Josie Paazig and Grace Wilson of the Hilliard Davidson High School girls tennis team are looking forward to making a final run at a Division I state tournament berth.
The seniors have played doubles together the past three postseasons, with their best finish coming last year when they went 1-1 at district, falling one win shy of advancing to state.
"It would be really cool, a last hurrah for all of us," Wilson said of qualifying for state. "I take for granted all the practices and bad matches because I don't like it, but once (the season's) over, it will be sad because I won't get to do it anymore."
"I think this will be our year," Paazig said.
Davidson begins the postseason in a sectional tournament Oct. 5 and 7 at Bradley, Pickerington Central, Reynoldsburg or Upper Arlington. The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to district Oct. 12 at Bradley and Oct. 14 at UA. At district, the top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to state Oct. 20 and 21 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
Both Paazig and Wilson began the season playing singles, but they have teamed up in recent matches as the Wildcats' No. 1 doubles team in preparation of the postseason.
The duo defeated Dublin Coffman's Meredith Ainsworth and Lena Caruso 6-0, 7-6 on Aug. 24 and lost to Upper Arlington's Masha Manilchuk and Noah Mizer 6-3, 6-3 on Aug. 29. They also dropped a tight match to Pickerington North's Carmen Moesle and Kim Nguyen on Sept. 14, losing 5-7, 6-3, 1-0 (10-3).
Coach Steve De Dent said the match with UA was more competitive than the final score might indicate.
"They were competitive. We just have to keep the ball in play," De Dent said. "We have to be smarter tennis players, and that's understanding the game better and using strategy better than what we do sometimes. If they can do that, they have a shot to get through (to state)."
Paazig had a 6-2 record and Wilson was 5-2 before Davidson played Olentangy on Sept. 19. The Wildcats were 4-6 overall entering the match.
Paazig and Wilson, who have 4.2 and 3.9 GPAs, respectively, both are undecided on college. Paazig said she might consider continuing her tennis career at the college level.
"All my kids are great kids," De Dent said. "I just wish I could get them to work a little harder, and I'm not talking about Josie and Grace. This group has one of the highest GPAs in the school. You get to work with great kids."
Davidson went 2-3 in the OCC-Central Division to finish fourth, behind UA (5-0), Coffman (4-1) and Marysville (3-2) and ahead of Central Crossing (1-4) and Westland (0-5).
Boys golfers win
final OCC round
The boys golf team closed the OCC-Central tournament by winning the fourth round Sept. 13 at Darby Creek.
Davidson and UA both shot a 313, but the Wildcats won the fifth-score tiebreaker to finish first.
Caleb Stimmel led Davidson with a 75, followed by Cole Kazmerzak and Zack Welch each with a 79, Jack Brown with an 80 and Jacob Drees with an 84.
"I couldn't be more proud of our group effort," coach Monte Rhoden said.
"Because of the needed tiebreaking score, all five of our scores had to be used. Their resolve to just keep working and getting better has made the difference."
Davidson went 14-6 in the OCC-Central to finish third, behind UA (18-2) and Coffman (16-4) and ahead of Marysville (8-12), Central Crossing (4-16) and Westland (0-20).
Girls golf team
closes league play
The girls golf team finished fourth (7-13) in the OCC-Central tournament, behind UA (20-0), Coffman (16-4) and New Albany (9-11) and ahead of Canal Winchester (6-14) and Marysville (2-18).
Davidson finished fourth (397) in the fourth and final round Sept. 12 at Royal American, behind first-place UA (333).
Amelia Lee shot a 79 to lead the Wildcats. Kelsey Rader shot a 102 and Eleni Monroe shot a 104.
Below are the coming schedules for the Davidson cross country, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 23 -- Girls: Saturday Night Lights at Centerville
Sept. 23 -- Marysville Invitational at Darby Creek
Sept. 26 -- Bradley at Thorn Apple
Sept. 21 -- At Pickerington Central
*Sept. 26 -- At Central Crossing
Sept. 21 -- Home vs. Canal Winchester
*Sept. 26 -- Home vs. Central Crossing
Sept. 21 -- At Dublin Jerome
Sept. 23 -- Kim Shepherd Doubles Classic at home
Sept. 26 -- Home vs. Bradley
Sept. 27 -- At Dublin Scioto
Sept. 23 -- At Bradley
*Sept. 26 -- At Dublin Coffman. The Wildcats lost to the Shamrocks 25-12, 25-7, 25-10 on Sept. 5.