After falling one win shy of qualifying for the Division I district tournament last year, Westerville Central girls tennis players Vivian Baker and Madison Lane entered this season with extra motivation.
Baker and Lane, who play first doubles for the War-hawks, earned a district berth by finishing third in a sectional that concluded Oct. 5 at Reynoldsburg.
"Since we were so close to making it last year, a big goal of ours was to make it this year," said Baker, who is a junior. "It was something we were working for all season while we were practicing. It was really important we make it this year because it's Madison's senior year, so we tried really hard for that."
Baker also reached the qualifying match for district in doubles in her freshman year, when she teamed with Nikita Nair.
Baker and Lane will be joined at district by junior Levi Burks, who finished fourth at sectional to earn her second district berth. Last season, she went 0-1 at district.
"I knew I had solid kids that come tournament time would be able to get through," said coach Brad Baker, who is Vivian's father. "Madison and Vivian last year went to sectional and they made it to the qualifying round. I thought if we could get those kids back, I thought we can do it this year. That was a major goal and those kids couldn't be happier."
The top four finishers in singles and doubles at sectional advanced to district Thursday, Oct. 10, and Saturday, Oct. 12, at Reynoldsburg.
Baker and Lane lost to eventual champions Claire Feit and Emily Yoshino of Dublin Coffman 6-4, 6-1 in a sectional semifinal. The unseeded Warhawks rebounded to defeat Dublin Scioto's Maddy Baughman and Maggie Szabo 6-4, 6-2 in the third-place match.
Burks lost to eventual champion Anh Thi Thai of Bradley 6-3, 6-4 in a semifinal and then dropped a 6-0, 7-5 decision to Coffman's Desha Chistyakova in the third-place match.
At district, the top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to state Oct. 18 and 19 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
"It's going to be tough for us," coach Baker said. "Our goal was to get to district. Anything past that is just a cherry on top."
Also at section in singles, Sidney Choo went 1-1 and Audrey Rupp went 0-1.
Kaylie Gibson and Dilara Sen went 0-1 in doubles.
"It is a long season, but this is the fun part," coach Baker said. "We had two goals all season, and that was make Westerville Central tennis part of the conversation and one way you do that is you get kids into the district tournament. That was a huge success for us. The other one was have fun doing it."
Boys golf team competes at district
The boys golf team competed in the Division I district tournament Oct. 8 at Apple Valley.
The Warhawks earned the district berth by finishing fourth (320) in a 14-team sectional Oct. 1 at Denison Golf Club behind Dublin Jerome (294), St. Charles (304) and Upper Arlington (310).
The top four teams and top four individuals not on qualifying teams advanced.
Quinn Gallagher led Central with a 77, followed by Josh Qian (78), Brady Urian (81), Ryan Dollenmayer (84) and Heath Jeffers (85).
"The course played extremely tough and the boys started off really bad, but I'm proud of the way they continued to grind all the way until the end," coach Kyle Baker said. "They ended up shaving off 14 strokes from the first nine, which was the difference in us making it to district. They've been playing well lately and they're motivated and working hard."
At district, the top two teams and top two individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to state Oct. 18 and 19 at Ohio State's Scarlet Course.
Welty leads girls golf team
The girls golf team competed in the Division I district tournament Oct. 8 at New Albany Links.
The Warhawks advanced by finishing third (343) in the 11-team sectional Oct. 2 at Blacklick Woods behind New Albany (286) and Coffman (324).
The top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advanced.
Grace Welty led the Warhawks with a 77, followed by Katelyn Neil (82), Anna Borders (84), Zoei Tee (100) and Paige Dieter (115).
At district, the top two teams and top two individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to state Oct. 18 and 19 at Ohio State's Gray Course.
Below are the coming schedules for the Central cross country, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 12 -- OCC-Buckeye meet at Hilliard Davidson
Oct. 10 -- Home vs. Zanesville
Oct. 15 -- Home vs. 36th-seeded Hartley in first round of Division I district tournament. The Warhawks are seeded 23rd of 52 teams.
*Oct. 10 -- At Westerville South
Oct. 19 -- Home vs. 27th-seeded Newark or 31st-seeded Westerville South in second round of Division I district tournament. The Warhawks are seeded 25th of 46 teams.
*Oct. 10 -- At South. The Warhawks defeated the Wildcats 25-20, 25-15, 25-12 on Sept. 17.
Oct. 17 -- At sixth-seeded Watkins Memorial or home versus 44th-seeded Walnut Ridge in second round of Division I district tournament. The Warhawks are seeded 15th of 49 teams.