at sectional for first time

at sectional for first time

Kelsey Hunter may be at a bit of a disadvantage when the Hilliard Davidson High School girls tennis team plays host to the OCC-Central Division tournament Saturday.

Hunter, a senior, will be playing in the event for the first time, just two years after she started playing tennis.

"I've never had any formal training. I just picked up a racket my sophomore year and kept on improving," said Hunter, who is 9-6 with Colleen Baker at first doubles. "Some of these girls have playing with pros and in clubs since they were in elementary school. They have more experience in tight matches and tournaments.

"I'm just going to try to focus on myself and my game. Whenever we have a tough match you have to stay mentally strong. (Coach Kim Shepherd) reminds me to focus and play each point as if it were the last one."

Hunter was a lifelong soccer player but got burned out on that sport and decided to try tennis.

"Kelsey is a real success story," Shepherd said. "She worked her way up from the junior varsity team to the varsity B team to being the co-captain of the varsity team her senior year. She's at a big disadvantage, but she's shown people that with hard work you can be very successful."

"Switching to tennis turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made in high school," Hunter said.

"I like the whole team structure of tennis. It's an individual game, but at the same time, your court counts as a part of the team score."

And every court can make a difference. Through 14 matches, Davidson was 2-4 in matches decided by 3-2 scores.

"We've had mixed success this year," Shepherd said.

"We're going to have to be more consistent and win some singles courts if we are going to be a factor."

•Darby has struggled to find the right combinations in doubles.

After trying out to several combinations throughout the season, coach Shawn Morris has settled on Abby Zonker and Jill Runser at first doubles and Sammie Greene and Katie Lorson at second doubles.

"We've been continuing to improve and I'm anxious to see what we can do at the OCC tournament," Morris said. "We want to get a couple of the courts that we lost back during the season, especially against Thomas Worthington (3-2 loss Sept. 9). Hopefully we can move ahead of them at the tournament."

Morris sees the league tournament as a good steppingstone for the postseason. Darby has not played in a tournament this season.

"We're going to face some great competition," Morris said. "It's great to have that tournament-style atmosphere before you enter the sectional. The good thing about the OCC is you get at least two matches because it's a double-elimination format. At the sectional it's one and done."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Davidson girls tennis team:

Aug. 12 -- Lost to Chillicothe 3-2

*Aug. 14 -- Def. Westland 5-0

*Aug. 19 -- Def. Thomas 3-2

Aug. 25 -- Lost to Lancaster 3-2

*Aug. 26 -- Def. Central Crossing 5-0

*Sept. 2 -- Lost to Kilbourne 5-0

Sept. 3 -- Lost to Watterson 5-0

Sept. 4 -- Lost to Grove City 3-2

Sept. 6 -- Def. Beaumont 3-2; lost to DeSales 3-2

Sept. 8 -- Def. Groveport 3-2

*Sept. 9 -- Lost to Dublin Coffman 5-0

Sept. 11 -- Match vs. Columbus Academy postponed. No makeup date has been set.

Sept. 13 -- Finished third (eight) behind champion Upper Arlington B (15) at five-team Wellington Cup.

*Sept. 16 -- Match at Upper Arlington postponed. No makeup date has been set.

Sept. 17 -- Lost to Reynoldsburg 5-0

Sept. 18 -- Lost to Pickerington Central 5-0

*Last Tuesday -- Played Darby

Today -- At New Albany

*Saturday -- Home OCC-Central tournament

Wednesday -- Home vs. Delaware

Of note: The Wildcats were 5-9 overall and 3-2 in the OCC-Central before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Central match

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Darby and Davidson girls tennis teams:

Aug. 12 -- Defeated Newark 4-1

Aug. 13 -- Lost to Pickerington North 5-0

*Aug. 14 -- Lost to Worthington Kilbourne 4-1

*Aug. 19 -- Def. Central Crossing 5-0

Aug. 20 -- Lost to Reynoldsburg 5-0

*Aug. 26 -- Lost to Upper Arlington 5-0

Aug. 28 -- Lost to Olentangy Liberty 5-0

*Sept. 2 -- Lost to Dublin Coffman 3-2

Sept. 6 -- Def. Cleveland Heights Beaumont 3-2; lost to DeSales 3-2

*Sept. 9 -- Lost to Thomas Worthington 3-2

Sept. 10 -- Lost to Gahanna 3-2

Sept. 18 -- Match at Lancaster postponed. No makeup date has been set.

*Last Tuesday -- Played Davidson

Last Wednesday -- Played Dublin Scioto

Today -- Home vs. Westland

*Saturday -- At OCC-Central tournament at Davidson

Monday -- Home vs. Groveport

Of note: The Panthers were 4-9 overall and 1-4 in the OCC-Central before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Central match