Grandview Heights Roundup: Bobcats boys tennis team battles adversity

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group
Connor Hayes has been a key contributor for the Grandview Heights boys tennis team, which was 7-1 overall and 3-1 in the MSL-Ohio before playing Bexley on April 22.

Coach Kathy Kinnard has been impressed with how quickly the players in the Grandview Heights boys tennis program have picked up the game.

However, the Bobcats were forced to handle some adversity with No. 1 singles player Max Lauer being quarantined at least a week because of exposure to COVID-19. Kinnard learned of the situation April 19.

“Max told me as long as he tests negative, he can be back (April 26) but we won’t have him for at least a week,” said Kinnard, whose team was 7-1 overall and 3-1 in the MSL-Ohio Division before playing Bexley on April 22. “That will test our depth.

“We’ll have to move everyone up. When you lose your first player, it’s not like anyone will be playing in their normal position. We’ll have a little bit of a challenge, but I anticipate being fine, (and) some kids are going to have to step up.”

The Bobcats moved senior Kieren Bode up from second singles to the first court in a 5-0 league win over Whitehall on April 20. Seniors Tyler Schmied and Connor Hayes won at second and third singles, respectively. Juniors Dominic Moretti and Hayden Roemer won at first doubles, and juniors Jake Leach and Adam Narcelles were winners at second doubles.

“With Max out, we have a good group of nine or 10 so we have a lot of space for people to step right in and fill it,” Hayes said. “We have good depth, and we’re able to win a lot of the courts because (our opponents’) skill drops off more quickly than ours.”

Schmied said the Bobcats love the game and work hard to prepare for matches.

“Most of our team is motivated, and they like tennis and think it’s fun,” he said. “Some teams depend upon a few players with specific talents and then those kids graduate. We have been facing teams whose star players have graduated, but we have a team of players who work hard and love the game.”

Schmied has played on the singles and doubles courts but prefers the challenges posed by playing solo.

“I like singles better because it gives you the opportunity to play more shots,” he said. "In doubles you can play the net or the baseline, but in singles it can be any combination of net or baseline or a little of both. You are making runs and getting the ball yourself.

“I like to just depend on myself. It’s hard in doubles when you miss a shot and you know you have let your partner down.”

Boys track team

wins at Bexley

The throwers helped lead the boys track and field team to the title in the Russ Owen/Bexley Relays on April 16.

Owen Billeter and Matthew Taylor won the shot put (80 feet, 7 3/4 inches) and the discus (234-5), as the Bobcats scored 72 points to finish ahead of runner-up St. Charles (62).

Collin Haj Abed and Connor McCormick combined for first in the long jump (40-7).

Tristin Pierce, Haj Abed, Henry Murphy and P.J. Tingler ran on the first-place 400-meter relay (45.6 seconds), and Riley Oller, Evan Jackson, Denison Murphy and Derek Amicon were on the winning lap medley (11:53.4).

Haj Abed, Pierce, Tingler and Connor Dobies were on the runner-up 800 relay (1:36.0). Henry Murphy, Tingler, Pierce and Amicon comprised the second-place sprint medley (1:39.5).

Tayler Pierce and Chai Dobbs-Euans were first in the high jump (9-4) as the girls team was third (40) behind Bexley (80) and Columbus School for Girls (58).

Madeline Palmisciano, Greta Tew, Tia Thomas and Jillian Curfman were on the second-place 6,400 relay (23:50.0), and the sprint medley of Zoey Miller, Hayley Cook, Tayler Pierce and Hannah Yochem also was second (2:00.9).

Curfman, Natalie Smith, Tew and Palmisciano comprised the runner-up lap medley (14:30.4).

Grandview's Aylish O'Harra delivers a pitch against Whitehall on April 19. O’Harra was batting .500 with five RBI, eight runs and a .500 on-base percentage through 13 games.

Murphy pacing

softball team

Emma Murphy led the softball team through 13 games, ranking first in batting average (.538), home runs (1), RBI (16) and on-base percentage (.706). The senior also had 12 runs scored, one triple and six stolen bases.

The Bobcats were 2-11 overall and 1-4 in the MSL-Ohio before playing Bexley on April 23.

Sophomore Aylish O’Harra was batting .500 with five RBI, eight runs and a .500 on-base percentage, and freshman Eryn O’Harra was hitting .391 with five RBI and two runs.

Senior Sami Swartz was batting .382 with five RBI and team highs in runs (16), triples (6) and stolen bases (12). Freshman Taryn Lynaugh was hitting .333 with two RBI and five runs, and senior Millie McNamara had a .308 batting average with eight RBI, eight runs and seven stolen bases.

Senior Maggie Lyon was batting .306 with eight runs and eight RBI, and junior Simone Chordas was bating .300 with four RBI and three runs.

Baseball team picks

up first two victories

The baseball team earned its first two victories of the season, defeating Whitehall 24-2 in five innings April 20 and 6-2 on April 21 in MSL-Ohio play.

Jackson Larson has been the top hitter for the Bobcats, who were 2-11 overall before playing Torah Academy on April 22 and 2-6 in the league before playing Bexley on April 23. The sophomore led Grandview in batting average (.395), home runs (3), RBI (14), runs (13) and on-base percentage (.469).

Senior Johnny Clark was batting .278 with six RBI, seven runs and a team-leading three stolen bases. Senior Brendan Cleary was hitting .269 with four RBI and five runs, and freshman Charlie Ticknor had a .250 batting average with three RBI and 10 runs.

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