The Wellington School boys tennis team is viewing what occurred this season as a step toward future success.
There were no seniors in the program and the Jaguars had six of their seven postseason competitors reach at least the Division II district tournament and had two qualify for the state tournament in singles.
"We don't lose anyone, and we'll have some middle school kids coming up who could help," coach Tommy Haddow said.
At state May 26 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, junior Connor Biernat opened with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Elida senior Drew Sarno before falling to Cincinnati Seven Hills junior Nicholas Williams 6-2, 6-3 in a quarterfinal.
Biernat was state runner-up last season.
"(Williams) had a big serve and was good at closing at the net," Haddow said. "Once he got to the net, he won about nine out of every 10 points. Hopefully, it'll be a positive experience down the road for Connor."
Freshman Trevor Ball also competed at state, losing 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 to Bay Village Bay senior Adam Krueger in the first round.
"I felt like it was a pretty even match," Ball said. "He played a little bit smoother than I did. I think it was a good experience for me."
Ball was the only ninth-grader to make state in Division II singles.
"I was just worried about Trevor's nerves since it was his first time on this stage," Haddow said.
"He was down 5-3 in the first set and pulled it out. After that, he could never get the momentum. He's only a freshman."
Wellington, which lost to Bexley 3-2 on May 10 in a Division II district semifinal of the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association tournament, finished 13-4.
At the sectional May 11 and 13 at Columbus Academy, Biernat beat Ball 7-6 (7-1), 6-1 for the singles championship and the doubles team of juniors Ryan Young and Kolapo Dairo beat sophomore teammates Adam Sorrels and Anarag Reddy 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in the third-place match.
Then at district May 18 at Academy and May 20 at Upper Arlington, Biernat defeated Ball 6-3, 6-4 to win the title as the top two advanced to state. Young and Dairo lost in the first round in doubles, as did Sorrels and Reddy.
Also competing at sectional was freshman Ben Marshall, who lost to eventual district qualifier Sid Menon of Academy 6-1, 6-3 in the first round in singles.
Junior John Faller also contributed this season.
Tourney win headlines
girls lacrosse season
The girls lacrosse team won a postseason game for the first time since 2011, beating eighth-seeded Middletown Fenwick 10-9 on May 18.
The ninth-seeded Jaguars then lost 17-6 to second-seeded Academy in a regional quarterfinal May 20 to finish 4-10 overall.
Wellington went 0-7 in the Central Independent League to finish eighth, behind DeSales (7-0), Academy (5-2), Bexley and Watterson (both 4-3), Columbus School for Girls and Hartley (both 3-4) and Granville (2-5).
The Jaguars are losing five seniors, led by midfielder Nia Gill, who had nine goals against Fenwick and three against Academy.
Juniors Annie Taylor (attacker) and Liz Chester (midfielder) should be among the top returnees. Taylor scored two goals against Academy and Chester scored one.
Also eligible to return are juniors Sarah Abdelbaki (attacker), Serino Nakayama (defender) and Libby White (midfielder), sophomores Mackenzie Beam (goal-keeper/midfielder) and Ella Sweitzer (attacker) and freshmen Sarah Anderson (midfielder), Anna Chester (midfielder), Mia Croft (attacker), Sedera Green (utility), Lindsay Harris (attacker), Lauren Kalinosi (defender) and Neha Rao (attacker).