South settles for fourth in OCC
In what turned out to be a competitive race for second place in the OCC-Cardinal Division, the Westerville South High School boys tennis team settled for fourth.
After the league tournament May 11 at Hilliard Darby, Dublin Jerome was first with 75 points and a 7-0 record.
South, which was 5-2 in the league during the regular season, finished with 54 points, just behind second-place Dublin Scioto (57, 5-2) and Worthington Kilbourne (55, 5-2).
Darby (32, 3-4), Westerville North (26, 2-5), Hilliard Bradley (11, 1-6) and Westerville Central (1, 0-7) completed the standings.
South finished second (26) behind Jerome (38) in tournament points.
"I like this time of the season," coach John Fill said. "It lets you know how your season has progressed, see if the kids have improved at all, and obviously we have."
Cody Rannebarger and Grant Augenstein won the second-doubles title, defeating Jerome's Jason Liu and Tyler Stohr 7-5, 6-2 in the final.
The Wildcats were 14-4 overall before playing Wellington on May 14.
South plays in a Division I sectional tournament Thursday, May 16, and Saturday, May 18, at Hilliard Davidson. The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to district May 24 and 25 at Davidson.
In first-round singles play, Rannebarger will face Marysville's Erik Klaus, Augenstein will face Davidson's Matthias Heinz and Gabe Gandoin-Perry will face Thomas Worthington's Josh Ong.
In doubles, David Hayman and Ross Larkins are seeded fourth and have a first-round bye. They will play Marysville's James Johnstone and Jamie Tutak or Olentangy Orange's Tim Hawk and Ryan Jay in the second round.
"Ross and David have a real good chance to get to district," Fill said. "They probably have our best shot."
Ian Liao and Ben Potts will play Dublin Coffman's Connor Geelan and Ken Yoshino in the first round.
The Wildcats lost to Coffman 3-0 on May 9 in the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association team tournament.
North to play at Upper Arlington
North will play in a Division I sectional Thursday, May 16, and Saturday, May 18, at Upper Arlington.
In singles, Sam Payne will play Central's Jimmy D'Amico, Nick Pannell will play Central Crossing's Kyle Deep and Xan Lindow will play Central's Andrew McKnight or Mifflin's Carlos Luna.
In doubles, the teams of Andy Meyer and Chad Strahine and Jimmy Evans and Vidit Singhal have first-round byes.
"Chad and Andy are playing really well (and) they have a lot of confidence," coach C.J. Simmons said. "They're going to be dangerous in the sectional."
In the second round, Meyer and Strahine will play St. Charles' Trey Stranges and Jack Groeber or Northland's Vinh Phung and Brian Pena, and Evans and Singhal will play Olentangy Liberty's Alex Heydorn and Kyle Flahive or Central's Alex Cardwell and Roberto Rodriguez.
Simmons was pleased with his team's effort in the league tournament.
"Every time you get a chance to get out and play, it's going to help them learn from people that beat them and they'll get confidence from the people that they beat," Simmons said.
The Warriors were 3-8 overall after losing to Buckeye Valley 4-1 on May 13.
Central players have 'come a long way'
Central coach Brian Arnett said this season continues to be a learning experience for his team, which will play in the UA sectional.
"The kids have played some good tennis," Arnett said. "We've hammered on the theme of just getting better all year. You look at where we are now compared to where we were at the beginning of the year, we've come a long way."
In singles at sectional, D'Amico will play North's Payne in the first round. McKnight will play Mifflin's Luna and Ana Borish will play Northland's Abdul Mohamud in play-in matches.
In doubles, Cardwell and Rodriguez will play Liberty's Heydorn and Flahive and Luis Sandoval and Bobby Weiler will play Mifflin's George Shepherd and Abadir Kassim in the first round.
Borish is eligible to play on the boys tennis team because she plays girls golf instead of girls tennis in the fall. She has five singles wins and one doubles win this season.
"I knew a lot of the guys coming in, so it was really fun," Borish said. "I have enjoyed it a lot. They've been really welcoming to me. I've played in a couple tournaments before and I've played in clinics, so I've played against boys before. It's been a little interesting."
Central went 4-13 overall in the regular season.