Torie Sullivan hasn't played competitive basketball the last couple years at the prep level, but her role on the Watterson High School girls lacrosse team is what coach Karen Bailey believes is akin to the point guard position.

Her ability to create as well as score has helped the Eagles get off to one of the best starts in program history.

"Torie has been an incredibly strong player since her freshman year," Bailey said. "Her confidence has grown every single season. She's got a quiet confidence, but she's tenacious and intense. We're lucky to have her."

Sullivan, who scored 58 goals last season when Watterson tied the program record for wins by finishing 13-6-1, is a Mercyhurst University recruit and one of 12 seniors on the roster.

Watterson won its first seven games and was 8-3 overall before playing Columbus Academy on April 25. The Eagles were 1-2 in the Central Independent League before playing Columbus Academy on April 25 and are 0-1 in the CCL heading into its game Tuesday, May 2, at home against Columbus School for Girls.

On April 22 in the Hannigan-Galipault Tournament at Thomas Worthington, Watterson beat Gates Mills Hawken 7-6 but lost to Gibsonia (Pennsylvania) Pine-Richland 9-5.

The Eagles' other losses came against DeSales (11-6 on April 11) and Granville (15-14 in overtime April 18).

Watterson won its first 13 games en route to finishing 13-1 in 2007 and won eight of its first nine in 2012 and five of its first six in 2015.

Senior attacker Anne Reed had five goals against Granville and is the team's leader in goals, according to Bailey.

Sullivan, who is a team captain, had 19 goals and 12 assists through nine games.

"We have a lot of seniors this year, so we have really good leadership and we all know our roles," Sullivan said. "As a captain, I help get everyone set up in how we need to be playing. I haven't been scoring as much this year, but we've got a really balanced attack. I think we have a lot more talent this year."

Sullivan has three brothers who also play lacrosse, including Ronin Sullivan, a junior at St. Charles.

She's interested in studying physical therapy at Mercyhurst, which is located in Erie, Pennsylvania, and was ranked 14th in the nation in Division II last week.

"They've got a really good program there," Sullivan said. "I loved the culture and felt like it was a really relaxed atmosphere."

Both Bailey and Sullivan believe the Eagles learned from the loss to DeSales, which won last year's Division II state title and was 8-0 before playing Wellington on April 25.

"We just have to be more consistent," Sullivan said.

Tennis team looks
to solidify lineup

The boys tennis team is looking to put together a strong lineup for the final weeks of the season.

One constant has been the play of sophomore Chris Finissi at first singles.

"I'm very confident in (Finissi)," coach Ryan Schwieterman said. "He's got a winning attitude that I like, is well-liked by both (junior varsity) and varsity players and has played really well at the start of the season for us. The key is building a lineup where we can win three courts."

The Eagles were 4-4 overall and 3-0 in the CCL before closing league play April 25 against St. Charles.

Senior Josh Weithman, who mostly has played doubles, and senior Thomas Abrams are others who Schwieterman hopes can help in singles. In a 5-0 win over Hartley on April 20, Finissi won at first singles, Weithman won at second singles and sophomore Jacob DeVendra won at third singles, beating Hawks senior Ryan Sharrett 7-5, 6-7, 7-5.

"Over the next few weeks, we need to solidify a lineup and play a little more focused from start to finish," Schwieterman said. "We're talking about our match readiness from the time we arrive all the way through its conclusion. We've got to play better when it comes to making smart decisions, especially in our doubles. Everyone's got room for improvement, and I think our doubles teams know what they need to do if the team is going to be successful."

Volleyball squad
takes strides forward

Before the season hit the halfway mark, the boys volleyball team already had surpassed last year's victory total.

The Eagles split their first eight matches and were 4-6 overall before facing Upper Arlington on April 26. They are 0-2 in the CCL entering a match Friday, April 28, at St. Charles.

Watterson finished 3-16 last season and 3-17 in 2015.

"Starting the season off with a .500 win rate (through eight matches) has been extremely positive, already surpassing wins from the past two seasons," coach Ryan Thompson said. "Moving forward, we want to develop our offensive options. We've spent a lot of time defensively focused and we're at a stage where we want to add some firepower to the mix."

One of Thompson's goals during the second half of the season is to utilize sophomore middle hitter Rob Agan as more of an offensive weapon.

According to Thompson, sophomore outside hitter Lucas Mariotti has been leading the team in kills, sophomore setter Matt McManamen leads in assists and sophomore libero Brendan Foley leads in digs.

"Our biggest standout is Lucas Mariotti," Thompson said. "As a sophomore starter and captain, he's really going above and beyond, not only in game play ability but leadership off the court for the team as well. He's easily leading the team in kills and he's working extremely hard in the weight room to be ready for future seasons."

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek