Jaguars will travel to Pickerington Central on Monday, May 6, before playing host to Granville on Wednesday, May 8.
"With the rest of the regular season, we just want to get healthy and keep improving," Haddow said. "They're really listening to our coaching and the advice we're giving them, and you can see every single one of our guys making progress. We're hoping to get Nick back in our lineup by (the Division II) sectional (tournament May 16 and 18), and that will only make us stronger."
Smith to take over as Jaguars' AD
Lindsey Smith will be stepping down as Columbus School for Girls athletics director and basketball coach at the end of the school year to become Wellington's athletics director, beginning July 1.
"I was attracted (to make this move) by Wellington's dedication to their mission of 'inspiring each person to discover and strive to meet his or her unique potential,'" Smith said. "Their dedication to this statement, pursuit of innovation and forward thinking and extremely welcoming community make Wellington a perfect fit for me and my family."
Smith hopes she can help Wellington's teams become even more competitive.
"I look forward to creating an environment where the community feels a great sense of pride in the athletic program," she said. "This will be accomplished through developing strong student leaders and committed coaches within the program. My hope is that the student-athletes will develop their confidence, become risk takers and embrace challenges. Through development of these intangible qualities, the students will learn to be successful both on the playing field and beyond."
Girls lacrosse team searching for offense
The girls lacrosse team hit a scoring slump last week, losing to Columbus Academy 17-5 in a Central Independent League game April 23 and falling to DeSales 12-4 in a league game April 25.
Wellington was 2-7 overall and 0-6 in the CIL before playing Bexley on April 30. It was 2-1 in games in which it scored 10 or more goals, with its victories coming against Westerville South (11-10 in overtime April 11) and Dayton Miami Valley (12-4 on April 20).
The Jaguars averaged 7.3 goals in their seven losses, but that average drops to 6.3 when excluding a 14-13 loss to Watterson on April 9.
Wellington will conclude the regular season with three consecutive home games against Gahanna Christian on Thursday, May 2, Dublin Scioto on Saturday, May 4, and Hilliard Davidson on Tuesday, May 7.