Westerville News & Public Opinion

Girls Tennis

First-year North coach: 'We have talent'

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JOSHUA A. BICKEL/THISWEEKSPORTS
Sophomore second-singles player Alexandria Shaw returns for Central and 10th-year coach Donovon Barrett.
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Most of what first-year Westerville North High School girls tennis coach Rob Carlson knew about his team before tryouts was gleaned from his time as the Warriors' boys coach this past spring.

Some girls players attended those matches, and knowing he would be their coach, Carlson conducted a few conversations in passing.

"But basically, I am really meeting everybody for the first time," said Carlson, whose team opens Thursday, Aug. 14, at home against Bloom-Carroll. "Coming in, I had no idea about any of the girls' styles of play, how they had done last year, things like that. But I am not worried. From what I have seen so far, I feel like I have some solid talent."

Carlson and the Warriors will have to make the most of this season, as all nine girls on the roster are seniors.

According to Carlson, Elizabeth MacLeod had clinched the first-singles spot entering the week, but beyond that the lineup largely was undecided. The rest of the roster consists of Macy Chapman, Julia Clark, Abby Fraker, Blake Lewis, Summer Lybarger, Alexa Reiniger, Liz Sekeres and Paige Wilson.

North was 0-9 overall and 0-7 with four points in the OCC-Cardinal Division last year, eighth behind champion Dublin Jerome (42, 7-0).

Carlson, a 1995 graduate of Athens High School, replaces C.J. Simmons, who coached the girls team for two seasons. Carlson also took over for Simmons as boys coach.

MacLeod did not play for the Warriors in 2013.

"She grew up playing tennis and was a volleyball player for a while, but she won her challenge matches here," said Carlson, who added that 19 players tried out for the team. "(MacLeod) has great technique. She's a great athlete overall, and she goes out determined to win."

North's OCC-Cardinal opener is Tuesday, Aug. 19, at home against Hilliard Darby.

No Warriors advanced to district last year. Chapman and classmate Abby Engelhart went 2-1 in doubles in a Division I sectional tournament, losing to Upper Arlington's Beniva Ganther and Anna Marie Reynolds 6-0, 6-0 in a district-qualifying match.

Also winning matches at sectional were Fraker and Sekeres, who went 1-1 in doubles, and Clark and Reiniger, who each went 1-1 in singles.

"We have talent. I am extremely happy with my roster," Carlson said. "I'd like to see us start fast. Getting into the winning habit early will pay off."

Young Warhawks return top of lineup

Sophomores Nicole Cardwell and Alexandria Shaw return to play first and second singles, respectively, as Central seeks to climb up the OCC-Cardinal standings under 10th-year coach Donovon Barrett.

Cardwell was the top seed in last year's Division I sectional at Pickerington Central and went 2-1, falling short of a district berth by one win. Shaw was 1-1 at sectional to cap a year in which the Warhawks went 14-4 overall and placed third (28 points, 5-2) in the OCC-Cardinal.

"Both (Cardwell and Shaw) had successful years," said Barrett, whose team opened Aug. 13 at DeSales. "It's good to have them back at the top of the lineup."

According to Barrett, sophomore Resham Mawalkar and freshman Nikita Nair competed in the preseason to play third singles, replacing 2014 graduate Autumn Ramsey. First doubles will consist of seniors Bailey Bond and Melaney Peters, and seniors Meghann Kasson and Meshora Suthanthira will play second doubles.

Kasson and Suthanthira are first-year players.

Central's OCC-Cardinal opener is Tuesday, Aug. 19, at home against Scioto.

"I'd love to be among the top two or three (teams) in our league," Barrett said. "You have to say Dublin Jerome is the favorite. We have to replace Autumn, which won't be easy. It'll be difficult, but I think we have the team to get some things done."

SCHEDULES

CENTRAL

Aug. 13 -- at DeSales

*Aug. 19 -- vs. Dublin Scioto

Aug. 20 -- at Marysville

Aug. 21 -- vs. Mount Vernon

*Aug. 26 -- vs. Canal Winchester

*Aug. 28 -- at Hilliard Darby

*Sept. 2 -- vs. Hilliard Bradley

*Sept. 4 -- vs. Dublin Jerome

*Sept. 9 -- at Westerville North

Sept. 10 -- at Newark

*Sept. 11 -- vs. Westerville South

Sept. 16 -- vs. Big Walnut

Sept. 18 -- at Olentangy Orange

Sept. 20 -- OCC tournament at TBA

Sept. 22 -- vs. Thomas Worthington

Sept. 24 -- at Pickerington North

Sept. 25 -- vs. Reynoldsburg

Sept. 30 -- vs. Hartley

Oct. 1 -- at Gahanna

NORTH

Aug. 14 -- vs. Bloom-Carroll

Aug. 15 -- at Grove City

*Aug. 19 -- vs. Hilliard Darby

Aug. 20 -- vs. Whitehall

Aug. 21 -- at Marysville

Aug. 23 -- Mount Vernon Invitational

*Aug. 26 -- at Dublin Scioto

Aug. 27 -- at Newark

*Aug. 28 -- vs. Canal Winchester

*Sept. 2 -- vs. Dublin Jerome

*Sept. 4 -- at Westerville South

*Sept. 9 -- vs. Westerville Central

Sept. 10 -- at Ready

*Sept. 11 -- at Hilliard Bradley

Sept. 16 -- vs. Eastmoor Academy

Sept. 17 -- vs. Beechcroft

Sept. 21 -- OCC tournament at TBA

Sept. 23 -- at Worthington Kilbourne

Sept. 24 -- vs. Delaware

Sept. 25 -- at Big Walnut

*League contest

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