With the entire lineup returning from last season, the Central Crossing High School boys tennis team expected to be improved.

With the entire lineup returning from last season, the Central Crossing High School boys tennis team expected to be improved.

Coach Kert Lanam said the Comets are playing better than they did a year ago, but because of the realignment of the OCC-Central Division, that improvement hasn't shown up in the win column yet. They now have seven league matches, compared with five last season, and the league is now filled with some of the area's best teams, including Upper Arlington, Worthington Kilbourne and Hilliard Davidson.

The Comets also have had several postponements, particularly in non-league matches. After a 5-0 loss to Kilbourne on April 23, the Comets were 0-6 overall but had played Davidson, Kilbourne, UA and Dublin Coffman. Lanam is hopeful the back end of the schedule will be a little more manageable.

"I think it's very important for these kids to get a win under their belt," Lanam said. "I think it's going to boost their confidence. And I think it will make them better and help them play better, even against these conference teams."

The Comets have had some positive signs. Against UA, which used its B team, both Justin Burns and Caleb Gabriel won four games in their first set. Burns wound up losing to Bryan Wang 6-4, 6-0, and Gabriel lost to George Beck 6-4, 6-2.

"I have never seen either one of those two kids play better than they played (against UA)," Lanam said. "All-around, their serves, their net play, everything. Their first sets were just unbelievable."

The singles lineup has been consistent with Burns at first, Gabriel at second and Mitch Gallo at third, but Lanam has used several combinations for the two doubles teams as Joe Ramirez, Jake Shoopman, Isaac Redfern, Alex Rieser, Cody Haughn and Brandon Kolesar have seen action. Kolesar, a freshman, was added to the team late in the preseason.

Through six matches, Gallo had two wins and Burns had one. Shoopman and Ramirez had one win at second doubles.

•Despite injuries, Grove City has played better than coach Ron Smith expected.

Although the Greyhounds still don't have the ability to contend for the OCC-Ohio title, they have won the matches necessary to stay in the middle of the pack. The Greyhounds picked up a key win over Lancaster 3-2 on April 16 and also beat Groveport 4-1 on April 7. They won four consecutive matches before losing to Gahanna 5-0 on April 23.

"I've got no complaints at all," Smith said. "Considering what we have this year, the kids have just been performing fantastic."

Second-singles player Kaylib Johnson has been struggling with a wrist injury for much of the season but now is able to play in most matches.

Chris Riggs, a returning starter at second doubles, went down with a knee injury last week and won't return for at least another week.

Eli Monhemius has played well in relief at third singles, going 4-1 through last Saturday.

Bobby Bennett and Jason Geyer were 8-3 at first doubles and Joey Hemphill was 5-3 at first singles.

Bennett and Geyer won the second flight at the Marion Harding Doubles Invitational last Saturday.

Tyler Andrick has played second and third singles, and Andrew Sokol, Josh Mulvany and Johnson have contributed at second doubles.

Colin Hopkins played in his first match last Saturday, playing in the fourth flight with Andrick. Hopkins and Andrick finished second.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules Central Crossing and Grove City boys tennis teams:


April 16 -- Lost to Watkins Memorial 3-2

*April 17 -- Lost to Hilliard Davidson 5-0

*April 22 -- Lost to Upper Arlington 5-0

*April 23 -- Lost to Worthington Kilbourne 5-0

Last Monday -- Lost to London 4-1

*Last Tuesday -- Played Thomas Worthington

Today -- At Franklin Heights

*Friday -- At Westland

*Monday -- Home vs. HilliardDarby

Wednesday -- At Lancaster

May 7 -- Home vs. Franklin Heights

Of note: The Comets were 0-7 overall and 0-4 in the OCC-Central before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Central match


*April 16 -- Defeated Lancaster 3-2

April 22 -- Def. Circleville 4-1

*April 23 -- Lost to Gahanna 5-0

Last Saturday -- Finished second (22) to Celina (27) in Marion Harding Doubles Invitational

*Last Monday -- Lost to Newark 3-2

*Last Tuesday -- Played Pickerington Central

Today -- At Westerville Central

Friday -- Home vs. Westerville South

*Tuesday -- Home vs. Pickerington North

May 7 -- Home vs. Briggs

Of note: The Greyhounds were 5-4 overall and 2-3 in the OCC-Ohio before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Ohio match