Notebook: Hilliard Bradley girls tennis team is on upswing entering postseason
The regular season is all about continued improvement, and Hilliard Bradley girls tennis coach Colleen Baker believes her Jaguars have accomplished that heading into the Division I postseason.
The Jaguars had won four of six matches and were 11-8 overall before facing Thomas Worthington on Oct. 1. They play Thursday, Oct. 8, and Saturday, Oct. 10, in a sectional at Davidson.
"Overall we’ve been playing better and more consistent from court 1 to court 5,” said Baker, whose team finished 1-4 in the OCC-Central Division. “I’m so impressed with the improvement of the whole team and the players’ willingness to learn.”
Sophomore Anh Thi Thai is the top seed in singles at Davidson, and senior Nina Kisin is seeded fourth. Senior Jillian Weita also will play singles.
Senior Reyann Askar and junior Madison Kennedy are the fourth seed in doubles, and senior Dhriti Sanyasi and freshman Grace Hurley are the other doubles team.
“We actually made a change to our doubles lineup, and the new combinations of Madison Kennedy and Reyann Askar and Dhriti Sanyasi and Grace Hurley have made a huge impact,” Baker said. “They’ve improved the most, really working on doubles strategy, poaching, following the ball, putting away volleys, everything.”
•Senior quarterback A.J. Mirgon led the Bradley football team in both rushing and passing entering its OCC-Central game Oct. 2 at Dublin Coffman.
Mirgon was 58 of 114 passing for 669 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions for the Jaguars, who were 1-4 overall and 1-3 in the league before facing the Shamrocks. He also had rushed for 571 yards and five touchdowns on 98 carries.
Jack Pugh was the top receiver with 16 catches for 240 yards and three touchdowns, and Tayshaun Mayfield had 15 receptions for 113 yards.
Bradley was ranked 13th in Region 3 and will open the playoffs at Groveport on Friday, Oct. 9. The Cruisers are the region’s No. 4 seed behind defending state champion Pickerington Central, Pickerington North and Westerville Central.
•Davidson girls tennis coach Adrian Tolentino is expecting a solid effort when his team is host to a Division I sectional Thursday, Oct. 8, and Saturday, Oct. 10.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to the district Oct. 15 and 17 at Reynoldsburg.
The Wildcats finished the regular season 10-8 overall and went 0-5 in the OCC-Central Division.
“Our team’s goal is to give our best performances of all season at sectional and leave it all on the courts,” Tolentino said. “The doubles and singles brackets in our sectional are both definitely tougher than last year’s, but we’re hoping to make as good of a run as we did last year. I know that we’re capable of doing so. It’s just a matter of our execution in each match.”
•The Davidson girls soccer team was coming off three ties in its previous four games before losing 1-0 to Coffman on Oct. 1.
The loss dropped the Wildcats to 5-3-3 overall and 0-2-1 in the OCC-Central before their Oct. 6 league game against Olentangy Liberty.
Davidson tied Westerville North 2-2 on Sept. 17, Bradley 0-0 on Sept. 26 and Thomas Worthington 1-1 on Sept. 29.
Khadija Seck scored against Thomas.
•Darby girls tennis coach Shawn Morris said he likes the improvement he’s seen from his team despite its challenging schedule.
The Panthers were 7-12 overall and 1-4 in the OCC-Cardinal heading into their final regular-season match against Worthington Kilbourne on Oct. 5.
The Panthers have settled into a lineup of Lexie Mincy at first singles, Allison Nolan at second singles and Jordan Caple at third singles, with Mackenzie Davis and Katelyn Irwin at first doubles and Makenzie Robertson and Chantrea Thip at second doubles.
“The girls are continuing to improve, with the biggest bright spot coming from Allison Nolan at second singles,” Morris said. “She’s defeated both Dublin Jerome (in a 4-1 loss on Sept. 8) and Dublin Scioto (in a 3-2 loss on Sept. 29) in recent weeks and has been a steady force on the court.”
“Lexie Mincy continues to fight at the most difficult spot (of first singles). Jordan Caple has also settled nicely into the third-singles spot playing with a lot of tenacity.”
The Panthers will compete in a Division I sectional at Davidson on Thursday, Oct. 8 and Saturday, Oct. 10. The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to the district Oct. 15 and 17 at Reynoldsburg.
•The Darby girls golf team finished third (18-10) in the four-round OCC-Cardinal division tournament behind champion Dublin Jerome (28-0 and Delaware Hayes (24-4).
Maria Hayes led the Panthers with an 88.5 average to earn second-team all-league honors, with a low round of 85 at Blacklick Woods.
Aimee Hayes averaged 91.5 to earn third-team all-league, and Zaria Hampton averaged 89.
The 10th-seeded Panthers competed in a Division I sectional at Royal American Links in Galena on Oct. 6.
There are three Division I sectional sites, and the top three teams and top three low-scoring individuals not on a qualifying team from each sectional advance to the district tournament on Tuesday, Oct. 13 at New Albany Links.
Two teams and the top two low-scoring individuals not on a qualifying team will move on to the state tournament at Ohio State’s Gray Course on Oct. 23-24.