Having listened to longtime coach Bobbie Davis conduct practices, it may take a while for members of the Worthington Kilbourne High School girls tennis team to get used to hearing a new voice.

Having listened to longtime coach Bobbie Davis conduct practices, it may take a while for members of the Worthington Kilbourne High School girls tennis team to get used to hearing a new voice.

Ken Berlin, who recently was named as Davis' successor, knows that.

"I'm just happy about the opportunity of following in the footsteps of Bobbie Davis and the program she ran there," Berlin said. "I'm looking to continue on the great tradition they have here and expanding it even further.

"There's always a little bit of a transition period when you have a new coach. The biggest challenge is making that transition to a new voice than the one that you have been used to for so many years."

Berlin believes in the same philosophy as Davis, that tennis is a team sport. That philosophy was drilled into him when he played for R.B. Chamberlin High School in Twinsburg from 1994-97 and Hiram College from 1997-2001.

Berlin was a two-time all-Chagrin Valley Conference selection in high school and played first singles and first doubles for Hiram in 2000 and 2001. He earned all-NCAC honors his senior year.

"Individual accolades are great, but we're going to take pride in team victories," Berlin said. "Although technically tennis is considered to be an individual sport, when it comes down to it, you win or lose matches based on how the whole team does."

This will be Berlin's first time coaching at the high school level, but he served as a teaching professional at Western Reserve Racquet and Fitness Club in Streetsboro for four years before moving to Columbus and now serves as a teaching professional at the Racquet Club of Columbus.

"He has a real passion for tennis, and I think he will be a great leader for our girls and our program," Kilbourne athletics director Jeff Todd said. "He carries himself well and his knowledge came across well in his interview."

Berlin said he didn't realize he wanted to be a coach until he was in college.

"I had such a great experience in high school and at Hiram," he said. "That's when I turned the corner. I realized I wanted to make tennis a big part of my life."

Berlin is the fourth coach in program history. Davis started the program in 1991 and coached the team through 2002 before stepping down for health reasons. After coaching the team in 2004, she stepped aside again for a year for personal reasons before returning in 2006.

The Wolves won league titles in 1999, 2000, 2004 and 2005 and sent two doubles teams and one singles player to the Division I state tournament. Rebecca Korb and Karin Boerger reached a state quarterfinal in doubles in 1992, Katie Schottke and Alex Sharkey lost in the first round at state in doubles in 2003 and Schottke lost in a state quarterfinal in singles in 2004.

The Wolves expect to return seniors Shahana Prakash and Jaime Whaley, junior Kelley Jiang and sophomore Claire Metka from last season, when they finished 11-5 and tied Hilliard Davidson for third in the OCC-Central Division at 5-2 and 47 points. Upper Arlington, the OTCA Division I state team champion, was first in the OCC-Central at 7-0 and 86 points, followed by Dublin Coffman (6-1, 60). Rounding out the standings were Thomas Worthington (3-4, 38), Hilliard Darby (2-5, 26), Westland (1-6, 11) and Central Crossing (0-7, 3).

"I'm trying to get familiarized with the OCC as much as I can," said Berlin who works with former Thomas Worthington coach and current Dublin Jerome coach Tyler Stephen at the Racquet Club. "I'm sure Tyler and I will jab each other with some good trash talk as the season goes on, but I want him to be successful and I am sure he wants the same for me."