For the first time since Brett Hundertpfund took over as coach in 2012, the Dublin Coffman High School girls tennis team won a league championship a year ago.

The Shamrocks' lineup will look quite a bit different this season as they look to defend that title, including having a newcomer as their No. 1 player.

Freshman Lalasa Nagireddy was expected to be at first singles when Coffman began its dual matches Aug. 15 at Olentangy Orange. The Shamrocks opened Aug. 12 at the Columbus School for Girls Doubles Tournament.

"She's by far our No. 1 player," Hundertpfund said of Nagireddy. "She's a tournament player and tennis is her main priority. We're starting to see where the pieces may fit."

Seniors Meredith Ainsworth and Darien Blackwell and sophomore Hannah Qin return after being key players last season.

Ainsworth and Blackwell lost in a quarterfinal in doubles at last year's Division I sectional at Upper Arlington while Qin lost in the first round in singles.

Junior Alex Kapustin is another key player. Sophomores Lena Caruso and Claire Feit have moved up from junior varsity, and junior Anya Shah is another looking to contribute.

Coffman, which went 5-0 to win the OCC-Central Division and finished 14-4 overall last season, will play Marysville or Watkins Memorial in its opening match of the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association tournament at a date to be determined.

Last year, the Shamrocks lost to Olentangy Liberty 3-1 in a district semifinal.

"We definitely have some girls who are working hard and improving," Hundertpfund said. "The group gets along well and we'll end up with two solid doubles teams. In our league, Upper Arlington is tough and you can never count (Hilliard) Davidson out."

The Shamrocks lost Victoria Fan, Skylar Moore and Maria Sadek to graduation after Fan and Moore lost in the first round at district in doubles and Sadek lost in a quarterfinal at sectional in singles.

In addition, senior Nethra Thenappan did not return after advancing to a district quarterfinal in singles and sophomore Katherine Wang transferred to Jerome in the offseason.

Boys golf team
returns strong nucleus

The boys golf team opened Aug. 5 with a fifth-place finish (324) in the 18-team Cincinnati Sycamore Invitational at Blue Ash, behind champion Cincinnati Elder (300).

The Shamrocks then opened the four-round OCC-Central tournament Aug. 8 at Apple Valley by capturing the title with a 312. Upper Arlington (317) was second, followed by Davidson (321), Marysville (369), Central Crossing (420) and Westland (523).

In the second round Aug. 14 at Turnberry, Coffman placed second (315) behind UA (305). Both teams are 9-1 in the league.

Senior Andrew Simpson, who had several rounds in the 70s during the preseason, is the top returnee for the Shamrocks, who finished third (13-7) in the league behind UA (20-0) and Davidson (15-5) and qualified for the Division I district tournament a year ago.

"Last year was our first year (with me as coach) and I'm hoping we can build on that season," second-year coach Scott Sutherland said.

In the first round of the league tournament, junior Blake Whitis shot a 75 and Simpson carded a 77.

At district last season, Simpson shot 79 to post Coffman's second-best score as it placed seventh (317).

Whitis and juniors Spencer Eiselt are other returnees who competed in the postseason a year ago and earned spots n the lineup in the preseason. Seniors Drew Shipley and Neel Hattarki and junior Matt Sopko are other key players. Shipley battled a back injury last season.

Senior Alex Werth, who competed in the postseason last year, is another looking to contribute.

In the league tournament last season, Whitis averaged 79.5 to make second-team all-league. Simpson averaged 79.8 and Eiselt and Werth both averaged 81.8, as all three were honorable mention all-league.

"Getting to district is the main goal," Sutherland said. "It's so difficult to make it to state from this area that you just want to try to peak at the right time and see what happens."

Girls golf looks
to gain experience

After winning its seventh consecutive OCC-Capital championship a year ago, the girls golf team has a younger look this fall.

Junior Maria Howard is the top returnee for Coffman, which opened with a 13th-place finish (364) in the afternoon wave of the Panther Invitational on Aug. 4 at Turnberry, behind champion Centerville (319).

The Shamrocks now are in the OCC-Central, a realigned league that has a pair of other strong teams in New Albany and Upper Arlington.

Coffman opened the league tournament Aug. 9 at Cooks Creek, finishing second (324) behind UA (299) and ahead of Davidson (369), Canal Winchester (384), Marysville (406) and New Albany (408).

Howard led the Shamrocks with a 74.

The second round was Aug. 15 at Westchester.

"We're a young team this year with two freshmen that are going to play," sixth-year coach Randy Patton said. "Maria Howard is going to be a very, very good player. She's worked her tail off."

Senior Jooho Oh and junior Olivia Brickey also have returned for the Shamrocks, who went 28-0 to win the OCC-Capital title and went on to earn a runner-up finish (341) in the 10-team Mentel Memorial sectional last year.

The other players are sophomore Jenna Lynn and freshmen Annika Manjunath and Ava Guilliam.

Coffman shot 350 to take sixth in the nine-team district tournament last season behind champion Olentangy Orange (327), ending the Shamrocks' run of four consecutive state berths.

Howard averaged 84.5 in league play last season to earn first-team all-OCC-Capital honors while Brickey averaged 94.5 to make the second team.

"Both freshmen have an opportunity to be very good," Patton said.

"We've won our conference (seven) straight years, but now we've got UA and New Albany, which are very, very good. This is a team that can get better throughout the year. Our district is loaded this year."

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek

Schedules

BOYS GOLF

Aug. 5 -- Cincinnati Sycamore Invitational at Blue Ash

Aug. 8 -- OCC-Central at Apple Valley

Aug. 10 -- New Albany Invitational at New Albany Links

Aug. 11 -- Chapel Hill Invitational

Aug. 14 -- OCC-Central at Turnberry

Aug. 15 -- Dublin Invitational at Golf Club of Dublin

Aug. 19 -- Cincinnati Moeller Invitational at Walden Pond

Aug. 24 -- Olentangy Liberty at Kinsale

Aug. 26 -- Pinnacle Classic at Pinnacle

Aug. 28 -- Centerville Elks Invitational at Yankee Trace

Aug. 30 -- OCC-Central at Clover Valley

Sept. 9 -- St. Charles Invitational at Brookside

Sept. 11 -- Gdovin Invitational at Zanesville Country Club

Sept. 14 -- OCC-Central at Darby Creek

Sept. 16 -- Trojan Invitational at Findlay Country Club

Sept. 18 -- Generals Cup at Wooster Country Club

Sept. 23 -- Upper Arlington Master Invitational at Scioto

Sept. 25 -- OCC Shootout at Moundbuilders

Sept. 30 -- Dublin Jerome Honorary Invitational at Tartan Fields

GIRLS GOLF

Aug. 4 -- Panther Invitational at Turnberry

Aug. 7 -- Gahanna Invitational at Jefferson

Aug. 9 -- OCC-Central at Cooks Creek

Aug. 14 -- Newark Catholic at The Links at Echo Springs

Aug. 15 -- OCC-Central at Westchester

Aug. 19 -- Midwest Classic at Skyland Pines

Aug. 21 -- Centerville Invitational at Yankee Trace

Aug. 23 -- New Albany and Olentangy Liberty at Muirfield

Aug. 26 -- Upper Arlington Invitational at Cooks Creek

Aug. 29 -- OCC-Central at Mentel Memorial

Sept. 5 -- Marysville and Liberty at Darby Creek

Sept. 7 -- Watterson at Marysville Golf Club

Sept. 12 -- OCC-Central at Royal American

Sept. 14 -- Liberty and Upper Arlington at Scioto Reserve

Sept. 16 -- Arrow Invitational at Highland Meadows

Sept. 19 -- Jonathan Alder and Marysville at Rolling Meadows

Sept. 21 -- Watterson and Newark Catholic at The Links at Echo Springs

Sept. 23 -- Marysville Invitational at Darby Creek

Sept. 26 -- New Albany at New Albany Country Club

Sept. 28 -- New Albany and Grove City at Rattlesnake Ridge

Oct. 7 -- Pickerington North Fall Classic at The Links at Groveport

GIRLS TENNIS

Aug. 12 -- Columbus School for Girls Doubles Tournament

Aug. 15 -- at Olentangy Orange

Aug. 16 -- vs. Scioto

Aug. 17 -- vs. Olentangy

Aug. 18 -- vs. Cincinnati Ursuline Academy

Aug. 19 -- Watterson Invitational

Aug. 22 -- vs. Pickerington North

*Aug. 24 -- at Hilliard Davidson

Aug. 28 -- vs. CSG

*Aug. 29 -- vs. Westland

Aug. 30 -- vs. Upper Arlington B

*Aug. 31 -- at Marysville

*Sept. 5 -- at Central Crossing

Sept. 6 -- at Columbus Academy

*Sept. 7 -- vs. Upper Arlington

Sept. 11 -- at New Albany

Sept. 12 -- at Jerome

Sept. 16 -- Lexington Invitational

Sept. 20 -- vs. Olentangy Liberty

Sept. 21 -- at Watterson

Oct. 3 -- at Bexley

*League contest

Below are the coming schedules for the Coffman field hockey, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:

FIELD HOCKEY

Aug. 21 -- At Columbus School for Girls

Aug. 23 -- At Bexley

BOYS SOCCER

Aug. 19 -- Home vs. Cincinnati LaSalle

GIRLS SOCCER

Aug. 18 -- Home vs. Olentangy Liberty

Aug. 22 -- Home vs. Westerville Central

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Aug. 22 -- Home vs. Olentangy