Like most programs in central Ohio, the Grove City High School boys tennis team has had to battle an unseasonably cold and wet start to the season.
With the bad weather, including a tornado that hit near the school April 3, coach Ronald Smith said it's been difficult to monitor the Greyhounds' progress as they look to build on last season's 9-6 record.
"We'll see how it pans out," said Smith, who is in his 16th season. "It's been such a bad spring so far, I just haven't had that many practices. It's been the least amount of practices I've been able to have. It's frustrating, but it is what it is. You can't change the weather."
The Greyhounds' matches against Newark on April 3 and Columbus West on April 4 were postponed, so they opened April 5 with a 4-1 loss to visiting Lancaster in an OCC-Ohio Division match.
Senior returnee Noah Bungart is at first singles. He opened with a 6-1, 6-0 loss to Lancaster's Colten Clark.
"I knew it was going to be a tough one," Bungart said. "It's the first match of the season. (I) put it behind me."
Bungart went 0-1 in a Division I sectional last season, a performance he hopes to better this spring.
"I think about (qualifying for state)," Bungart said. "I'm not worried about it a lot. Obviously, I would want to and that's definitely a goal, but it's not like I'm worried about it or constantly thinking about it. It's not the ultimate goal, but it's a goal. I wouldn't be super bummed if I didn't get to state. I want to go to district at least."
Junior Tyler Sander is at second singles after playing third singles last season, and sophomore returnee Kaleb Coakley is at third singles.
Smith said the doubles lineup has been a work in progress, mainly because of the lack of practice time.
Senior Camden Hix and sophomore Tyler Faulk recorded the Greyhounds' victory against Lancaster, winning 6-4, 6-4 at second doubles.
"Camden is a senior who came out this year and just has some raw talent," Smith said. "He's been doing real well."
Sophomores Bryden Smith and Corbin Nickoloff and freshman Nick Bungart, Noah's brother, also should be in the mix.
"Nick is looking real good," coach Smith said. "He'll probably work his way into the lineup somewhere over time."
Grove City also is hoping to be competitive in the OCC-Ohio after finishing fourth (2-3) behind champion Gahanna (5-0) last season.
"We want to do the best we can, but also make lasting impressions on each other," Noah Bungart said. "We want to make the best out of it for everybody."
Baseball team drops league contest
The baseball team saw its 17-game winning streak in the OCC-Ohio end with a 3-2 loss at Lancaster on April 5.
The Greyhounds' previous league loss came against Lancaster, 5-4 on April 29, 2016.
Grove City bounced back to defeat Reynoldsburg 7-2 on April 6.
The Greyhounds were 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the league before a rematch with the Raiders on April 10. The game was postponed April 9 because of bad weather.
"Defensively in the infield, I really like how we have played," coach Ryan Alexander said. "Our pitching staff has been awesome. We have had two games this year where we have swung it like I think we are capable. We have to have better approaches at the dish if we are going to be as good as I know we can be."
Track and field teams compete at Big Walnut
The boys and girls track and field teams turned in strong finishes in the Red Edwards Golden Eagle Relays on April 7 at Big Walnut.
The boys finished third (65.5 points) of 12 teams behind champion Big Walnut (94). Luke Capehart, Jacob Kifer, Mark Hitchens and Christian Seckman won the 440-meter shuttle hurdles relay (1 minute, 4.24 seconds).
The girls finished fourth (63) of 12 teams behind champion Westerville Central (104). Camille Lanese, Skylar Todd, Jenna Slabaugh and Madison Killian won the 400 relay (1:12.19).
*April 5 -- vs. Lancaster
*April 10 -- at Reynoldsburg
April 11 -- vs. Franklin Heights
*April 12 -- at Gahanna
April 14 -- Teays Valley
*April 17 -- vs. Pickerington Central
*April 19 -- at Pickerington North
April 24 -- at Central Crossing
April 26 -- at Marysville
April 27 -- vs. Delaware
April 30 -- vs. Grandview
May 3 -- vs. Columbus West
May 7 -- at Jonathan Alder
Below are the coming schedules for the Grove City baseball, softball and track & field teams:
*April 13 -- Home vs. Gahanna
*April 16 -- Home vs. Pickerington Central
*April 18 -- At Pickerington Central
*April 12 -- At Reynoldsburg
April 14 -- At Worthington Kilbourne with Big Walnut
*April 16 -- At Gahanna
*April 18 -- Home vs. Pickerington Central
TRACK & FIELD
April 13 -- Best of the South-West at Central Crossing
April 17 -- at Franklin Heights with Columbus East and Grove City Christian