The Dublin Jerome High School girls tennis team is in the midst of its most crucial week so far this season in terms of its goals.
The Celtics played Olentangy Liberty on Oct. 10 in a Division I district final of the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association team tournament. The winner advances to state Oct. 22 at Reynoldsburg.
In addition, Jerome will be represented by six players in the OHSAA district tournament Thursday, Oct. 12, at Hilliard Bradley and Saturday, Oct. 14, at Upper Arlington.
On Sept. 28, the Celtics edged Pickerington North 3-2 in a district semifinal of the team tournament to set up the matchup with Liberty. Jerome, which was 14-1 before facing Liberty, finished third at state last season.
"(It's) always good to be back in the finals," coach Ken Berlin said. "It's the next step on our path to achieving the goal we set out at the beginning of the season. Liberty is a great team."
The top four finishers in singles and doubles in the OHSAA district tournament advance to state Oct. 20 and 21 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
In singles, senior Jiaqi Liu opens district against UA's Masha Manilchuk and sophomore Kavya Alagappan opens against Marietta's Meredith Coil. In the sectional Oct. 6 and 7 at Bradley, Liu beat Scioto's Ashley Lambillotte 6-4, 6-4 for the title and Alagappan placed fourth.
In doubles at district, senior Vicki Chang and sophomore Reagan Resor open against UA's Ella Hazelbaker and Noah Mizer and sophomore Katherine Wang and freshman Arya Dudipala open against Watkins Memorial's Lillia Walter and Madi Burris.
At sectional, Chang and Resor beat Wang and Dudipala 6-3, 6-1 for the title.
Also competing at sectional in singles was freshman Izzy Seikel, who lost to Lambillotte 6-2, 6-2 in the first round.
Field hockey team tunes up for tourney
The field hockey team is seeded 11th of 17 teams in the district tournament and will open the postseason with a first-round game Monday, Oct. 16, at 10th-seeded Bexley.
The winner plays at sixth-seeded Worthington Kilbourne in the second round Wednesday, Oct. 18. That winner will play at fourth-seeded Liberty or 16th-seeded Scioto in a district semifinal Oct. 24.
The Celtics were 6-8-1 overall after losing to Granville 6-0 on Oct. 9 and before playing Columbus School for Girls on Oct. 11. They finished 2-4-1 in the Central Ohio Field Hockey League-West Division.
"Our main focus is putting together a complete game, both offensively and defensively, for 60 minutes," coach Colleen Bender said.
"We have the individual talent and ability now. We just need to string it together when it means the most."
Jerome beat Hartley 2-1 on Oct. 4 as Jane Goodstein and Yuna Takahashi scored and goalkeeper Lauren Finley made eight saves.
According to Bender, freshman midfielder Katelyn Root has been among the team's standouts.
"We've had some ups and downs," Bender said. "We're looking for consistency for 60 minutes. We've put together 30 minutes of hard and competitive play but are falling short at complete games. Keeping in mind that we're a fairly young team, we've done some nice things and I'm happy with the progress."
Girls, boys golfers advance to district
Division I district competition in boys and girls golf was held Oct. 10.
The girls team competed at Cooks Creek, where the top two teams and top two individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to the state tournament Oct. 20 and 21 at Ohio State's Gray Course.
In a sectional Oct. 3 at Mentel Memorial, the girls squad shot a 314 to take first of 12 teams. Taby Robinson and Caitlin Yant each shot a 75 to finish runner-up to Gahanna's Kayla Davis (74), while Abby Kiefer placed fourth (76).
Also competing for the Celtics were Ash Abhang (88) and Meaghan Yant (89).
Jerome won five consecutive state titles from 2011-15 and placed fifth at state a year ago.
The boys team finished third at state last season and was looking for its third consecutive state berth and its 13th overall when it competed in the district tournament at Apple Valley.
The top two teams and top two individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to state Oct. 20 and 21 at Ohio State's Scarlet Course.
In a sectional Oct. 3 at Darby Creek, Jerome tied a program record by shooting a 280 to capture the title.
Jackson Chandler shot a 65 to earn medalist honors, Mason Wagner was runner-up with a 71 and Blake Solomon and Ethan Snyder each shot 72 to tie for third. Davis Root (77) rounded out the Celtics' scoring.
Below are the coming schedules for the Jerome cross country, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 14 -- OCC-Cardinal meet at Hilliard Darby
Oct. 21 -- Home vs. 30th-seeded Dresden Tri-Valley or 43rd-seeded Franklin Heights in second round of Division I district tournament. The Celtics are seeded third.
Oct. 12 -- Home vs. Pickerington North
Oct. 19 -- Home vs. 42nd-seeded Mifflin in second round of Division I district tournament. The Celtics are seeded fourth.
Oct. 14 -- Logan Elm Invitational
Oct. 16 -- Home vs. 33rd-seeded Dresden Tri-Valley in first round of Division I district tournament. Winner plays at ninth-seeded Pickerington Central in second round Oct. 18. Winner plays 12th-seeded Hilliard Darby, 48th-seeded Walnut Ridge, 15th-seeded Hamilton Township or 24th-seeded Newark in district semifinal Oct. 25 at Whitehall. The Celtics are seeded 27th.