The decision to form two strong doubles teams for this year's postseason has paid off for the Dublin Jerome girls tennis squad.
The Celtics will be represented by both of their doubles teams in the Division I state tournament Friday, Oct. 17, and Saturday, Oct. 18, at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
Seniors Reagan Resor and Katherine Wang beat junior teammates Arya Dudipala and Lalasa Nagireddy 6-1, 6-2 for the district championship Oct. 12 at Reynoldsburg, as the top four finishers at district advanced to state.
Last season, Nagireddy, Resor and Wang all advanced to state in singles, but both Nagireddy and Resor lost their first-round state matches and Wang lost in the second round.
Dudipala elected not to play last season but rejoined the team this fall.
"We have four good players," Nagireddy said. "I've never played doubles before and we thought we'd have a better chance (at state). Arya is back and we thought we'd make a good team."
Resor and Wang opened district Oct. 10 at Reynoldsburg by beating Scioto's Maddy Baughman and Maggie Szabo 6-0, 6-0 and then defeated Pickerington North's Sophia Anderson and Corinna Moesle by the same score to qualify for state.
In a district semifinal, Resor and Wang beat Olentangy Orange's Erin Storrer and Kortney Reed 7-5, 6-1.
Nagireddy and Dudipala beat New Albany's Maya Klein and Thalia Fuentes 6-0, 6-0, in their opening district match and then defeated Coffman's Claire Feit and Emily Yoshino 6-2, 6-1 in a quarterfinal.
In a district semifinal, Nagireddy and Dudipala beat Upper Arlington's Ella Hazelbaker and Wendy Shi 6-1, 6-1.
"It feels (great) after qualifying in singles last year," Wang said.
Also competing at district was senior Kavya Alagappan, who lost 6-0, 6-0 in the first round in singles to eventual district champion Cassie Alcala of Pickerington North.
Boys golfers earn shot at another title
For the third consecutive season, the boys golf team heads into the Division I state tournament after capturing a district championship.
The Celtics ended the past two seasons with state titles and would like to do so again when they compete Friday, Oct. 18, and Saturday, Oct. 19, at Ohio State's Scarlet Course.
It will mark the 15th time in its 16 seasons as a program that Jerome will compete at state. Last season, the Celtics shot 625 to win state by 50 strokes over runner-up Liberty Township Lakota East.
After having the top two individual finishers and winning the sectional with a 294 on Oct. 1 at Denison Golf Club, the Celtics built on that finish by shooting 300 on Oct. 8 to capture the district title at Apple Valley.
"Overall, our goal was to make it to state and we obviously did that," junior Tyler Groomes said. "We all think we could have played a little bit better. I think we left some strokes out there. Our key is going to be staying in the moment. There's a lot of things to battle. We're definitely starting to hit our stride."
Senior Ethan Snyder shot 73 to tie for seventh and Groomes carded a 74 to tie for 10th to lead Jerome at district.
Also competing were juniors Logan Menning (tied for 19th, 76) and Jake Yarbrough (tied for 21st, 77) and senior Ryan Norkin (tied for 32nd, 80) as the Celtics held off Olentangy Liberty (303) for the title at the 12-team event.
"Ethan shot 73 and Tyler shot 74, so they both played really well," coach Taylor Harle said. "They've been my (No.) 1 and 2 all year, so it's nice to have those two step up when it matters. Logan Menning played well (at district) and Jake and Ryan are my consistent guys."
Girls golfers take fourth at district
The girls golf team's season ended with a fourth-place finish (341) at the Division I district tournament Oct. 8 at New Albany Links as New Albany (305) and Upper Arlington (314) qualified for state and Coffman finished third (325).
Senior Ash Abhang led the Celtics with an 81, finishing three strokes behind the final individual state qualifier.
While Abhang tied for 10th at district, senior Caitlin Yant tied for 18th (84), followed by freshman Audrey Ryu (tied for 24th, 87) and sophomores Emma Sparling (tied for 28th, 89) and Diva Sony (32nd, 94).
"We've got four of the top seven teams in the state in central Ohio, and everybody kind of beat everybody else up during the year," coach C.D. Butcher said. "(New Albany) I think is the best team to ever come through central Ohio."
Jerome went 26-0 in the OCC-Cardinal to win its 15th league title in 16 seasons and followed by shooting 321 to win a sectional Oct. 1 at Royal American as Ryu carded a 76 to place third and Abhang and Yant each shot 80 to tie for sixth.
Another player eligible to return is junior Izzy Adams.
"There's a good core of young girls," Butcher said. "Caitlin and Ash have really carried the baton. I really like the girls. I'm disappointed that we had an opportunity and we're known for playing well in big moments and fell a little short, but their work ethic and their skills are really good and they're just great girls."
Runners prep for postseason
The cross country teams are preparing to compete in the Division I district meet Saturday, Oct. 19, at Hilliard Darby.
The boys will compete in district 3, from which the top six teams and top 24 individuals advance to regional Oct. 26 at Pickerington North. The girls will compete in district 1, from which the top five teams and top 20 individuals advance to regional.
On Oct. 12 in the OCC-Cardinal meet at Hilliard Davidson, boys team finished runner-up (72) behind Thomas Worthington (59).
Elliott Cook won the race in 15 minutes, 22.8 seconds, followed by Carson Smith (12th, 16:47.2), Joshua Razor (13th, 16:48.7), Rishikesh Makineni (19th, 16:57.2), David Hartman (27th, 17:13.7), Andrew Bartsch (40th, 17:37.5) and Kysen Gabriel (42nd, 17:45.5).
The girls team finished fifth (99) in the league meet behind champion Thomas (51).
Ava DiMasi led Jerome with a 12th-place finish (20:14), followed by Audrey Cook (14th, 20:15.2), Lauren Metzger (21st, 20:33.6), Cecilia Martyna (23rd, 20:34.5), Madison Weigle (30th, 21:18.9), Emily Oiler (31st, 21:23) and Manaka Yamauchi (33rd, 21:23.6).
Below are the coming schedules for the Jerome field hockey, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 15 -- Played 14th-seeded Coffman in second round of district tournament. Winner plays at second-seeded Thomas Worthington or 17th-seeded Scioto in district semifinal Oct. 22. The Celtics are seeded 10th.
Oct. 17 -- Home vs. 27th-seeded Big Walnut in second round of Division I district tournament. Winner plays ninth-seeded DeSales, 49th-seeded Columbus South, 30th-seeded Licking Heights or 31st-seeded Westerville South in district semifinal Oct. 22 at home of better seed. The Celtics are seeded seventh.
Oct. 17 -- Home vs. 16th-seeded Gahanna or 39th-seeded Groveport in second round of Division I district tournament. Winner plays 14th-seeded Canal Winchester, 17th-seeded Upper Arlington or 34th-seeded Licking Heights in district semifinal Oct. 23 at home of better seed. The Celtics are seeded seventh.
Oct. 14 -- Played 25th-seeded Delaware in first round of Division I district tournament. Winner plays at 10th-seeded Gahanna in second round Oct. 16. Second-round winner plays seventh-seeded Scioto, 29th-seeded Reynoldsburg or 42nd-seeded Northland in district semifinal Oct. 22 at Central Crossing. The Celtics are seeded 23rd.