Even though the Wellington School girls tennis team lost four of its first six matches, first-year coach David Drees said no one on his young team became discouraged.

Even though the Wellington School girls tennis team lost four of its first six matches, first-year coach David Drees said no one on his young team became discouraged.

Drees replaced Marla Zitelman, who stepped down as coach after three seasons. The Jaguars finished 6-6 last year.

"Our biggest strength is we are young and have short memories of the past," said Drees, whose team was 3-4 after defeating Jonathan Alder 5-0 on Aug. 31. "They are focused on becoming better and better each day. To this date, we have seen major improvements almost every practice, which for a coach is a dream."

The regular lineup consists of freshmen Anika Crouser (first) and Isabella Vegas (second) and junior Neelu Paleti (third) playing singles, senior Zoey Kiourtsis and junior Nia Gill at first doubles and sophomores Sarah Zimmerman and Brianna Masters at second doubles.

Last year, Gill and 2015 graduate Casey Hansen advanced to the Division II district tournament in doubles, going 0-1.

"This is a young team with an incredible amount of potential," Drees said. "And while that is a blessing now, I am certain it will pay dividends by season's end and very much so coming into next season.

"I have singles players playing singles and doubles players at doubles, which is a blessing seeing that I don't have to play kids out of their comfort zones. We have some tremendous talent at doubles and our singles game is solid from first to third."

The Jaguars defeated Granville 3-2 on Aug. 13 and Watkins Memorial 3-2 on Aug. 18.

"Our goal this year is simple: Win the matches we should win and play hard when we play teams that are higher caliber," Drees said. "We scheduled a few matches of premier teams so that we can see what the best look like and push toward that in the coming years."

Girls soccer team has more depth

Girls soccer co-coaches Nicole Homsher and Dondi Pangalangan are excited about the fact that their program consists of 22 players this season.

The Jaguars, who finished 6-10-1 last year, opened Aug. 27 with a 5-3 loss to Newark and played Fisher Catholic on Sept. 2.

"This team is different than the teams we have had in the past two years based on the number of girls that wanted to come and be a part of the program," Homsher said. "... Last season we had 15 when school began, and the year before we had about 11. Based on numbers, that's been a big difference."

The Jaguars feature four third-year starters in senior Abbey Mayne (midfielder) and juniors Taylor Adams (defender), Maddy McClinchie (defender) and Emma Ruck (midfielder).

Other returning starters are junior Simone Robinson (defender) and sophomores Zoe Beatty (midfielder), Lizzy Chester (defender), Jacquie Sierzputowski (defender), Annie Taylor (goalkeeper/forward) and Jakaysha Williams (forward).

Two freshmen are starting in defender Lauren Kannally and midfielder Catherine Zallanta.

Completing the roster are juniors Bret Hairston (defender) and Cassie Robbins (forward), sophomore Libby White (defender) and freshmen Makenzie Beam (midfielder), Ana Dorenbusch (defender), Chloe Locker (midfielder), Skylar Perry (defender), Veronica Poster (defender), Soleil Tibbets-Barnes (midfielder) and Olivia White (goalie).

"Our biggest strengths would be our speed and our skill," Homsher said. "The girls have worked really hard this summer on their fitness and we expect to be ready to play a full 80 minutes.

"We have very high expectations for the girls this season, including winning a number of games, advancing further in the (Division III district) tournament and being all-around more competitive than we have been in years past."

The Jaguars lost to Columbus School for Girls 9-0 in the first round of last year's district tournament.

Boys soccer team posts first victory

The boys soccer team picked up its first win of the season by defeating Tree of Life 2-1 on Aug. 27.

Teddy Knowles and Connor Weber each scored and goalie Alex Tannous had three saves.

Wellington tied Worthington Christian at 2 on Aug. 29 to move to 1-1-1, as Bakari Brown and Roth Dehlendorf scored and Tannous had four saves.

The Jaguars opened with a 4-1 loss to Thomas Worthington on Aug. 25.