Depth and versatility have been staples of the Dublin Jerome High School girls tennis team during its run of consecutive league championships that now stands at 14.
The Celtics' latest group, which returned four players from last year's postseason lineup and was boosted by the return of a key player from two seasons ago, has lived up to those traits.
With a 5-0 victory over Scioto on Sept. 7, Jerome improved to 5-0 in the OCC-Cardinal Division to wrap up at least a share of the title. It closed its league schedule Sept. 13 against Thomas Worthington.
Although neither senior Vicki Chang nor sophomore Katherine Wang played against the Irish, both have been among several players rotating at the three singles courts after not being with the team last year. Chang did not come out for the team last fall, while Wang is a transfer from Coffman.
"We're pretty solid this year," sophomore Reagan Resor said. "Everybody moves around (in the lineup) and we work hard in practice. We've just got to keep our confidence up."
Jerome was 8-2 overall before playing Coffman on Sept. 12.
Among the Celtics' wins was a 5-0 decision over Lancaster on Aug. 21 in their opening match of the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association Division I district tournament. The Celtics play Hilliard Bradley or Delaware in a third-round match at a date to be determined, with the winner to meet Coffman or Pickerington North in a district semifinal.
On Sept. 9 at Pickerington North, Jerome lost to Mason 3-2 but beat Toledo St. Ursula Academy 5-0. The Celtics' other loss entering the week came against Toledo Central Catholic, 3-2 on Aug. 26.
Jerome won back-to-back OTCA state titles in 2014 and '15 before finishing third in the state a year ago. Mason was state runner-up last season, while Central Catholic finished third in Division II.
Winning in the league-title clinching victory over Scioto were freshman Arya Dudipala at first singles, Resor at second singles, sophomore Kavya Alagappan at third singles, senior Neha Dudipala and junior Erin Zhao at first doubles and senior Jiaqi Liu and freshman Izzy Seikel at second doubles.
"We're playing a lot of different lineups, which is good," coach Ken Berlin said. "They've had some different partners, which is a good experience for them and gives me time to look and analyze what our strongest lineups will be.
"It's been really good having (Chang) back. She meshes well with the girls and is a really hard worker."
Boys soccer team
preps for 'Rocks
The boys soccer team will play host to Coffman on Thursday, Sept. 14, as part of a boys-girls doubleheader against the Shamrocks.
The event is slated to start at 6:30 p.m. with the girls game.
The boys team takes a five-game winning streak into the matchup with the Shamrocks, who were ranked third in the first Division I state poll.
A year ago, the Celtics lost to Coffman 3-0 during the regular season and 6-3 in a Division I regional semifinal.
Jerome improved to 5-0-2 overall with a 2-1 victory over Gahanna on Sept. 7 as Chris Dowling and Young Mu Lee scored and goalkeeper Erik McGwire made four saves.
After opening OCC-Cardinal action with wins over Worthington Kilbourne (1-0 on Aug. 29) and Thomas Worthington (2-1 on Sept. 5), the Celtics continue league play Tuesday, Sept. 19, at home against Hilliard Darby.
Girls soccer team off
to fast league start
After its matchup against Coffman, the girls soccer team will continue OCC-Cardinal play Tuesday, Sept. 19, when it travels to Darby.
Last season, Jerome and Coffman tied at 1.
The Celtics were 4-2 overall before playing DeSales on Sept. 12 and opened league action with wins over Kilbourne (10-0 on Aug. 29) and Thomas (4-1 on Sept. 5).
Against Kilbourne, Rachel Butler and Bronwen Sears each scored two goals to lead the offense and goalie Liz Forbes made four saves. Against Thomas, Emma Sears had three goals and Butler scored one.
Jerome's only losses entering the week were to Olentangy Liberty (2-1 on Aug. 31) and Strongsville (4-3 on Sept. 9), both of which were regional semifinalists last season.
Below are the coming schedules for the Jerome cross country, field hockey, boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 16 -- Trinity/Valkyrie Invitational in Louisville, Ky., and Otterbein Invitational
*Sept. 18 -- Home vs. Olentangy
Sept. 16 -- Trojan Invitational at Findlay Country Club
Sept. 18 -- Generals Cup at Wooster Country Club
Sept. 16 -- Arrow Invitational at Highland Meadows
Sept. 14 -- Home vs. Dublin Coffman
Sept. 16 -- At New Albany
*Sept. 19 -- Home vs. Hilliard Darby
Sept. 14 -- Home vs. Dublin Coffman
*Sept. 19 -- At Hilliard Darby
Sept. 14 -- Home vs. Olentangy
Sept. 19 -- At Olentangy Orange
*Sept. 14 -- Home vs. Worthington Kilbourne. The Celtics lost to the Wolves 24-26, 25-27, 25-16, 25-10, 15-12 on Aug. 22.
Sept. 16 -- Kilbourne Invitational
*Sept. 19 -- At Thomas Worthington. The Celtics lost to the Cardinals 25-14, 25-18, 25-20 on Aug. 24.