Watterson Roundup: Girls tennis team infused with young talent
The last time the Watterson girls tennis team had a freshman competing at first singles was in 2014 when Claire Ghidotti earned the spot during tryouts but missed most of the season with an injury.
The Eagles have a ninth-grader in that role again this year after Sara Goodlive earned that position in tryouts.
Her addition, though, is just one example of the talented youth that ninth-year coach Susan Weil believes is now in her program.
"We have four freshmen this year and three are already on varsity, so it's exciting," Weil said. "I have some girls on my (junior varsity) who are just beginners."
Watterson, which opened Aug. 7 by losing 3-2 at Wellington, went 8-8 overall last fall but won the CCL at 3-0.
Goodlive's sister, senior Caroline Goodlive, is at second singles after she played first singles each of the past two seasons and lost in the first round of the Division I district tournament last fall.
Caroline Goodlive and senior Isabella Roscoe, who plays third singles, won their matches against Wellington.
Watterson plays host to its Eagle Invitational on Sunday, Aug. 23. However, it doesn't play its league opener until Sept. 8 at Ready.
"We definitely weren't expecting to have this season and we're really happy we can have it," Caroline Goodlive said. "Most of our team is pretty young because we graduated so many people from last year."
Sophomore returnee Katherine Braidech should be a regular in doubles along with freshman Elizabeth Hohlefelder and seniors Grace Orians and Claire Hohlefelder.
Sophomore Reese Borland and freshman Maddy Lynch also should see playing time.
In last year's sectional at Pickerington Central, Braid-ech lost in the first round in singles and Roscoe teamed with 2020 graduate Caroline Bouchard to lose in the second round in doubles.
Two other 2020 graduates, Abbey Giesler and Margaret Bauer, lost in the first round in doubles at district.
"I am (excited for the season)," Weil said. "It's fun. What we have this year are nine girls who are on varsity, but the two that don't play in the varsity match are going to be playing first and second singles for j.v. They will kind of take turns because there are four girls who are neck and neck and they'd all benefit from getting more practice matches in."
At a glance
*Coach: Susan Weil, ninth season
*Top players: Katherine Braidech, Caroline Goodlive, Sara Goodlive, Claire Hohlefelder, Elizabeth Hohlefelder, Grace Orians and Isabella Roscoe
*Key losses: Margaret Baur, Caroline Bouchard, Layne Geswein and Abbey Giesler
*Last season: 8-8 overall
*2019 CCL standings: Watterson (3-0), DeSales (2-1), Hartley (1-2), Ready (0-3)