Colleen Baker is excited about the progression of her Hilliard Bradley girls tennis team.
The Jaguars were 7-8 overall before playing Westerville North on Sept. 25 and are 3-3 in the OCC-Cardinal Division, but six of their losses were by a 3-2 score, giving the second-year coach an optimistic outlook for the future.
"These are always tough losses," Baker said, referring to the 3-2 scores. "However, it does show that we are fighting and competing. Last year, we had more 5-0 or 4-1 losses, so we are improving and getting better each and every match."
Baker has been impressed with the play of Anh Thi Thai at first singles. The freshman is a cousin of Bradley graduates Lauren Thai and Ashley Thai, who teamed up to win the Division II state doubles title in 2010. Another cousin, Mitchell Thai, finished third in singles at the Division I boys state tournament in 2017.
"Even as a 14-year-old freshman, Anh Thi has done a phenomenal job at first singles," Baker said. "She has faced adversity and has overcome it. She has fought tooth and nail for every game, set and match she has won and she has done it with such grace and pride. I am excited to see what she will do in the postseason."
The postseason begins with a Division I sectional to be held Oct. 3 and 5 at one of four sites.
Nina Kisin has played second singles with a rotation of Madison Kennedy and Sai Salin at third singles. Reyann Askar, Karina Shishlo, Evelina Tumash and Jillian Wieta have been in the doubles rotation.
"Our third singles and doubles courts have been rotating," Baker said. "We have several players that are all around the same ability levels, so it is about finding the right chemistry on the doubles courts.
"We still have (three) matches left before the postseason, and I feel optimistic about them. I hope to finish the season above .500. We still have many young players who are just playing their first or second season on varsity. There has been a learning curve, but I am happy with the improvements that we have made across all five courts."
Girls volleyball team continues to roll
The girls volleyball team had only one loss entering an OCC-Cardinal match against Delaware on Sept. 24.
The Jaguars were 15-1 overall and 10-0 in the league before playing the Pacers. They swept all 10 of their league matches, winning each in three games, as well as five of their six non-league matches.
Bradley's only loss came Sept. 14 at the Worthington Kilbourne Invitational. The Jaguars defeated Patriot Prep 25-9, 25-8 and Grove City 25-11, 25-18 before losing to DeSales 25-21, 25-19.
Through 16 matches, Allie Holland led the team in kills (179), blocks (37) and aces (32), Clare Flanagan led in digs (165) and Riley Speelman led in assists (391).
Girls soccer team stays atop league
The girls soccer team was 6-2-3 overall and 4-0 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Dublin Jerome on Sept. 24.
The Jaguars defeated Dela-ware 1-0 on Sept. 17 behind a goal by Genevieve Jantonio.
Goalkeepers Macy Enneking and Emily Keck had four and three saves, respectively, as Bradley played Olentangy Liberty to a scoreless tie Sept. 19.
Below are the coming schedules for the Bradley cross country, boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 28 -- Midwest Meet of Champions at home
Sept. 26 -- Marysville at Darby Creek
Sept. 28 -- Pickerington Central Fall Invitational at Turnberry
Oct. 1 -- Division I sectional at Darby Creek. Top four teams and top four individuals not on qualifying teams advance to district Oct. 8 at Apple Valley.
Oct. 1 -- Division I sectional at Mentel Memorial. Top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advance to district Oct. 8 at New Albany Links.
Sept. 26 -- Home vs. Beavercreek
Sept. 30 -- Home vs. Whitehall
Sept. 28 -- At Dublin Coffman
Sept. 26 -- At Davidson
Sept. 30 -- Home vs. Worthington Christian
*Oct. 1 -- At Delaware
*Sept. 26 -- At Dublin Jerome. The Jaguars defeated the Celtics 25-15, 25-11, 25-12 on Sept. 3.
Oct. 1 -- Home vs. Davidson