Two Westerville Central High School girls tennis players and one of the Warhawks' doubles teams earned fifth-place finishes in the OCC-Cardinal Division tournament Sept. 29 at Hilliard Bradley.
Coach Donovon Barrett preferred to look at those results another way, however.
"Even better than their finishes was that all of them went 2-1," he said of first-singles player Hannah Thorp, second-singles player Brista Phillips and the second-doubles team of Martha Borsukevich and Mackenzie Moushey. "Unfortunately, all of them lost in the first round, but all of them were pretty happy winning two out of three."
Thorp defeated Westerville South's Tara Thompson 8-5 in their fifth-place match, Phillips overcame a persistent hamstring problem to top Hilliard Darby's Megan Allen 8-0 and Borsukevich and Moushey earned an 8-5 win in their final match against Darby's Laura Martin and Deepthi Nacharaju.
Central's first-doubles team of Morgan Chudik and Autumn Ramsey placed seventh, beating Westerville North's Alexa Reiniger and Sheryl Sommers 8-1 in the seventh-place match, and Central's Gina Scarborough was eighth in third singles after losing the seventh-place match 8-4 to South's Aleah Carey.
The Warhawks finished 1-6 in the league with 17 points, behind champion Dublin Jerome (72, 7-0), Bradley (55, 6-1), Worthington Kilbourne (50, 5-2), Dublin Scioto (47, 4-3) and Darby (22, 2-5) and ahead of Westerville South (13, 1-6) and Westerville North (10, 2-5).
"The girls did a nice job of gutting it out against some tough competition in our league. They showed toughness and I was glad to see that," Barrett said. "They need to take that into sectionals. We have to go in focused."
A sixth-place finish by South's first-doubles team of Lexi Hunkler and Ama Kwarteng was the highlight for the Wildcats, who also got seventh-place finishes from Carey, second-singles player Kristen Rudge and the second-doubles team of McKenna Davis and Loan Quan. Rudge defeated North's Calley Nelson 8-4 to cap her day, and Davis and Quan beat North's Abby Engleheart and Liz Sekares.
"I was happy that everyone on our team won at least one match to help us finish seventh as a team," South coach Ryan French said.
"Our No. 3 singles player, Aleah Carey, beat (Central's) Gina Scarborough 8-4 today, who she had lost to two weeks ago. Our first-doubles team had a good win over Central, too."
North's top placer was Abbey Fraker, who was sixth in third singles. First-singles player Negina Wright was eighth.
Central will participate in the Upper Arlington sectional Thursday, Oct. 4, and Saturday, Oct. 6.
North and South will be at the Pickerington Central sectional those same days.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles from each sectional -- the others are at Hilliard Davidson and Reynoldsburg -- advance to the district tournament Oct. 12 and 13 at Davidson.
"I'm hoping Tara Thompson will get to district because she has a good draw," French said. "But it's going to be tough because there are a lot of good teams in our sectional."