The Dublin Jerome High School girls tennis team’s bid for a third Division I Ohio Tennis Coaches Association state championship in four seasons came up just short Oct. 22 at Reynoldsburg.
After the Celtics fell behind two courts to one in the final, Jiaqi Liu was leading Mason’s Megan Li 7-6, 5-1 at third singles when her match was halted because teammate Arya Dudipala was unable to force a third set against Ananya Aggarwal at second singles.
With Dudipala’s 6-0, 7-5 loss, the Celtics fell to the Comets 3-1 to finish 17-2.
Jerome placed third at state a year ago after winning back-to-back titles in 2014 and ’15.
“We needed to find a way to push (second singles) into a third set, and anything can happen,” Celtics coach Ken Berlin said. “But for a freshman (Dudipala) to put up that type of fight against a girl who made the state final four (Aggarwal) was all we could ask for.”
Jerome’s Reagan Resor and Katherine Wang beat Sanjana Reddy and Nicole Reid 6-1, 6-2 at first doubles. The Celtics’ Vicki Chang lost to Jamie Kim 6-1, 6-3 at first singles and Jerome’s Neha Dudipala and Erin Zhao lost to Annie Kruse and Raina Chada 6-2, 7-5 at second doubles.
The Celtics advanced to the final with a 3-0 win over Toledo Notre Dame in a semifinal earlier in the day, as Chang (first singles), Arya Dudipala (second singles) and Liu (third singles) all won in straight sets.
Columbus Academy reached the Division II OTCA state final, where it lost to Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown 3-0 on Oct. 22 at Reynoldsburg.
Hathaway Brown won its third consecutive state title.
“Our goal was to get to the final four,” Academy coach Tom Haddow said. “We knew Hathaway was such a dominant team. They have the elite program in the state right now — good coaching, good players and a good tradition.”
Academy’s Alex Graham lost to Maddie Lynch 6-1, 6-0 at second singles, the Vikings’ Georgia Tuckerman and Himaja Reddy lost to Megan Qiang and Bella Godsick 6-2, 6-2 at first doubles and Academy’s Lexis Hughes and Maddie Tuckerman lost to Stephanie Zhou and Isabella Daverio 6-1, 6-1 at second doubles.
Academy’s Sydni Ratliff was leading Nicole Gillinov 4-3 in the first set at first singles when the match was stopped. On Oct. 21, Gillinov defeated Ratliff 6-2, 6-4 in the final of the individual state tournament at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
The Vikings advanced to the final with a 3-2 win over Toledo Central Catholic in a semifinal Oct. 22.
In that match, Ratliff (first singles), Georgia Tuckerman and Reddy (first doubles) and Hughes and Lauren Motta (second doubles) all won in straight sets.