Girls Tennis: UA’s Ella Hazelbaker, Megan Basil capture Division I state doubles title
Central Ohio’s recent domination in Division I doubles continued Oct. 24 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
The Upper Arlington duo of senior Ella Hazelbaker and junior Megan Basil defeated Rocky River Magnificat’s Caroline Moritz and Natalie Smitek 6-2, 6-2 in a state semifinal and wrapped up the state championship with a 7-6, 6-3 win over Centerville’s Clara Owen and Caroline Hinshaw.
It marked the fourth consecutive season and the ninth time in 10 seasons that a central Ohio doubles team won state in Division I.
UA won back-to-back titles in 2014 and ‘15, with Audrey Berger and Kyra Jung winning in 2014 and Olivia Kompa and Paige Kompa capturing the championship the next year.
“Once we started playing doubles together, we knew we wanted to make it to state,” Basil said. “We’ve had a lot of fun this season. Our relationships on the team are really great.”
UA, which is competing in the Division I state team tournament Oct. 25, had its other doubles team of senior Noah Mizer and sophomore Ava Richard finish third. They lost to Owen and Hinshaw 6-0, 6-2 in a semifinal but beat Moritz and Smitek 6-2, 6-0 in the consolation final.
Mizer and Hazelbaker lost in the first round at state as doubles partners in 2017, and Hazelbaker teamed with 2020 graduate Wendy Shi to reach the second round last year.
“The whole dynamic on the team has been great,” Richard said. “There’s been no drama and we hype each other up and are always cheering for each other.”
In Division II, Columbus Academy senior Sydni Ratliff and the Wellington doubles team of junior Alexis Burkhalter and sophomore Katie Zerbi both finished second.
Ratliff, who won the state title last year after being runner-up in 2017 and ‘18, beat Kettering Alter’s Grace Lampman 6-2, 6-0 in a semifinal but lost to Eaton’s Macy Hitchcock 7-6, 7-5 in the final.
“It’s my fourth time (at state), so I’m really happy I played well enough to make it here,” said Ratliff, who finished 18-1 on the season.
Burkhalter and Zerbi, who finished fourth last season, beat Bella Spinazze and Lucia Spinazze of Toledo Central Catholic 7-6, 6-1 in a semifinal but lost to Dayton Oakwood’s Sarah Hall and Natalie Connelly 6-2, 6-4 in the final.
According to Burkhalter, the duo’s net game improved significantly compared to last season when the pair teamed up for the first time.
“Alexis and I have really improved,” Zerbi said. “Overall we’ve come together as a team. We had another year of experience and had a little more confidence this year.”