Having a positive attitude has been paying off for the Gahanna Lincoln High School girls tennis team.
The Lions were 5-4 overall before playing Bexley on Sept. 13.
"These girls have a ton of fun," coach Chris Schwinnen said. "(We won five of our first seven matches), but even if we'd (lost all seven of them), they'd still be having fun. On our ride to Pickerington North (on Aug. 29), I don't think they stopped laughing the entire time."
Gahanna lost to Lancaster 3-2 on Sept. 5 and Pickerington Central 5-0 on Sept. 7 to finish 2-3 in the OCC-Ohio Division.
Against Lancaster, the first-doubles team of junior Rachel Becker and senior Reegan Pomponio and the second-doubles team of seniors Sara McCloud and Ankita Satish both earned wins.
Senior Natalie Chen and sophomore Madi Herrmann have been at first and second singles, respectively, for much of the season.
Senior Jennifer Jackson and junior Hannah Secrist have been among the other key players.
Senior Sammi Smith, who entered the season projected to be one of the team's top singles players, has been out with an injury since late August.
Gahanna lost to Olentangy 5-0 on Aug. 14 in the first round of the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association team tournament.
Among the teams on the Lions' coming schedule are perennial area powers New Albany (Monday, Sept. 18) and Dublin Jerome (Sept. 25).
"September's going to be a rough month with us, but right now, win or lose, we're having a great time," Schwinnen said. "The girls are hustling and helping each other."
Girls soccer team
enjoys strong start
The girls soccer team was 5-0-1 after beating Upper Arlington 2-0 on Sept. 9 and before opening OCC-Ohio play Sept. 12 against Reynoldsburg.
The Lions continue league play Tuesday, Sept. 19, at home against Pickerington North in a rematch of a game they lost 1-0 in a Division I regional final last season. Gahanna beat the Panthers 2-1 during the regular season a year ago on its way to the league title.
North was 5-0 after beating Beavercreek 2-1 on Sept. 9, including defeating Dublin Coffman 2-0 on Sept. 5.
In the Lions' 2-1 victory over Olentangy Liberty on Sept. 5, Mia Dragich and Molly Rose scored and Kaylee Hensley made six saves.
Hensley posted back-to-back shutouts before the Liberty game, as Gahanna beat Westerville South 3-0 on Aug. 29 and Westerville Central 1-0 on Aug. 31.
preps for Tigers
The girls volleyball team will close the first round of the OCC-Ohio schedule Tuesday, Sept. 19, at Pickerington Central.
The Lions won both matchups over the Tigers last season, as Central finished second (7-3) in the league behind Gahanna (10-0).
The Lions improved to 2-0 in the league with a 25-23, 23-25, 27-29, 25-17, 18-16 victory Sept. 7 over Pickerington North. They were 6-3 overall after losing to Painesville Riverside 25-18, 25-23 and Parma Padua 25-14, 25-18 on Sept. 9 and before playing Grove City on Sept. 12 in a league match.
Through six matches, Aubrey Wrona led the Lions in kills (74), Madison Martinez led in serving aces (18), serves received (81) and digs (108), Sophia Easton led in assists (165) and Anna Nie led in blocks (19).
Below are the coming schedules for the Gahanna Lincoln cross country, boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 16 -- Central Ohio Invitational at Three Creeks Metro Park and Galion Festival at Amann Reservoir
Sept. 16 -- Howlett Invitational at Worthington Hills
Sept. 20 -- Canal Winchester and Upper Arlington at Westchester
*Sept. 19 -- Home vs. Pickerington North
*Sept. 19 -- Home vs. North
Sept. 14 -- At Hilliard Bradley
Sept. 18 -- Home vs. New Albany
Sept. 20 -- At Hilliard Davidson
*Sept. 14 -- Home vs. Lancaster
*Sept. 19 -- At Pickerington Central