Being without one of the state's top players for a large portion of April played a role in the Wellington School boys tennis team likely coming up short in its bid to win the MSL-Ohio Division championship.

However, if everything goes as planned, the Jaguars' biggest goals still are available.

Only four teams from the Central District entered the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association team tournament in Division II, and the Jaguars were 9-3 overall after beating Olentangy Berlin 3-0 on May 6 in a district semifinal.

The Jaguars face Columbus Academy in the district final Monday, May 13, at Wellington. That winner advances to the state team tournament May 26 at Reynoldsburg.

Wellington, which is the defending state champion, is expected to be at full strength for the OHSAA postseason, which begins with a sectional Thursday, May 9, and Saturday, May 11, at Columbus School for Girls.

Junior Trevor Ball, the Jaguars' No. 1 singles player who was the state runner-up last season, has missed several matches because of a shoulder injury.

"I got hurt back in the summer and did some (physical therapy)," Ball said. "I started playing again and it started hurting again so I took some time off. We lost three starters (from last season) and without me playing it hurts a little bit."

Ball played six matches before deciding to rest to allow the injury to heal. Despite missing time, he received the No. 1 seed for the sectional and opens against Columbus South's KaShawn Simington or Shekinah Christian's Clay Showalter.

Adam Sorrels is the second seed and opens against Beechcroft's Maxime Ngoupa or Bexley's Nolan Winston. Also playing singles is Evan Manley, who opens against Bexley's Jordan Koppes.

In doubles, Milan Gonela and Griffin Biernat are the No. 1 seed and Ben Marshall and Anarag Reddy are seeded fourth.

Biernat filled in most of the time at first singles and Gonela usually played second singles during Ball's absence.

Brayden Chawla, a freshman who has seen time at third singles and doubles, also has been a key contributor.

"Trevor was looking really sharp (before the injury kept him out)," coach Tommy Haddow said. "Without Trevor, it's been hard."

On April 23, Wellington lost to Academy 3-2 as Biernat and Gonela won at first and second singles, respectively, in straight sets.

The Jaguars were 3-1 in the MSL-Ohio Division before closing league play May 7 against Grandview.

Lacrosse teams set for regional tourneys

The girls lacrosse team is feeling encouraged as it prepares to open the Division II, Region 7 tournament.

After recording a season-high goal total in a 19-10 victory over Buckeye Valley on April 30, the Jaguars came up just short against Westerville North, a Division I program, in an 11-10 loss May 2.

Wellington is seeded 15th for the postseason and opens with a play-in game Saturday, May 11, at home against 16th-seeded Dayton Miami Valley. The winner visits top-seeded DeSales in the first round Wednesday, May 15, with that winner advancing to a regional quarterfinal May 18.

The Jaguars were 2-8 overall before playing Westerville South on May 7 and close the regular season Thursday, May 9, at Westerville Central.

"We're working on playing tough man-to-man defense all over the field," coach Katie Hill said. "We're really working on fine-tuning things like proper stick and body positioning, but those are both things that come with time and experience."

Through 10 games, Mia Croft had 30 goals, Mackenzie Beam had 11 goals and Macy Croft and Lauren Sabol both had 10 goals.

Sarah Anderson and Beam have led the team in ground balls.

The boys lacrosse team also opens the postseason Saturday, May 11.

The Jaguars are seeded 16th in the Division II, Region 7 tournament and will play at 10th-seeded Granville in a play-in game. The winner plays at top-seeded Watterson in the first round Monday, May 13, with that winner advancing to a regional quarterfinal May 16.

Baseball team preps for postseason

The baseball team is seeded eighth in the Division IV district tournament and will open Monday, May 13, at seventh-seeded Fairfield Christian.

The winner plays third-seeded Fisher Catholic or 15th-seeded Northside Christian in the second round Wednesday, May 15, at the home of the better seed, with that winner advancing to a district semifinal May 20.

Wellington lost to Fairfield Christian 11-4 on April 25 and was 9-11 overall after beating Liberty Christian 25-1 on May 6. The Jaguars were 6-6 in the MSL-Cardinal before facing Fairfield Christian again May 7.

The Jaguars close the regular season Saturday, May 10, at Johnstown.

In a 12-2 win over Walnut Ridge on April 30, Trevor McCraw went 1-for-2 with two RBI, three runs scored and two walks, Chase Ouellette was 3-for-4 with three RBI and Ryan Ouellette had two RBI. Josh Wooddell gave up one earned run on five hits and one walk while striking out nine over five innings.

Softball team opens postseason

The 19th-seeded softball team opened the Division III district tournament May 7 at 14th-seeded Fairbanks.

The winner plays at third-seeded Utica in the second round Thursday, May 9, with that winner facing sixth-seeded Marion Elgin or 22nd-seeded Mount Gilead in a district semifinal Tuesday, May 14, at a site to be announced. The district final will be played May 17 or 18.

Wellington beat Whitehall 19-16 on May 2 and improved to 10-11 with a 12-0 win over Cristo Rey on May 6.

Against Whitehall, Wellington scored six runs in the first inning and eight runs in the fifth, but the game was tied at 16 before the Jaguars scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth.

The Jaguars had just seven hits but Lina Grohovsky, Rosemary Haskett and Megan Johnson each walked four times.

julrey@thisweeknews.com

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