Reynoldsburg Roundup: Girls tennis team excited about talent

JARROD ULREY
julrey@thisweeknews.com
Sophomore Olivia Cox is the top returnee for the Reynoldsburg girls tennis team and 17th-year coach Les Somogyi. The Raiders will open league action Sept. 1 at Lancaster.

When the Reynoldsburg girls tennis team last had a representative in the Division I state tournament in 2004, with Lauren Tellings and Paige Martin qualifying in doubles, it also put together an 18-win season.

Les Somogyi, who was in his first season as coach that year, isn't necessarily guaranteeing this year's team will approach that success.

Still, the excitement he feels about the young talent in his program reminds him of 16 years ago.

"We have the talent on our team that we've been waiting for for years," Somogyi said. "These girls will have to step up and I've been working with several of these girls all summer. I haven't been this excited since (2004). These girls are so incredibly talented and so tough that I'm hoping this is going to be my year."

After going 6-12 overall last season and tying Lancaster and Grove City for fourth (1-4) in the OCC-Ohio Division, Reynoldsburg has moved to the OCC-Buckeye, where it is joined by Central Crossing, Groveport, Lancaster, Newark and Pickerington Central. Central was the OCC-Ohio runner-up (4-1) last season.

The Raiders open league action Sept. 1 at Lancaster.

The top returnee is sophomore Olivia Cox, who spent most of last season at first singles and lost in the second round of a Division I sectional tournament on the Raiders' home courts.

Freshman Kareen Meoko also is playing singles, and freshman Isabella Boskovska is competing at first doubles.

The other returnees are senior Emili Pavlovska and sophomores Lorelei Dunlap and Rowan Toole.

Also in last year's sectional, Pavlovska and Dunlap lost in the first round in doubles and Toole teamed with 2020 graduate Abi Swift to lose in a quarterfinal in doubles.

Seniors Lilly Glover-Oakleaf and Natasha Magadi, junior Skylar Hogan and sophomore Calissa Locke are others who could see time at third singles or doubles.

In the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association Division I team tournament, Reynoldsburg will play Delaware in a second-round match on a date to be determined before Sept. 11.

"We have an extremely brutal schedule and the girls know it's a brutal schedule," Somogyi said.

"We have tough opponents and we're in the OTCA tournament. We've been practicing and we are being extremely vigilant and extremely careful with what we do and how we do it. I'm extremely upbeat and excited."

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek

At a glance

GIRLS TENNIS

*Coach: Les Somogyi, 17th season

*Top players: Isabella Boskovska, Olivia Cox, Lorelei Dunlap, Kareen Meoko, Emili Pavlovska and Rowan Toole

*Key losses: Hope Chaffin, Nia Harris and Abi Swift

*Last season: 6-12 overall

*2019 OCC-Ohio standings: Pickerington North (5-0), Pickerington Central (4-1), Gahanna (3-2), Grove City (1-4), Lancaster (1-4), Reynoldsburg (1-4)