It wasn't a win, but it wasn't last place, either.

It wasn't a win, but it wasn't last place, either.

The Westerville South High School boys tennis team finished fourth in the home Bob Raica Tournament last Saturday with 19 points behind Lancaster (32), Rocky River (26) and Newark (20) and ahead of Lyndhurst Brush (17), Westerville North (12), Westerville Central (9) and Mount Vernon (2).

"I was pretty satisfied with how we ended up," South coach John Fill said. "We finished last last year, and we were a solid fourth this year. We feel like we improved, and we feel good about that."

What has Fill encouraged even more is he finally seems settled on a lineup. Kevin Hopper moved from second singles to first doubles with Graham Russell. Bryan McKenzie went from third singles to second singles, James Petit went from second doubles to third singles and Tyler Radley and Paul Harris moved from first doubles to second doubles. Dustin Goldman remains at first singles with sophomore Keith McBride seeing some time playing time at doubles.

"This will give us a stronger lineup across the board," Fill said.

South was 4-2 overall before last Monday and is 0-1 in the OCC-Cardinal Division entering today's match against Worthington Kilbourne. The Wolves will be a test for South's new lineup as they were 5-1 overall before last Monday.

Nick Kowalczyk has returned for Kilbourne. Last season, he became the program's first Division I state qualifier since 2004. Kowalczyk lost in the first round to four-time state qualifier Brad Noel of Westlake 6-0, 6-1.

"As far as individual achievement goes, it ranks right up there at the top," Kilbourne coach Steven Metzmaier said.

Kilbourne is in search of its seventh consecutive league title. Last season, the Wolves finished 5-0 with 61 points ahead of Pickerington Central at 3-2 with 40 points.

Although Westerville Central finished last among the three Westerville schools, its most experienced doubles team performed well last Saturday. That sets up for a strong second half of the season according to coach Brian Arnett.

Drew Fisher and Wes Fuller finished second at first doubles, losing to Lancaster's Andrew Kuttler and Michael Bibler 10-2.

"We thought it was one position we could make some noise," Arnett said. "We've got a little experience there and they've had a nice season so far. We were disappointed they did not win, but overall we were happy with the performance."

Fisher and Fuller played first doubles together last season as well. Another year together has made for a stronger team.

"Being partners this long has helped out," Fuller said. "We know each other's strengths."

Those strengths were on display last Saturday.

"They can control the net and communicate," Arnett said. "They both volley well and have good size at the net. Then, they just let their athleticism take over a little bit."

Arnett does not plan to break up the duo for the remainder of season or postseason.

"They can use (last Saturday) as momentum and gain confidence," Arnett said. "We need them and we need to be able to count on them in duals to get a court for us."

Before last Monday, Central was 3-5 overall and 0-2 in the OCC-Central.

"We've struggled to get singles wins, and when that's the case, you need doubles to come through," Arnett said. "That gives you a better chance to have one singles player pull one out."

South's Kevin Hopper reacts to a missed shot last Saturday during doubles play. The Wildcats finished fourth in the team standings.

North's Max Kortlander finished fourth in singles play.

Central's Wes Fuller (left) and Drew Fischer celebrate last Saturday after winning a point during a doubles match at the Bob Raica Tournament. The Warhawks' duo finished second.