The Olentangy Orange High School girls tennis team pushed its opponent to the limit twice only to finish fourth in its first appearance in the Division I Ohio Tennis Coaches Association state tournament Oct. 21 at Reynoldsburg.

The Pioneers lost to Rocky River Magnificat 3-2 in a semifinal and Perrysburg 3-2 in the third-place match to finish 14-4.

“(The semifinal) was a great match, going down to the last court just like we thought that it would,” coach Susan Storrer said. “We played well. I was hoping we had enough experience from state and district (in the OHSAA postseason) that we could work through some of the nerves. We seemed to be able to do that.”

Mason defeated Magnificat 3-0 in the championship match.

In the semifinal, the second-doubles team of Hannah Logan and Tyler Reed battled for 2 hours, 40 minutes before falling to Magnificat’s Hannah Klubnik and Kayra Koprulu 7-6, 4-6, 7-5 in the decisive match.

Niki Bhimireddy lost to Anna Roggenburk 6-1, 6-0 at first singles, and Erin Storrer lost to Olivia Rondini 6-2, 6-2 at second singles.

Orange’s Caroline Sproule beat Audrey Smitek 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 at third singles, and the first-doubles team of Livie Mauger and Kortney Reed defeated Lexi Ospelt and Emily Pallaki 6-3, 6-2.

Division II

After losing to eventual champion Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown 3-0 in a Division II OTCA state semifinal Oct. 21 at Reynoldsburg, Columbus Academy bounced back to close the season on a positive note.

The Vikings defeated Dayton Oakwood 3-1 in the third-place match to finish 15-1.

“Hathaway (Brown) is such a good team,” coach Tom Haddow said. “We knew we’d have our hands full and we were ready for the second match.”

Senior Himaja Reddy and junior Alex Graham sealed the win with a 7-6 (7-2), 6-2 victory at first doubles.

Other winners were sophomore Sydni Ratliff 6-0, 6-0 at first singles and freshman Carmen Merkel 6-1, 6-1 at second singles.

Academy lost to Hathaway Brown in a match that featured a rematch between Ratliff and Nicole Gillinov. Ratliff, who lost to Gillinov 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 in the state singles final Oct. 20, was leading the rematch 4-3 in the first set when it was stopped because the Blazers had secured the win.

Hathaway Brown, which defeated Academy 3-0 in the final last season, defended its title with a 3-0 win over Toledo Central Catholic.

—Frank DiRenna

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