Linda Myers expects the depth of her St. Charles Preparatory School tennis team to carry the Cardinals this season.

Linda Myers expects the depth of her St. Charles Preparatory School tennis team to carry the Cardinals this season.

The third-year coach has two district qualifiers leading the way in seniors Grant Dolven and Weston Niermeyer. At district, Niermeyer was beaten 6-1, 6-2 by Worthington Kilbourne's Kevin Metka in the first round of Division I singles play. In district doubles play, Dolven and 2010 graduate Jack Toscano lost to Upper Arlington's Billy Weldon and Stu Little 6-1, 6-0.

"Weston is our No. 1 singles player, an honor he has worked hard to earn," Myers said. "Grant will specialize in doubles and he will be playing with a variety of partners because we have a lot of guys from our Nos. 3-9 who are all playing at the same level."

Juniors for the Cardinals include Dennis Gleason, Michael Susa and Stuart Swartz, with sophomores Kevin Smoot and Trey Ward also seeing varsity time. William Niermeyer, Weston's freshman brother, also will play varsity.

Junior Scott Mazzata transferred to New Albany.

"Kevin, Dennis, Michael and Stuart have all taken turns beating each other, and even though we may not have any state level superstars, we have a lot of good, competitive players," Myers said. "That gives me the flexibility in our lineup to match players who are good volley players or who are better against power opponents against the appropriate opponents."

St. Charles finished third in the CCL last season at 2-2, behind Watterson (5-0) and DeSales (4-1) and ahead of Hartley (2-3), Worthington Christian (1-3) and Ready (0-5). The Cardinals did not play their match with Worthington Christian after it was postponed several times because of bad weather.

"A lot of top players played in the winter and even tough you can work on keeping strokes and on footwork indoors, you don't always get match toughness," said Myers, whose team beat Westerville North 3-2 in the March 28 opener. "Unless you're playing tournaments, it can be difficult to develop match toughness. You need to have the mental endurance to be able to grind through a close match or not lose your focus when you have to close out a big lead."

•The lacrosse team started 0-2, losing to Worthington Kilbourne 12-2 on March 23 and 8-5 to Cincinnati Mariemont on March 26.

The team has three key injuries that may determine if the Cardinals can improve on last season, when they finished 9-8 overall after falling to top-seeded Upper Arlington 17-5 in a Division I, Central Region semifinal.

Senior captain Berk Ellis, a midfielder who was second-team all-region last year, has an injured Achilles' tendon and senior midfielder Brendan Quinn has been battling a shoulder injury. Garrett Cargin, a junior midfielder, has a knee injury.

"Hopefully we'll have them back soon, but it's not something we want to push," said seventh-year coach Bill Taylor. "Bottom line, even if we start 0-6 or 0-7, I won't be worried. I want to make sure these guys are healthy when they come back. Once we get things going, we want to keep them going."

St. Charles has seven seniors in Ellis, defender Greg Gernetzke, midfielder Joe Hartge, attacker Daniel Johanni, goalkeeper J.D. Orr, Quinn and defender Andrew Wodarcyk. Gernetzke was first-team all-region last year. Ellis and Hartge are captains along with junior attacker Ryan Finneran.

Other juniors include Jack Bengal (defender), Michael Clouser (midfielder), Franke Jeney (goalie), Dominic Julian (midfielder), Isaac Kebe (attacker), Trevor Lawler (midfielder), Zack Rikk (goalie), Michael Rohde (defender) and Conor Stratman (defender).

Sophomores include Tommy Drought (defender), Jack France (midfielder), Michael Fyda (midfielder), Nick Herfel (midfielder), Stuart Hudelson (attacker), Phil Kebe (midfielder), Phil LeFleur (defender), David Shuster (midfielder) and Marcus Ward (attacker). Ryan Cleary (midfielder), Mike Hamrock (midfielder) and Henry McCann (midfielder) are freshmen.

"We have been playing well in close defense and our long (sticks) have been solid," Taylor said. "We're pretty raw. ... We have a ways to go. Hopefully we can figure things out in what we need to be doing."