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Ohio High School Tennis




Players Profiles Include 2014 Results

As stated yesterday, this is the time of the year when there are not many 2015 results to review because it is so early in the season. This just changed. For a limited time, 2014 results will be included for those players with Player Profiles. This should make it much easier for fans and sportswriters to analyze players from last year to this year. To see an example, click to view the Player Profile for Dayton recruit, St. John's Jesuit's Kevin Brown.

Kevin BrownThe unique thing about high school tennis is that fans do not have to wait until halfway through the season to watch great matches between the best teams. I get especially excited about the beginning of the OSU Men's Basketball season, but then I completely lose all interest after their first 12 homes games are against weak to extremely weak competition This is certainly not the case with high school tennis as the best teams quickly jump in buses to seek out the best competition from throughout the state. Last week, the matches included St. John's Jesuit versus St. Ignatius and Columbus Academy versus Walsh Jesuit. This week's matches include: Sycamore versus St. Ignatius and Massillon Jackson; Columbus Academy versus Dublin Coffman and New Albany; and Dublin Coffman versus Upper Arlington.

Matches tonight include: Beechcroft versus Whetstone and Watterson versus Bloom-Carroll. I will be at the Whetstone Park of Roses to take photos.

Some fans have already figured it out, but the big announcement is tomorrow.


St. John's Jesuit Defeats St. Ignatius

There was just one match reported yesterday, but it was a big match. St. John's Jesuit defeated St. Ignatius, winning all five courts. For the "by-court" performance graph, click on Previous Day Match Results.

Bishop Watterson Tennis Team
Bishop Watterson Tennis Team - Click to enlarge

Among the OTZ top players, St. John's Jesuit's Rajeev Laungani defeated defending State D1 Champion, St. Ignatius' Nathan Griffin; St. John's Jesuit's Kevin Brown defeated St. Ignatius' Josh Hsia; and St. John's Jesuit's Trevor Majdalani defeated St. Ignatius' Martin Tamasy.

Today's featured team is Watterson. Watterson is coached by Steve Crossin.

Matches tomorrow include: Sycamore versus St. Ignatius; Beechcroft versus Whetstone; Watterson versus Bloom-Carroll.


St. Xavier Beats Turpin and Columbus Academy Defeats Walsh Jesuit

Cold and windy weather conditions greeted the boys for their first day of matches. At the Park of Roses where I took photos of the Olentangy Orange versus Watterson match, the temperature was 32 degrees and there were a handful of snow flurries.

There were three matches recorded statewide. St. Xavier defeated Turpin; Columbus Academy beat Walsh Jesuit; and Olentangy Orange defeated Watterson. For the "by-court" performance graphs, click on Previous Day Match Results.

Olentangy Orange Tennis Team
Olentangy Orange Tennis Team - Click to enlarge

Among the top players, Columbus Academy's Jacob Wareti defeated Walsh Jesuit's Ben Smith; St. Xavier's Andrew Niehaus beat Turpin's Grant Wendel; and Olentangy Orange's Jonathan Zhuravel defeated Watterson's Ryan Mar.

Today's featured team is Olentangy Orange. Orange is coached by Matt Rutherford.

This is "awkward time" for OhioTennisZone because the 2013-14 data has been removed and most teams have not yet played their first match. The team results and the Player Profiles will look rather sparse for the next week as teams contend with the weather and spring break schedules.


It's Show Time Folks

Today marks the first day that matches can be played. Unfortunately, it is not quite as easy as that. The boys season has conflicts with the weather and with numerous spring breaks. While platform tennis balls bounce quite well until the temperature reaches 10 degrees, tennis balls are not very lively once the temperature drops below 40. With today's highs expected to be 41 degrees in Columbus, 39 in Cincinnati, and 30 in Cleveland, and 33 in Toledo, there may be a few postponed matches.

Bloom-Carroll Tennis Team - Click to enlarge

Today's featured team is also the first team that provided its team picture to OTZ. Bloom-Carroll is coached by Rick Rowland.

Teams may email good quality photos to me for inclusion online, but if the photo is taken by a professional photographer, that photographer must first grant approval.

Today's matches include Olentangy Orange (A) versus Watterson and St Xavier (H) versus Turpin. I will be at Watterson taking photos if there is a match.


Big Announcement Coming on Tuesday

California? - No.

Texas? - No.

Florida? - No.

Michigan? - No.

In fact, no other state in the United States of America recognizes its high school tennis players more than OhioTennisZone.com does for Ohio's high school tennis players. But... It is going to get better...

Watch for an announcement on Tuesday that involves TennisRecruiting.net and OhioTennisZone.com.


OTCA Tournament

For whatever reason, the Ohio Tennis Coaches' Association tournament does not get much attention -- not from the media, the fans, nor even from many teams. To raise awareness of the tournament, OhioTennisZone has rolled out another report that highlights the teams that are participating in this state tournament.

Thomas Scherer
OhioTennisZone's OTCA Draws - Click to enlarge

As a comparison, wrestling recently launched its own "dual team" tournament much like our OTCA Tournament. While the sports are different, the concept is the same, however, wrestling has a much greater participation rate. In wrestling, 423 of its 503 (84%) teams play in their dual tournament. Tennis has just 148 of its 403 (or 37%) teams. The Northeast has the greatest participation in the OTCA tournament with 48 teams playing, and the Southwest has 42. Both Central and the Northwest District field just 29 teams.

This new report is all about links to additional information. Teams that have previous match results, schedules, etc. are identified with their blue, underlined, team-name links. Teams which have action photos associated with them (girls or boys) are shown with a camera. Teams that have team memberships, which means they have Player Profiles for all of their players, are shown with a blue star. Just click on team pictures to enlarge them.

The wrestling dual team matches are also widely attended and followed by the press. Click to read the preview articles from the Columbus Dispatch and from the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The Plain Dealer also published a nice article after the event.

For a period of time, the report may be accessed via the link, OTCA Tournament Draws - 2015, under the Join Now link above.

OhioTennisZone has provided the most consistent media coverage of the tournament for the last few years, and hopefully, the additional information and recognition will help the OTCA.


Perfect Weather Day

The boys had their first great weather day of the season on Wednesday. Courts were wet in many locations as snow melt found its way on the courts, but the sun and near windless conditions were very welcome additions.

Thomas Scherer
Watterson's Tom Scherer - Click to enlarge

Taking indoor tennis photos is always a challenge because of the lighting, so it was nice to leave the Ohio State Varsity Indoor courts and go outside. This photo of Tom Scherer is from Bishop Watterson's tryouts at Whetstone Park.



Welcome to the High School Boys Tennis Season

Calling lines can be difficult, but not today. In what could be one of the most significant advantage of playing in the spring, the boys get another bonus. Snow could be the new clay when it comes to identifying line calls. Not only is there a clear mark, but the ball sticks where it lands...

Grandview Heights 2012
1st Day of the Boys Season - Click to enlarge

The weather is expected to stay warm so hopefully the boys will get at least a couple of good days on the court this week.

This photo is from Whetstone Park at Columbus' Park of Roses. Watterson and Whetstone play at these courts.



The Streak Ends

The Ohio State University Mens Tennis Team's home winning streak of 200 matches came to a reluctant end with #1 in the nation, Oklahoma, winning 4-3.

Kevin Metka | Ralf Steinbach Ty Tucker
Chris Diaz Kevin Metka
Mikael Torpegaard Metka Receiving Cramp Treatment
Final Score Florin Bragusi
Click to enlarge

The match could not have been any closer with Oklahoma winning 89 total games and OSU winning 92. (In singles, the total was OU 80 / OSU 74.)

Buckeye fans came out in mass to watch the contest, setting a new facility record of 757.

For more information about the match, articles are available by the Columbus Dispatch's Bill Rabinowitz, Ohio State Tennis, SoonerMen's Tennis, and ZooTennis.


Ohio Tennis Coaches' Association Clinic

Another successful OTCA Clinic concluded on Monday at noon after a snowy start on Sunday morning. The Dublin Marriott got transformed into "high school tennis-central" as the ballroom became a tennis court and the lobby area filled with exhibitors and vendors. Over 160 coaches attended the event.

OTCA Doubles Clinic Scott Long
Todd Wojtkowski Mary Conner
Mike Teets Terri Jones and Cathy Williard
OhioTennisZone Ralph Dunbar
Click to enlarge

The clinic was kicked off by OTCA president Scott Long of Centerville. There were 14 different sessions where coaches and tennis professionals shared their favorite tennis drills, ideas to better run teams, and advice on strategy.

The sessions that I watched were very informative. Todd Wojtkowski talked about his team management approach and the "Golden Rules" he uses to focus his Case Western team. Mike Teets shared doubles strategies that he uses at Sycamore. Ralph Dunbar shared some of his experiences at Notre Dame College and Westlake High School. Click to view the complete list of speakers and activities.

High school tennis has had great rule changes recently (i.e. OTCA seeding) and I am especially excited about the continuous coaching rule that begins in the fall. This new rule will permit coaches to talk with players between points just as the college tennis coaches can and as most other sports permit. Coach Wojtkowski shared some of his thoughts about this during his presentation.

In other areas of interest, Western & Southern Open's Mary Conner was there to discuss volunteer activities and promote the W&S tournament. Click on CincyTennis Volunteers for more information.

The Greater Columbus Tennis Association's (GCTA) Teri Jones and Cathy Williard spoke with the Central District coaches about opportunities for high school graduates to play in the GCTA summer leagues and in USTA leagues.

OhioTennisZone.com's had its own 3D multi-media extravaganza utilizing the latest in 7th grade science fair poster board technology... I also found that I could lure unsuspecting coaches into earshot range by utilizing mini-Reese's cups and Snickers bars as bait. Click to sign-up for a player, coach, or team membership to OTZ.

Midwest Sports was an exhibitor that offered team uniforms and tennis gear. They are an important advertiser on OhioTennisZone so please make sure you check out their website when you need tennis gear this season. Every purchase made via the above links helps OhioTennisZone.

The OTCA draws were created for the boys' tournament. Upon review of the photos of the draws, it was not entirely clear who some of the seeds are. Please send me a Feedback if there are any errors below. Also note that these seeds are not necessarily in a 1,2,3,4 order.

Central district seeds for D1 are: Upper Arlington, New Albany, St. Charles, and Pickerington North. The D2 draws are: Columbus Academy, Wellington, Bexley, and Watterson.

The Northeast draws for D1 are: St. Ignatius, Copley, Massillon Jackson, and Solon. The D2 draws are: University School, Orange, Bay, and Hawken.

The Northwest draws for D1 are: St. John`s Jesuit, Sylvania Northview, Sylvania Southview, and Findlay. The D2 draws are: Lexington, Ottawa Hills, Celina, and Clyde.

The Southwest District draws for D1 are: Sycamore, Mason, St. Xavier, and Turpin. D2 seeds are: Cincinnati Country Day, Seven Hills, Indian Hill, and Milton-Union.

Update: The complete draws for the OTCA Tournament are now online at OTCA.us.

The season starts in six more days (March 9).


Pre-Season Division II Top Ten Teams

The Pre-Season Division II ranking is a bit harder to compile than Division I because there is less online historical data for many of these teams. Feel free to share your opinions with me at the Ohio Tennis Coaches' Association clinic / meeting.

State Top Ten
Boys Tennis Teams
Division II
1. Cincinnati Country Day
2. University School
3. Lexington
4. Columbus Academy
5. Indian Hill
6. Seven Hills
7. Wellington
8. Ottawa Hills
9. Wyoming
10. Milton-Union
Note that there is additional detailed information for players with high-lighted links. For those players who will be competing in college next year, their college choices are included in the parentheses.

Cincinnati Country Day won the OTCA Tournament decisively last year, but that was not a surprise when considering that Asher Hirsch (Illinois) was the Division II Singles Champion and J.J. Wolf was the runner-up. Also note that Patrick Wildman (CMS) and Kevin Yu were the Doubles Champions. Of those four, only Patrick Wildman graduated.

University School could present some problems for CCD because they will be very deep. They are also very young. Robert Stroup (Case Western) is a senior, but Paul Gota, Tyler Krantz, Drew Krantz, and David Buchinsky return as sophomores. All of the sophomores qualified for States doubles last year, with the Krantz brothers finishing third.

Lexington is Lexington. Butler recruit, Mason Dragos, returns as does Matt Youse, Jansen Webster, and Tommy Barkett.

Columbus Academy will always be in the hunt, but they lost Evan Alexander (Lafayette), Dean Firouzian, and Ryan Jung to graduation. Jacob Wareti returns to court 1. Other contributers will be Austin Lawrence and Shrikar Kundur.

Indian Hill returns Alexander Warstler at court 1. Milan Bhandari will return, and freshman Andrew Pregel will be a major contributor.

Seven Hills lost two players to graduation (Sam Ellis and Zack Abraham), but they pick up freshman Nicholas Williams. They will also have Jacob Stavsky, Henry Chavez, and Arjun Dheenan. Stavsky and Chavez teamed up at last year's States for doubles.

Ottawa Hills will get State doubles qualifiers, Ryan Simon and Matt Gargas, back. They will also add sophomore Tyler Gargas.

Wellington returns Nick Sweeney (Haverford) and Temidayo Dairo. They will also get freshman Connor Biernat.

Wyoming has several players returning after sending Nik Plattenburg (graduate) and senior, Myles Bourbon, to States as doubles partners. Other players include Will Carter and Jay Klein.

Milton-Union is number 10, but that is largely attributed to their court one player, Matt Brumbaugh. They also return Phillip Brumbaugh and Jake Blevins.

Were any teams left-out of the discussion? If so, please state your case in a Feedback message.


Pre-Season Division I Top Ten Teams

It is always fun to live on the edge so here are OhioTennisZone.com's Pre-Season Top Ten Ohio High School Boys teams for Division 1. It is always a risk to do this because some players choose to opt-out of high school tennis, but it gets the conversation started. It should also help the coaches as they seed teams this weekend for the OTCA tournament.

State Top Ten
Boys Tennis Teams
Division I
1. Sycamore
2. St. John`s Jesuit
3. St. Ignatius
4. Upper Arlington
5. New Albany
6. Massillon Jackson
7. St. Xavier
8. St. Charles
9. Mason
10. Pickerington North
Other: Dublin Coffman
There is additional detail for players with high-lighted links. For those players who will be competing in college next year, their college choices are included in the parentheses.

Teams with the blue-stars to the right of their names are "Team Members" and information is available for all of their players.

Sycamore is the clear favorite. They won the Division I crown last year and their championship team remains largely intact. Their players include: Deepak Indrakanti (Williams), Nakul Narendran (Johns Hopkins), Alex Taylor, Noah Stern, Aditya Venkitarama, and Alex Wittenbaum (Marian University). Sycamore lost half of their State Doubles Champion duo to graduation with Mustafa Ahmad's departure. They pick up freshman, Nathan Zhang.

St. John`s Jesuit will be strong. They lost Ryan Brown, but Kevin Brown (Dayton), Rajeev Laungani, Adam Zychowicz, Trevor Majdalani, and Ryan Issa return.

St. Ignatius returns State Singles Champion, Nathan Griffin (Notre Dame), as well as their number two and three singles players, Erich Schuette (Northern Illinois) and Josh Hsia, respectively. They lost Christian Zuber and Yaw Boakye to graduation.

Upper Arlington is always going to be strong. They lost Chuck Shewalter and Jeffrey Melvin to graduation, but Jack Zelezny, Eric Hunter, and Tyler Holsopple return. They will also pick up two quality freshmen.

New Albany's State Doubles third place team of C.J. Cash and Alex Kobelt (Ohio State) return as does Graeme Green and Nick Blair. Steven Miller graduated.

Massillon Jackson returns their top three. They are: Joey Thomas, Jake Zalenski, and Anthony Kanam.

St. Xavier returns State Singles Qualifier, Andrew Niehaus, along with Connor Aronoff and Neil Bostick.

Mason lost a large number of their players to graduation, including Luke Tsai and Alex Lebedev, but they will always be in the conversation. They retain Young-Jin Kang, Sean Reid, and Nadim Boulos.

St. Charles returns their top three singles players, led by sophomore Evan Yakubov on court 1 and Sam Sullivan and Vinh Thai on courts 2 and 3, respectively. They retain Connor Yakubov and Alex Dabek. They also pick up a solid freshman, Jack Dabek.

Pickerington North also returns their top three singles players. They are led by Blaine Carr (Northern Kentucky). Matt Barry played court 2 and Cameron Friedman was on court 3 last year.

Were any teams left-out of the discussion? If so, please state your case in a Feedback message.


Incoming Freshmen Expected to Make Impact

There is a strong group of incoming freshmen who will likely contribute to their varsity teams this year.

Freshmen Players City High School
Connor Biernat Columbus Wellington
Clark Bilinovich Clinton Norton
Colten Clark Lancaster Lancaster
Josh Cole Upper Arlington Upper Arlington
Jack Dabek Dublin St. Charles Preparatory
Robert Dong Columbus Upper Arlington
Colton Morehart Centerville Miami Valley School
Jordan Phelps Lewis Center Olentangy Orange
Andrew Pregel Cincinnati Indian Hill
Danny Thomas Pickerington  
Grant Wendel Cincinnati Turpin
Nicholas Williams Cincinnati Seven Hills
Nathan Zhang Cincinnati Sycamore

The top fourteen based on TennisRecruiting.net's rankings are included on the right.

At this point, it is not clear which boys will be playing high school tennis. If you are aware of which high school the boys will be playing, please send a Feedback message.

Tennis racquet stringer extraordinaire, Alann Leinwohl, is available for stringing racquets for players in the Columbus and Cincinnati areas. Alann can be reached at ableinwohl@hotmail.com.


Grandview Heights' Steve Hall

Grandview Heights' coach, Steve Hall, passed away on February 17 after a two year battle with cancer. Coach Hall was Grandview's girls tennis coach for 16 seasons and their basketball coach for 12 seasons.

Grandview Heights 2012
Coach Steve Hall with his 2012 team - Click to enlarge
There were two very nice articles written about Coach Hall. Click to read Steve Blackledge's Columbus Dispatch article and and this story by ThisWeekNews' Scott Hennen.



Get Ready! For This High School Tennis Video

Usage on OhioTennisZone is starting to pick up as the season nears. It's doubtful that players need any extra motivation but here's a fast-paced video slideshow to help everyone get focused.

Sign-up now for the upcoming boys season!


States & OTCA Competitor Slide Show Video

As stated numerous times, the purpose of these website is to recognize high school tennis players. It is time to try a new way to do this. I created a slide show video that includes some of the best photos that I have of the girls who participated in the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Tournament and the Ohio Tennis Coaches' Association Tournament. There are 45 photos included -- many of which are behind the member "paywall".

The initial plan was to release the video before States, but there was insufficient time to do so. This worked out fine though because it enabled the video to include photos from the OTCA tournament.

Note that there is music and your sound system needs to be cranked up to enjoy it. (Ask a son to help you with this.) Selecting music for these types of videos is extremely difficult to do and I probably listened to over 100 selections before choosing this familiar classic. While it would be great to use a recently released popular tune, not only will YouTube not permit it, but it also violates copyright laws.

All of the photos are for sale, except for those taken at the OHSAA tournament. These photos can be easily identified by the playing surface or background. If there was a good non-States photo, those were used first. Contact me with any questions.

To view all of the available action photos for each State's competitor, sign-in first and click on the Girls State Draw Sheet.


Photos from the OTCA Tournament

There were 27 more photos posted today. They were taken at the OTCA Tournament. Sign-in and click Most Recently Added Photos to view them.

Natalie Allen
Chaminade-Julienne's Natalie Allen - Click to enlarge

Changes were made to my list of the Top Ten(ish) Girls Photos. Expect additional changes.

I have a few more items to add to complete the Girls Season, but I am now up to my elbows in processing the OGT Results for the 2013-2014 school year.


Photos from the Second Day of Central Districts and States

Another round of photos were posted online today. Most of the 46 photos were from States. Sign-in and click Most Recently Added Photos to view them.

OHSAA Boys Attendance / Profit
Olentangy Liberty's Alexia Meyer - Click to enlarge

More photos will be added in tomorrow's update. They will be from the Ohio Tennis Coaches' Association tournament.

Regular readers of OTZ know that Division I College Tennis made changes to its playing format this year which are still being debated. D1 college is using no-add scoring to shorten matches. Many argue that this is too substantial of a change to the sport of tennis. Others argue that shortened matches may lead to more television exposure.

ZooTennis' Colette Lewis recently included a paragraph about the format change in this article. She also directed her readers to a poll conducted by Chalk Few Up.

Personally, I want regular scoring. Live-streaming over the Internet is the preferred way to view college matches since viewers like to skip from match to match. Television does not offer that option. I also doubt that there will ever be an audience for college tennis on television, especially since many D1 college teams have more foreign than U.S. players. I would rather watch U.S.-born college players with whom I am familiar with from junior tennis, than to watch a college match between an Australian versus a Russian. If I cared to watch two foreign players compete, I would tune into the Tennis Channel and watch a professional match.


Ohio High School Athletic Association State Tournament

It is older news that the OHSAA State Tournament will be moving to the Mason / ATP facility. With the Warren County Commission promoting the event, hopefully that will boost the number of fans who attend.

OHSAA Boys Attendance / Profit
OHSAA Boys Attendance / Profit

At the OHSAA Board Meeting held on October 16th, the attendance and profits (losses) for the Boys Tennis Season were reported. This information is shown in the chart.

The blue bars are the attendance numbers over five years, and the gray bars reflect the profits and losses.

Even though the State high school tournaments are the largest event held at the OSU courts each year, I would view the attendance numbers as weak.

The losses are even worse. When the event is forced to move indoors, there is an expense associated with that (rentals and shuttles). The OHSAA also paid for parking for fans in recent years when the event takes place at OSU because of OSU's new parking vendor.

Also reported at the same meeting were the attendance / profit numbers for baseball and softball over five years. State attendance for baseball ranges from 12,558 to 17,632. Softball attendance ranges from 19,083 to 23,255. OHSAA does not identify the profits / losses for the State-only tournaments (the regional games are included), but both are better than tennis' five year loss of $14,678. Over five years, baseball has netted $122,920 and softball has had a $3,307 loss.

Again, I am personally excited that the event is moving to Mason. These people are associated with one of the most successful tennis events in the world with the Western & Southern Open. Now we'll get to see how they promote and handle the Ohio High School Athletic Association tournament.


Additional Articles and Coverage

This edition wraps up the news coverage of States and the Ohio Tennis Coaches' Association (OTCA) Tournament. (There will be more photos posted soon.)

Hathaway Brown's Lauren Gillinov
FOX 8 Video on Lauren Gillinov - Click to enlarge

The championship point videos are normally popular with OhioTennisZone.com readers, but this year one video was viewed by a much larger audience. Dr. Marc Gillinov, is a regular contributor to FOX 8 News in Cleveland, and he is the father of Hathaway Brown's Lauren Gillinov. To recognize Lauren's Division II singles title, FOX 8 aired the following clip about her win.

Even though OTZ provides attribution to other writers, rarely is it ever received. FOX 8 did a great job with attribution for its segment.

This article by ThisWeekSports.com's Aaron Blankenship provides a great wrap-up of Dublin Jerome's OTCA Championship run. To my knowledge, other than OTZ, he was the only media person in attendance. As stated in the article, Jerome will be strong again next year. Rhiannon James is their only senior.


Photo Monday

There were 34 more photos uploaded today. The photos include those that were taken during the Dublin Jerome versus Pickerington Central match; the first day of Sectionals at Columbus School for Girls; and the first day of Districts at Hilliard Davidson. Sign-in first and then click to view the Recently Added Photos.

Watterson's Gus Ghidotti
Watterson's Gus Ghidotti - Click to enlarge
Click to read an article written by the Columbus Dispatch's Ray Stein about Ohio State University freshman and Olentangy Orange graduate, Anna Sanford.




August 4 to October 24

At 5:30am for 81 straight days, I have awoken to start the OhioTennisZone morning update. There are a few more items that need to be covered before the high school season ends, but that will resume on Monday. I need to work on a few other projects.

Kyah Thomas
Pickerington Central's Kyah Thomas - Click to enlarge
It has been a few weeks since I have had an opportunity to add new photos to the Most Recently Added Photos page. There will be far more photos added next week.

There will also be intermittent photos posted on Twitter. If I have a photo of a Twitter Follower, those will be the first to be posted. So..

Today's photo on Twitter is Dublin Coffman's Nari Johnson.


State's Top Tennis Coaches (Based on 3-Set Match Performance)

There are many ways to identify the State's best coaches. The criteria could include: won / lost records; improvement of players during the season; records against teams of similar ability; ability to schedule quality matches for the players; number of players with great academic results; number of players reaching Sectionals / Districts / States; number of college players from the school; etc. One non-subjective way to evaluate coaches is to see how well their players performed in three-set matches.

Central District            
DeSalesAnthony TiensprasidC81989%
Eastmoor AcademyBruce GreenC81989%
Dublin JeromeTyler StephenC1321587%
Thomas WorthingtonDavid AlbertC62875%
LancasterGary ElickC52771%
Olentangy LibertyMeaghan ColvilleC841267%
WattersonSusan WeilC841267%
Big WalnutRyan BalazC42667%
Watkins MemorialShawn WalterC42667%
HartleyLynn WintersC951464%
Pickerington CentralKelli RingsC741164%
Dublin CoffmanBrett HundertpfundC641060%
GrandviewSteve HallC32560%
NewarkRob HayesC32560%
Upper Arlington-BAnn Marksc32560%
WhetstoneBucky WaltersC32560%
Northeast District            
Notre Dame-Cathedral LatinHarvey SchragerNE55100%
RevereKathleen ShislerNE921182%
Archbishop HobanDean MorseNE821080%
KenstonGreg AtenNE41580%
StowBrian BanasNE41580%
OrangeJulie MitchellNE1031377%
Amherst SteeleRich RobbinsNE52771%
Hathaway BrownNora MeyersNE52771%
Willoughby SouthJaneen MiklowskiNE63967%
LakewoodAlex JursNE42667%
NormandyJulie Vandersommers NE42667%
NortonAngie CarrettaNE42667%
BayDave PetersNE53863%
Cuyahoga Valley Christian AcademyDon ZinnNE53863%
AvonCaroline HughesNE641060%
Southeast District            
Logan ElmTony ClouseSE32560%
Southwest District            
BadinAnne ZettlerSW71888%
Seven HillsTim DrewSW831173%
Lakota WestBryan SkoogSW52771%
Mason-BCarla BrantSW52771%
Ursuline AcademyJoe HartkemeyerSW1051567%
Mount Notre DameJudy DennisSW63967%
TalawandaPete ThomasSW42667%
SycamoreMike TeetsSW851362%
BataviaAmber BishopSW32560%

Why three-set matches? The reasons include: the competition is of similar ability; three-setters take place near the end of the match when the coach is not occupied with four other matches; and the coach has had time to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the opponents and advise his or her players on the best strategy.

Congratulations to the coaches included in the table. Each has a 60% or better winning percentage in three-set matches.

Being on this list every once in awhile is probably better than never being on it, but again, it is just one of many different ways of looking at the season. Personally, if I were on this list, I would sprint to my AD's office and use it as definitive evidence of my great coaching ability; otherwise, it might not come up in our next conversation. Note that the list is sorted by District. Also be aware that the records may be incomplete for some teams.

There were 1,371 total tiebreaks in this analysis. The 34 matches decided by 1-0 super-tiebreaks were not included because the coach cannot interact with the players. Since, technically, super-tiebreaks were not permitted to be used, some coaches would use them anyway and enter the score, "7-6". There were 172 "7-6" scores, but they were included in the computation because it could not be determined which ones really were "7-6" scores. (Note that there were 110 "7-5" scores.)

Only coaches with five or more tiebreaks were included.


End-of-Year Reports | Ace Report Leaders

Efforts continue to wrap up the season. Tomorrow's update will identify the state's best coaches as identified by their team's performance in 3 set matches. Today's update will discuss two reports.

End of Year Report
End of Year Report - Click to enlarge

OhioTennisZone provides coaches with a way to further recognize their teams at their end of season gatherings. The End-of-Year Report can actually be created any time during the season, but it is most valuable after the season has finished. It provides the wins and losses for each player on the team, and it makes a great player memento. The match data needs to be "cleaned" for misspellings before it is accurate and that process was completed for coach members this morning. Parents who want this information for their individual player may refer to their Player Profile Report.

To retrieve the End-of-Year report for your team, sign-in first and then click the Coaches tab above.

Congratulations to the Ace Report Leaders for the season. The top three were: Lexington's Alex Griebling, Olentangy's Kathleen Jones, and Watkins Memorial's Libby Hatton.


OhioTennisZone.com's All-Ohio Team

The OhioTennisZone.com All-Ohio Girls Tennis Team is listed below. Congratulations to these players. This list includes efforts over the entire season, rather than just States. In the past, it has also included players who did not reach States because of unfavorable District draws. For players who are OTZ members, click on the player links to view their entire season results.

OhioTennisZone's All-Ohio Girls Tennis Team

Division I - Singles


Walsh Jesuit

Massillon Jackson


Division II - Singles


Gilmour Academy
Division I - Doubles

Upper Arlington

Upper Arlington
Division II - Doubles
Please review the Girls State Draws again. Numerous individual photos were added. If there is no picture for your daughter and she played for Orange or Walsh Jesuit at the OTCA Tournament, please tell me which player she is in the team photo and she will be added. I have not decided how long I will continue showing photos of non-members so please review the state draws soon. It is also entirely possible that I have the wrong name attached to a photo, so again, please double check.





OHSAA Tournament - Championship Point Videos

Videos of the championship points are now available online for viewing. This is the first tournament where I was able to get the championship points for all four matches. Just as my photos are, these videos were edited to portray the players in the best positive light.

The quality is lacking a bit versus the videos from the 2014 boys season, but the boys' videos were taken outside where the lighting levels are many times higher. The quality can be improved on slightly by viewing them in "high definition". To do this, click on "play", then "pause", then select the "settings gear", and then select "1080p". They may also be expanded to full-screen viewing. The way in which these videos are "embedded" in the page makes them very easy to view, but it does slow down the loading of the page. In a few days, photos may be used as placeholders which will then link to the videos.

The videos are in the order of: Division I Singles, Division I Doubles, Division II Singles, and Division II Doubles.

Hamilton's Cassidy Hicks defeats Walsh Jesuit's Molly Sandberg.

Upper Arlington's Audrey Berger-Kyra Jung defeat Pickerington Central's Kyah Thomas-Isis Thomas.

Hathaway Brown's Lauren Gillinov defeats Perkin's Olivia Rohrbacher.

Archbishop Alter's Lauren Hawley-Amanda Showalter defeat Hathaway Brown's Catherine Areklett-Ally Persky.


OTCA Wrap-up

Conditions were perfect yesterday for a full day of tennis. Dublin Jerome and Orange won the Division I and Division II championships, respectively. Dublin Jerome defeated Notre Dame Academy in the semi's and Walsh Jesuit in the finals. Orange's path to the championship was to first defeat Chaminade-Julienne in the semi's and then Columbus Academy in the finals. To get the third place, Notre Dame Academy defeated Ursuline Academy in D1 and Lexington beat Chaminade-Julienne in D2.

Dublin Jerome Dublin Jerome
Click to enlarge

Among the state's top players, Dublin Jerome's Rhiannon James defeated Walsh Jesuit's Emily Hissong; Orange's Adrian Young beat Columbus Academy's Andrea Ballinger; Walsh Jesuit's Molly Sandberg defeated Ursuline Academy's Gabriella O'Connor; Orange's Alissa Nakamoto beat Columbus Academy's Katherine Guan; Orange's Alissa Nakamoto defeated Chaminade-Julienne's Natalie Allen;
Columbus Academy's Andrea Ballinger beat Lexington's Alex Griebling.

While I like the Reynoldsburg facility, it is very difficult to take photos there. Normally I can take photos through the screens, but that's not the case at Reynoldsburg. I believe the shiny, black vinyl screens are the problem. While I normally like to move around and take photos of numerous players, I couldn't do that yesterday. After taking over 100 photos, I finally gave up trying to take photos through the screens and largely positioned myself on the ends of each group of courts. This largely limited photos to courts 1 and 2 singles.

Thanks to having the OHSAA tournament at Elysium, I was able to get all four of the championship points on video. Watch for those in the next couple of days.

It's not that I'm bad at multi-tasking -- I'm awful at it. I need to wrap up the tennis season quickly so that I can zoom onto other things. I devote a substantial amount of time on high school tennis -- about 10+ hours a day (5:30am to 10:30pm), 7 days a week, for the girls and the boys' ten week seasons). Needless to say, I'm not unhappy when the season is over. It's almost time to move onto my other interests -- education (www.GerberAnalytics.com/ogt/ogt.php) and platform tennis (PlatformTennisZone.com). The education website is the only online resource for the performance of all schools (public and private) on the Ohio Graduation Test.


Dublin Jerome & Pepper Pike Orange -- OTCA Champions

Click on each image to see the results. Division I results are on the left. Division II is on the right. The row order is: finals, 3rd place, 1st semifinals, and 2nd semifinals. Because of time constraints, note that these matches ended immediately after the winning score of three was obtained. The partial scores will not be included in the players' online records.

Cassidy Hicks Cassidy Hicks
Cassidy Hicks Cassidy Hicks
Lauren Gillinov Lauren Hawley and Amanda Showalter
Lauren Gillinov Lauren Hawley and Amanda Showalter
Lauren Gillinov Lauren Hawley and Amanda Showalter
Click to enlarge


OHSAA State Champions

There was no wind and the temperature was about 70 degrees for the OHSAA semi-finals and finals today as play moved from Hilliard Davidson High School to Elysium Tennis.

Cassidy Hicks Audrey Berger and Kyra Jung
Lauren Gillinov Lauren Hawley and Amanda Showalter
Click to enlarge
The play yesterday was, well, spirited.

The Southwest District brought home two champions and the Central and Northeast Districts each had one.

Upper Arlington's Audrey Berger and Kyra Jung were the day's first state champions to be named after beating Toledo Notre Dame Academy's Teagan McNamara and Alicia Nahhas in the semi's and Pickerington Central's Kyah Thomas and Isis Thomas in the finals of the Division I Doubles. Hathaway Brown's Lauren Gillinov was the next champion to finish after beating Gilmour Academy's Claudia Althans and Perkin's Olivia Rohrbacher in the semi's and finals, respectively, in D2 Singles. In Division II Doubles, Archbishop Alter's Lauren Hawley and Amanda Showalter beat Hathaway Brown's Ally Persky and Catherine Areklett in the finals after defeating Lexington's Alex Griebling and Jillian Earnest in the semi's. The last champion to be named was Hamilton's Cassidy Hicks who beat Sycamore's Alexandra Abele in the semi-finals and Walsh Jesuit's Molly Sandberg in the finals.

The third place finishers were: D1 Singles - Sycamore's Alexandra Abele over Massillon Jackson's Tessa Hill; D1 Doubles - Notre Dame Academy's Teagan McNamara and Alicia Nahhas over Dublin Jerome's Rhiannon James and Vicki Chang; Division II Singles - Laurel's Danielle Buchinsky over Gilmour Academy's Claudia Althans; and Division II Doubles - Orange's Adrian Young and Alissa Nakamoto over Lexington's Alex Griebling and Jillian Earnest.

To see all of the scores, click to view the Online State Draws.

I can't say I was disappointed when I drove into Hilliard Davidson yesterday and saw the wet courts and no vehicles. However, I wasn't dressed appropriately for the warm temperatures at the indoor courts so I did have to shed my long underwear and my Native American Rain Making Headgear after arriving at Elysium.

The Ohio Tennis Coaches' Association Tournament is today. To cover myself with parents, Dublin Jerome, Walsh Jesuit, Notre Dame Academy, and Ursuline Academy are the favorites in Division I. I would be astounded if Orange, Chaminade-Julienne, Columbus Academy, or Lexington don't win in Division II.

I do not have a large number of photos from States, but I do have a few. If you think there is a high correlation between those who follow OhioTennisZone in Twitter and those who get photos posted on Twitter, you would be correct. When I get 100 followers, I get to have Cheesecake Factory cheesecake. I like Cheesecake Factory cheesecake. A lot. When I get 200 followers, I get more cheesecake. Cheesecake is good.

For more great coverage about States, there were numerous reporters in attendance. Click to read Cleveland Plain Dealer's Stephanie Kuzydym article and to view the videos that she posted yesterday. Steve Blackledge wrote a nice article for the Columbus Dispatch. Jarrod Ulrey wrote two articles - one for the Cincinnati Enquirer and another for the Toledo Blade.


Time for the Second Day of States

There was plenty of great tennis yesterday. It is hard to say how many matches (if any) would have turned out differently in a more tranquil environment, but that's what happens with outdoor tennis. This weather tends to favor players who employ a "retriever style", but plenty of aggressive players won yesterday, too.

OhioTennisZone Draws
Sycamore's Alex Abele - Click to enlarge
From a District perspective, the Northwest far out-distanced the other Districts with seven teams/players in the semifinals. The Central, Northwest, and Southwest all have three.

Based on usage activity, the online draws were very popular yesterday, readers may find it easier to review those than read the following paragraph.

Among the top singles players now in the semi-finals, Hamilton's Cassidy Hicks defeated Green's Danielle Beyes and Cloverleaf's Emily Dunbar; Massillon Jackson's Teressa Hill beat Princeton's Emily Thomas and New Albany's Alexandra Cash; Walsh Jesuit's Molly Sandberg defeated Tecumseh's Culbertson and Upper Arlington's Olivia Kompa; Sycamore's Alexandra Abele beat Perrysburg's Erica Fastnacht and Dublin Jerome's Ellee Bullock; Hathaway Brown's Lauren Gillinov defeated Mariemont's Haley Weston and Huron's Delaney Black; Perkin's Olivia Rohrbacher beat Chaminade-Julienne's Natalie Allen and Columbus Academy's Andrea Ballinger; Laurel's Danielle Buchinsky defeated Carroll's Jillian Milano and Orange's Anjali Kashyap; and Gilmour Academy's Claudia Althans beat Chaminade-Julienne's Kelly Pleiman and Wellington's Aashika Katapadi.

I was too busy scurrying around yesterday keeping the online scores updated and talking with people to take many photos. My better photos, of course, were of players who lost. As with last year, I cannot sell any photos from States due to OHSAA's exclusive arrangement with ImpactAction. I will be at the OTCA Tournament tomorrow taking photos and I can sell those. I can also sell photos from any other match this season.

If you thought that yesterday was windy, you haven't seen anything yet. Wait until you get to Hilliard Davidson. Drop shots go long. Service tosses are underhand. Lobs are never seen or heard from again. Players use "bank" shots against the wind. Cars need to be tethered so they don't blow away. All that's on a calm day at Hilliard Davidson.

Why so windy? There are a couple of reasons. There is nothing to slow down the wind because everything has blown away, and Hilliard Davidson is at a high elevation point in the county. Ever been to Ohio Stadium and wondered why the flags at the top of the stadium are outstretched while there is barely a breeze on the ground? Those flags are at the same elevation as Hilliard Davidson. The OSU courts are near a low point as is evident by the nearby Olentangy River. The OSU courts also have numerous large structures around it.

While it is normally a no-no to mention anything about precipitation. Click here or here. Often. I want to go to Elysium.

Newspaper articles about States were written by Cleveland Plain Dealer's Stephanie Kuzydym, and Jarrod Ulrey for the Columbus Dispatch and Cincinnati Enquirer.



It is time for States! If you are at States or not, you can follow the action throughout the day at www.OhioTennisZone.com/draws.php. (Save this address in your smartphone.) The plan is to update the results about every 20 minutes. All of the available photos are now viewable by members (and by the players and fans who will hopefully sign-up soon).

OhioTennisZone Draws
OhioTennisZone Draws - Click to enlarge
Note the small cameras on the draw sheets. This is an indication that there are action photos for those players. It is still necessary to sign-in to view them.

There are more newspaper articles about States. Click to read an article about the Central Ohio State Qualifiers written by the Columbus Dispatch's Steve Blackledge. Here is also an article from Dayton Daily News' Debbie Juniewicz about the Dayton-area teams.

If you are a State Qualifier from Central or Northwest Division I, please see me this morning. I have a 5x7 photo for you.



It's Official

Beginning for the Girls 2015 season, the Ohio High School Athletic Association Tennis Championship will move to the Western & Southern Open site at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason. A relationship has been in discussions for a number of years, but now it is official. The Warren County Convention and Visitors Bureau will serve as hosts.

Pickerington Central
Future Home of OHSAA Tournament - Click to enlarge
This 16 court facility is one of the finest tennis venues in the world. The players will also have access to the same locker rooms as the professionals.

This is not only an enormous upgrade for the OHSAA tournament, but it eliminates the necessity to move the tournament to the Hilliard Davidson courts for the semi-finals and finals on OSU football game Saturday's.

After attending the OHSAA Hockey tournament in Nationwide Arena, the OHSAA Wrestling Tournament at Schottenstein Center, and the OHSAA Basketball Tournament at the Schottenstein Center, I view this as a very welcome change. I'll just need to budget more time than the four minutes it takes me now to get to the State tournament.



Dublin Jerome Defeats Upper Arlington in OTCA

Dublin Jerome beat Upper Arlington for the final, Final Four spot in the Ohio Tennis Coaches' Association Team Tournament. Both coaches adjusted their normal line-ups and from the beginning it appeared that the deciding match would be on first doubles. It didn't start out that way as Upper Arlington's Audrey Berger and Ashley Weeks quickly secured the first set, 6-1, using an aggressive net game. The tide slowly turned in the second set as Jerome's Rhiannon James and Vicki Chang sharpened their return of serves and found the right touch on their lobs, winning the second set, 7-6. The momentum shifted to Jerome after the tiebreak, and they won the third set, 6-1.

D1 PollAs mentioned in my Tweet last night, it wasn't only a great tennis match, but it was also a great exhibition of sportsmanship. I didn't hear or see a questioned call the entire evening on any court. With a large number of fans supporting both teams, they were just as nice as the players. (Note UA's Tweet after the match). It was a great evening of high school tennis.

It is picture day tomorrow. As is traditionally done, I have photos of the Central District State qualifiers to hand out so please look for me. In the past, I've only given these photos to OTZ members, but since most of the Central Ohio players are members, this year, I am getting 5x7's for everyone. As the first District (outside of Central) to take a photo of their State qualifiers, I will also have photos for the Northwest D1 players. Look for me in my white "GA" hat.

The OTCA poll question is closed. Even though Notre Dame Academy won by a narrow margin, it is probably still worthwhile to play the matches and see what happens.

The State online draws are now finished. Please sign-in to view all of the photos available. Also... I will be testing the system today so don't be alarmed if you see my daughter winning every match. Watch for all of the results to be updated during the day tomorrow.



Draws, New Draws, Newer Draws

The OHSAA released two new versions of the draws for Division II doubles yesterday as each iteration got closer to the OHSAA draw requirements. It resembled a day of musical chairs where one draw would make one set of players happy and the next iteration would please others. Emails were flying everywhere. The final version has the best doubles team in the Southwest pitted against last year's defending champions in the first round. Ouch. Please don't think that there was a hidden agenda here -- mistakes happen. To view the OHSAA draw requirements, click 2014 Regulations for Girls Tennis Tournaments (then search for *SEEDING: STATE ).

Division I Draw
Division I Draw - Click to go to page
It was always a really (really) bad idea to have five Districts with five #1 and five #2 seeds from strong and not-so-strong Districts. Hopefully this will be the impetus to finally fix this. Even if it is not, tennis needs to move to seeding the top teams. This may be a rather new concept, but high school tennis needs to start viewing the kids and the parents more as customers. When customers aren't happy, you either fix the problem - or overtime - they gravitate to other sports. That other sport is called lacrosse for many athletes.

My favorites for D2 doubles are: Indian Hill, Hathaway Brown, Orange, Archbishop Alter, and Columbus School for Girls. Three of these teams are in the bottom half of the draw. Two of them are in the second quarter.

The Upper Arlington versus Dublin Jerome Central District OTCA final was re-scheduled for today due to rain. Some are calling this the D1 state championship team match, so show up at Upper Arlington at 4pm and watch some great tennis. [Dublin Jerome wins 3-2.]

The online draws that were expected to be released yesterday were not, as I dealt with bad design decisions on my part and the musical chair draws. The good news with my new design is if the draws change a few more times, it won't require as much time for me to change it. Click to view the Division I singles draw. Photos and full year results are included for those with Player Profiles. Sign-in to view the photos of other players (where available). The other draws will (hopefully) be added by the end of the day.

Here is a nice article from the Cincinnati Enquirer's Mark Schmetzer about the Southwest District players. Not to be a broken record broken record broken record, but this article directly addresses how Districts also need to be seeded.


Ursuline Academy Beats Mason [New Draws Are Out]

There was one very important match that took place yesterday. Ursuline Academy secured an OTCA Final Four spot by defeating Mason, 3-2. Ursuline Academy won 45 games to Mason's 44.

Northwest  D1 State Qualifiers
Northwest D1 State Qualifiers - Click to enlarge

Among the top players, Mason's Elizabeth Kong defeated Ursuline Academy's Gabriella O'Connor, and Mason's Sanjana Datla beat Ursuline Academy's Ellie Foster.

Thanks to Notre Dame Academy's Patti Savage-McNamara for taking this photo of the Northwest District's Division I State Qualifiers. I have not heard if there are any other group photos. If there are, please email them to me. The plan is to release the interactive State draw later today.

After reviewing the State Draws, I think the D1 Singles and D1 Doubles draws are pretty good. The D2 draws are a different story. In singles, I did not like the 3-1 versus 1-1 potential match-up in the top quarter, nor the potential matchup of 5-1 versus 3-2 in the bottom quarter. The D2 doubles are worse with the potential matchup of 5-1 and 3-1 in the 1st quarter and the first round match of 5-2 versus 3-3 in the bottom quarter. It is also weird that there are no Northeast players in the 2nd quarter. The third quarter is the place to be.

There is one big match scheduled for tonight. Upper Arlington plays Dublin Jerome for the last Final Four spot.

The State-related articles are starting to surface. Click to read this Cleveland Plain Dealer article written by Nathaniel Cline, and this article by Cleveland Plain Dealer's Stephanie Kuzydym.


Seeding States [State Draws in Right Nav Bar]

Should singles at State be seeded? Yes. To say otherwise would require a great argument on why all of the other sports that use seeding should abandon it.

Doesn't Ohio high school tennis already utilize seeding by identifying the #1's from each District? Not really. Talent varies significantly by District. It always has, and each District's talent rises and falls over the years. There is also the situation in Division II where there are five #1's and five #2's. If a player draws a #1 or #2 from a weak District, that is a huge relief.

OhioTennisZone.com Hypothetical Seeds
  Division 1 Division II
1 Cassidy Hicks, Hamilton Lauren Gillinov, Hathaway Brown
2 Ellee Bullock, Dublin Jerome Olivia Rohrbacher, Perkins
3 Emily Thomas, Princeton Danielle Buchinsky, Laurel
4 Molly Sandberg, Walsh Jesuit Andrea Ballinger, Columbus Academy
5 Emily Dunbar, Cloverleaf  
Doesn't the best player win anyway? No. If the girls competed in a distance race (i.e. 800 meter), probably the "champion" would win, because every athlete runs the same distance, not only in the final event but also in the preliminaries. Of course, that is not how tennis works. Each player's opponent is a race of a different length and speed. When one competitor faces the equivalent of a jog around the block and another player's match is like a marathon, then you cannot expect the marathon winner to be as fresh as the jogger - one hour later. To make it even sillier, the "jogger" has a longer break than the marathon match player. If you have been involved in Ohio high school tennis for any length of time, you are aware of a "champion" that wasn't the champion because of having extremely poor draws. It is also a really big deal to get into the Final Four, so getting the most deserving players into the semi-finals is important. (In Columbus, that's an additional Columbus Dispatch newspaper article.)

Shouldn't the kids just be able to "deal with it"? Tennis professionals are not asked to do so, so why is this asked of our high school players? Most tennis professional play one singles match a day. In the grand slams, they typically play a match every other day. What other high school, college, or professional sport requires that its athletes play four potentially tough contests over two days with as little as a one hour break between contests? None.

How can players be compared, when some players do not play tough competitors during the regular season? That has to change. To be considered for a seed, coaches need to schedule matches (or participate in tournaments) where their potential high seeds will get quality matches. (OTZ is always willing to connect coaches to arrange these matches.)

Doesn't any unfairness just even out over time? It may for the coaches over their 20 year careers, but it rarely does for the players. We need a seeding approach that is appropriate for the kids every year.

Should Districts be re-seeded as well? It is less necessary in Central because of the great way in which coaches can select a Sectional that is best for their teams. (All Districts should follow Central's lead.) It is certainly necessary in Cincinnati where there are big differences in the strengths of the Sectionals. The Cleveland area also has its stronger and weaker Sectionals. Note that even though the Northeast D1 has six spots for States, one of their best teams did not qualify for States.

Seeding the players does not have to be contentious. It isn't during Sectionals, but it does require that informed people think and compare stats. Of course, the Sectionals largely deal with local players. Is it possible to compare tennis players statewide? Before the Internet, it would have been difficult, but now tennis fans living in San Paulo, Brazil; Helsinki, Finland; San Diego, California; Eau Claire, Wisconsin; and Toledo, OH would likely be in agreement with 80% of the seeds. (People in those cities use OhioTennisZone.com.) Ask any strong junior player or her parents, they will also tell you who the top players are.

Let's stop what's easy and what's convenient, and do what's best for the kids. The current method is a disservice to the kids and to the sport.

The table above provides my hypothetical seeding for States after talking with many knowledgeable people throughout the state. I think that each of these players has an excellent chance of being the champion. It might not be necessary to actually go with a #1 seed but to make sure that these players do not have to play each other until the semi-finals. If there are five or six seeds, then those are the players who need to face each other in the quarterfinals.

Have an opinion that you would like to share, or your own list of seeds? Please enter a Feedback message.

When the State draw sheets become available (probably today), a link will be included in the right-navigation bar.


State Finishes Seeding Round

With wet, slow drying courts and plenty of leaves, the day did not start well for the Columbus School for Girls' facility, but by late morning the facility showed why it is the best place in central Ohio to have a tournament. There was sun, shade, plenty of places to sit on the ends and sides of the courts, low screens to allow for good photos and video taking, restrooms, very little wind, convenient places nearby to eat, and plenty of parking. When the OSU courts are not available for the second day of States, CSG is where they should be played rather than Hilliard Davidson.

Pickerington Central
Central D1 State Qualifiers - Click to enlarge

Most (but not all) of the top players were playing yesterday. In matches involving the #1 and #2 seeds, Hamilton's Cassidy Hicks defeated Tecumseh's Culbertson and Princeton's Emily Thomas; Dublin Jerome's Ellee Bullock beat New Albany's Alexandra Cash and Upper Arlington's Olivia Kompa; Walsh Jesuit's Molly Sandberg defeated Mentor's Weaver and Cloverleaf's Emily Dunbar; Chaminade-Julienne's Kelly Pleiman beat Carroll's Jillian Milano and Chaminade-Julienne's Natalie Allen; Hathaway Brown's Lauren Gillinov defeated Laurel's Danielle Buchinsky; Perkin's Olivia Rohrbacher defeated Huron's Delaney Black and Kenton's Claire Oates; and Columbus Academy's Andrea Ballinger defeated Wellington's Aashika Katapadi. In the semi-final and third place matches, Princeton's Emily Thomas defeated Sycamore's Alexandra Abele; Upper Arlington's Olivia Kompa defeated Olentangy Liberty's Alexia Meyer; Olentangy Liberty's Alexia Meyer defeated New Albany's Alexandra Cash.

Pickerington Central
Central D2 State Qualifiers - Click to enlarge
In doubles, Pickerington Central's Kyah Thomas and Isis Thomas defeated Upper Arlington's Audrey Berger and Kyra Jung; Mason's Isabel Cepeda and Lizzy Kong beat Ursuline Academy's Jenny Duma and Olivia Sabo; Notre Dame Academy's Teagan McNamara and Alicia Nahhas defeated Perrysburg's Camryn Kiel and Kennedy Northcutt; Indian Hill's Meredith Breda and Caroline Andersen defeated Archbishop Alter's Lauren Hawley and Amanda Showalter; Columbus School for Girls' Mary Anne Clickk and Linda Yang defeated Columbus Academy's Katherine Guan and Georgia Tuckerman; and Hathaway Brown's Catherine Areklett and Ally Persky defeated Orange's Adrian Young and Alissa Nakamoto and Orange's Emily Stankovic and Michelle Tokman.

Based on the thoughtful feedback I received at Central Districts, it unfortunately sounds as if I may have offended all of womenkind with the photo directions on Thursday. That certainly wasn't not the intent. Perhaps to make a statement, I saw more women than normal carrying and taking pictures with real cameras at Central Districts. (Hope those photos turn out ok - see photo.)

Got up at my regular early morning start time, but the results I depend on were in rough form. More results still need to be posted online. It is time for me to to play platform tennis before it gets too warm...


Central Finishes 1st Day of Districts

It was an unexpected surprise, but the rain held off just long enough for the Central District to finish its first day. Play resumes today for all Districts to determine seeds.

Pickerington Central
Pickerington Central - Click to enlarge

Among the top players in the Northeast:, Gilmour Academy's Claudia Althans defeated Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy's Irene Norman;
Hathaway Brown's Lauren Gillinov beat Orange's Anjali Kashyap; Laurel's Danielle Buchinsky defeated Canton Central Catholic's Isabella Sirpilla; and Hawken's Sydney Green beat Poland Seminary's Elise Eckman.

In the Central District, Dublin Jerome's Ellee Bullock defeated Olentangy Liberty's Sidney Reineke and Dublin Coffman's Ashley Tan; New Albany's Alexandra Cash beat Dublin Coffman's Nethra Thenappan and Watkins Memorial's Alexis Steer; Olentangy Liberty's Alexia Meyer defeated Worthington Kilbourne's Erica Chen and Upper Arlington's Anna Reynolds; and Upper Arlington's Olivia Kompa beat Olentangy Orange's Jessica Phelps and Watterson's Claire Ghidotti; Wellington's Aashika Katapadi defeated Bexley's Caroline Phillips and East's Russell; Columbus Academy's Andrea Ballinger beat Columbus School for Girls' Ella Fronk; Watkins Memorial's Alexis Steer defeated Olentangy Orange's Valerie Vassilev; Granville's Charlotte Purnode defeated Columbus Academy's Jacinta Crestanello; Dublin Coffman's Ashley Tan beat New Albany's Selby; and Upper Arlington's Anna Reynolds defeated Hilliard Davidson's Heather Haynes.

The Columbus Dispatch normally does a great job with the results, but I detected a couple of errors this morning. I am double checking one score before it is posted.

It is picture day at Districts for the State Qualifiers. Please review the comments below and look closely at last year's photo. Please email your District photo to me today. I want to work on them tonight and Sunday. You can do this. I know you can.


District Photo Special | Notre Dame Academy Beats Perrysburg

Many results for the Southwest, Northeast, and Northwest Districts are now online. In dual match play, Madeira defeated Taylor and Notre Dame Academy beat Perrysburg to secure a spot in the State Final Four.

OhioTennisZone Usage
2013 Central District D1 State Qualifiers - Click to enlarge
Among the top players, there were numerous great matches. They included: Princeton's Emily Thomas defeated Walnut Hills' Lilly O`Toole; Cloverleaf's Emily Dunbar beat Mayfield's Jamie Vizelman; Sycamore's Alexandra Abele defeated Seton's Maggie Walroth; Tecumseh's Taylor Culbertson beat Sycamore's Maggie Skwara; Hamilton's Cassidy Hicks defeated Miamisburg's Carley Sickinger; Carroll's Jillian Milano beat Indian Hill's Gracey Hirsch; Perkins' Olivia Rohrbacher defeated Ottawa Hills' Lilli Boice; and Massillon Jackson's Teressa Hill beat Kenston's Natasha Birze.

It is almost time for you to take the photo of your District's Division State Qualifiers. Here are the 14 easy steps to keep in mind: 1) Tell the tournament director you are going to take a photo 30 minutes before you take the photo. The Central District directors have always been great about this, but your director may complain that it will upset the order of the universe by delaying the tournament by two minutes. If that happens, ask him to be in the photo that you take of the coaches. 2) Tell the other parents to put down their coffee and get their cameras -- now. There is safety in numbers. 3) Ask the tournament director to have the girls gather ten minutes in front of the net of the closest court before he begins his tournament announcements. 4) Use the highest resolution (.jpg) possible for your camera. 5) Ask the players to face toward the sun. 6) Have the players hold their racquets (preferably). 7) Tell the singles players to take a knee in front. 8) Ask the doubles players of each team to stand together and be close behind the singles players. 9) Have the girls tilt their hats and visors back. If it is a sunny day, head coverings will cast a dark shadow over their eyes. 10) Take at least four photos -- girls blink -- a lot. 11) Leave "room" at the bottom and top of the picture for names and a banner. 12) Email the photo to me using the highest resolution possible. The image needs to be at least 1 MB, but preferably more. 13) Take a quick photo of the coaches -- no kneeling is necessary. 14) Do it fast -- this isn't the beginning-of-the-season glam shot for the girls (or the coaches).

I tend to let the other parents get their photos first so that I can be assured that everyone is looking at me.

Women are always good about taking photos, but they only know how to use camera phones that create amazingly awful group photos. Time to learn how to use a real camera. (By including that sentence, a woman person will now undoubtedly take a picture that is far better than mine.) Special note to husbands, if your wife still insists that camera phones take great photos. You can save a bunch of money by volunteering to take your daughter's senior photo and wedding photos by using your wife's camera phone.

Another option -- hire a professional to come to the courts for 30 minutes. However, the photographer needs to understand that he only has a couple of minutes to take the photo. He would also have to provide permission before I will include the photo online.

I plan to include the names of the players in the photo before I place it on the website. I know many of the players but it would be helpful to include the names (with correct spellings). This is a time consuming process though so it will need to be a good photo before I will commit the time to do it.

This will be one of your daughter's favorite photos 25 years from now. Good luck.


Dublin Jerome Beats Pickerington Central | Orange Defeats Hathaway Brown

There were several significant matches yesterday. Orange defeated Hathaway Brown and Dublin Jerome beat Pickerington Central. Walsh Jesuit apparently defeated North Canton Hoover, but no scores were reported.

Madi Schott and Maddie Bechert
Madi Schott and Maddie Bechert - Click to enlarge

Among the top players, Dublin Jerome's Ellee Bullock defeated Pickerington Central's Kyah Thomas; Hathaway Brown's Lauren Gillinov beat Orange's Adrian Young; Dublin Jerome's Rhiannon James defeated Pickerington Central's Isis Thomas; and Orange's Alissa Nakamoto beat Hathaway Brown's Ally Persky.

The beginning of the Dublin Jerome versus Pickerington Central was a challenge for all players yesterday. There was a strong wind from the west that caused numerous service ball catches and "this was a forehand but now it's a backhand" shots. It was a great match though. It was not clear what Pickerington Central's Madi Schott was pointing at during the match, but given the weather conditions, it was reminiscent of a weathervane. Also note Maddie Bechert's hair in the background. Dublin Jerome will play Upper Arlington in the OTCA Central District Finals.

As subscribers know, the rosters on team pages indicate which players have an interest in playing college tennis. Some players request to be added and some high school coaches post this information on their own. The College Coach Player Information Report brings all of this information together in one spot for the convenience of the college coaches. This report will continue to evolve as more players request to be added to it. Pictures are also included for those players with Player Profiles. I know that some college coaches regularly read OhioTennisZone, but I do not know how many. Please do not sign-up for OTZ under the belief that dozens of coaches will be seeing this information.

The Northeast District begins their District matches today. For more information, read this worthwhile Cleveland Plain Dealer article by Stephanie Kuzydym.

The Central District Division II matches were apparently played but nothing was reported. The Central District D2 draws are still not online. Update: Now online. Click on the link in the right-navigation bar.


Notre Dame Academy Beats Findlay

There was just one match recorded from yesterday. Notre Dame Academy defeated Findlay.

College Coach Report
Information for College Coaches

The Top Players and Watch Lists will be reviewed in detail after the Districts are played. OTZ will also create a hypothetical seeding list for States for the singles players.

To assist college coaches (and players interested in playing college tennis), another report will be released later today. It identifies all of the OTZ members who have indicated to me that they have an interest in playing college tennis. High school coaches, who are OTZ members, may also identify their players. Those college coaches who would primarily be interested in this report are Division III coaches. This report will only be available for members to view.

The OTCA State Poll was released yesterday. Click to view. I have never been fond of this poll. I think the teams that were successful years ago, but no longer are, overshadow the teams that are now coming on strong. The most recent OhioTennisZone.com poll is in the right-navigation bar. Click on the team links to research the results of each team.

Hopefully the Central District Division II Sectional matches will take place today, but I've hoped that before.

I am unsure why the Central District Division I draws are not posted. Most players and coaches would be working on match strategies now, but they can't until they know who their opponents are. The D1 Central District draws are now online. Click on the link in the right-nav bar to go to the CDAB site.


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There was one dual match played yesterday and results from the last Central District D1 Sectional were posted. In the dual match, Magnificat defeated Mayfield. Late update item: Chaminade-Julienne defeated Indian Hill to reach the Final Four from the Southwest District..

Among the top players, Chaminade-Julienne's Kelly Pleiman defeated Indian Hill's Meredith Breda; Chaminade-Julienne's Natalie Allen beat Indian Hill's Gracey Hirsch; Mayfield's Jamie Vizelman defeated Magnificat's Alexandra Vesikallio; Dublin Jerome's Ellee Bullock beat Olentangy Orange's Valerie Vassilev and Hilliard Davidson's Heather Haynes; and Hilliard Davidson's Heather Haynes defeated Olentangy Orange's Jessica Phelps.


Hopefully the Central District Division II Sectional matches will take place today, but more rain is expected. Maybe it's time to play indoors?

Without the financial assistance of three major advertisers, this website could not be offered. When you see Elysium Tennis' Brian Heil and Kevin Hornik, Olympic Indoor's Jim Criswell and Michelle Jarrett, and Midwest Sports' Greg Wolf, please tell them "thank you" for supporting OhioTennisZone.com and Ohio High School Tennis. If you are considering getting tennis lessons, please always check out Elysium and Olympic first. If you need tennis gear, Midwest Sport's offers the lowest prices and great service, plus OhioTennisZone.com readers get an extra 10% off on all clearance items. Each Midwest Sports purchase that you make using the links on the OTZ website also directly benefits OTZ.

The District draws are now available in the right-navigation bar for the Northeast, Northwest, and Southwest Districts. As normal, there will be a deserving player or two who does not reach States from the Southwest. This year's tough match-up is Princeton's Emily Thomas and Walnut Hill's Lilly O`Toole in the qualifying round. If the Southwest used a method similar to what the Central District does, these types of match-ups would not need to happen. Re-seeding the District draws would be another solution. The Troy Sectional is simply not as strong as the other Southwest Sectionals.

The Dublin Jerome versus Pickerington Central match was rescheduled for tonight.



Usage activity of the OhioTennisZone.com website is regularly reviewed. Per Google Analytics, the Columbus area comes in first in terms of usage, followed by Cleveland and Cincinnati. (See usage map.) Toledo is not just significantly lower, but it is almost not even on the map. Unlike other areas of the state, usage has also not grown measurably over three years. In fact, there is more interest in Ohio high school tennis from the states of Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and New York than Toledo. Think about this for a second -- even Detroit has significantly more OhioTennisZone.com usage than the Toledo area. Why? Toledo has a great tradition of tennis and great clubs, but high school tennis is an enigma. What's up?

OhioTennisZone Usage
OhioTennisZone.com Usage - Click to enlarge

Click on the usage map to enlarge it.

The D1 Central Sectional results are still coming in. Hopefully the Division II matches will take place today.

Among the top players, New Albany's Alexandra Cash beat Worthington Kilbourne's Erica Chen and Watterson's Claire Ghidotti. Upper Arlington's Olivia Kompa defeated Dublin Coffman's Nethra Thenappan and Ashley Tan. The Hilliard Davidson Sectional finished yesterday and I am awaiting the complete results from the newspaper before those are entered.

Some of the District draws should be released today. Links to the draws will be included on the right-navigation bar as they become available.

Dublin Jerome and Pickerington Central are playing tonight. The winner of this match plays Upper Arlington. While the winner of this match could very well beat UA, some are saying the loser of the Jerome vs. Pickerington Central contest could be the State's third best D1 team... The OTCA Championship on October 19th should be very interesting.


The Sectionals That Wouldn't End

Each year there are always numerous parent discussions comparing the weather during the boys season versus the girls. Actually, there is no comparison -- the boys season is much worse. It's my guess that the boys have ten really great weather days while the girls have five awful weather days. Yesterday's cold, blustery weather with sleet counted as Bad Day #1 for the girls. Let's keep track of it for the rest of the season.

Upper Arlington Sectional
UA Sectionals - Click to enlarge

Central still has Sectional matches to play. It was a start-stop-start-stop day yesterday, and rain is in the forecast again tomorrow. Maybe it's time to finish Sectionals at the indoor clubs?

Among the top players, Olentangy Liberty's Alexia Meyer defeated Westerville Central's Nicole Cardwell in the semi's and Watkins Memorial's Alexis Steer in the finals. Watkins Memorial's Alexis Steer beat Olentangy Liberty's Sidney Reineke in the semi's. In doubles, Olentangy's Briona Brdicka-Kathleen Jones defeated Olentangy Liberty's Sonia Chhabria-Avivah Wang (Olentangy Liberty) in the semi's and Olentangy Liberty's Anna Delaney-Sydney Setnar in the finals. Olentangy Liberty's Sonia Chhabria-Avivah Wang beat Pickerington North's Shaili Kothari-Julia Robson 6-2, 6-2 for third. At the Toledo Sectional, Central Catholic's Sophia Spinazzi beat Notre Dame Academy's Nina Eid, and Notre Dame Academy's Teagan McNamara-Alicia Nahhas defeated teammates, Alexandra Miller-Sheridan Miller, in the finals.

If you are an OTZ member, now is the time to email me any previous matches that should be included online. I will take these until Monday night.


More Sectional Play

It appears that the Northeast and Southwest Districts were able to play most of their Sectionals yesterday. Central was largely rained out.

Whetstone's Maggie Prosser
Whetstone's Maggie Prosser - Click to enlarge

Matches among Ohio's top players included: Princeton's Emily Thomas defeated Oak Hills' Abigail Rembold and Hamilton's Cassidy Hicks; Hamilton's Cassidy Hicks beat Seton's Maggie Walroth; Sycamore's Alexandra Abele defeated Milford's Amanda Reinhart and her teammate, Maggie Skwara; Sycamore's Maggie Skwara beat Walnut Hills' Lilly O`Toole; Walnut Hills' Lilly O`Toole defeated Milford's Amanda Reinhart; Indian Hill's Gracey Hirsch beat Mariemont's Haley Weston and Seven Hills' Alana Saggar; Chaminade-Julienne's Kelly Pleiman defeated Carroll's Julia Milano; and Carroll's Julia Milano beat Chaminade-Julienne's Natalie Allen. Click to view the Top Player and Watch Lists for the Central, Northeast, and Southwest Districts.

The Central D1 Sectionals with matches remaining will play at 9am today.


Avon Wins the West Shore Conference Tournament

Yesterday included a bit of everything in terms of match play. There were Sectionals, conference tournaments, and dual matches. Avon won the West Shore Conference Tournament and Rocky River was the runner-up. Dual matches included: St. Joseph Academy defeated Magnificat-B; Mariemont beat Taylor; and Hartley defeated Centennial. Approximately 120 Sectional results were entered from both the Southwest and the Northeast.

Beechcroft - Click to enlarge

Among Ohio's top players, matches included: Hathaway Brown's Lauren Gillinov defeated Laurel's Danielle Buchinsky; Walsh Jesuit's Molly Sandberg beat Cloverleaf's Emily Dunbar; Sycamore's Alexandra Abele defeated Mason's Shirley Yang; Sycamore's Maggie Skwara beat Mason's Prachi Lele; and Laurel's Danielle Buchinsky defeated Hathaway Brown's Franny Murray. Click to view the Top Player and Watch Lists for the Central, Northeast, and Southwest Districts.

Today's featured team is Beechcroft. They are coached by Daphne Hess.

The rain is expected to begin falling soon in the Central District, but Mother Nature has faked us out before. With the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur beginning at dusk today, Sectional play would resume next week if Central cannot finish Sectionals today.


Sectional Processing Finished (for Today)

The goal each morning (7 days a week times 10 weeks) is to finish the update by 8:00am. After the Central District Sectional is played, the goal is to simply finish. When the tennis scores make up almost half of the Dispatch High School sports page, you know it is going to be a long day. After recording 366 matches, the data is now available.

Central District Sectionals
Columbus Dispatch

While the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Cincinnati Enquirer also have a large number of results, nothing compares with what the Dispatch includes.

While most of the top players competed yesterday, none of them played against each other. That takes place in the next round.

The D1 Central Sectional takes place at four sites: Hilliard Davidson (home of the perpetual wind), Pickerington Central, Reynoldsburg, and Upper Arlington. However, due to a teachers' strike at Reynoldsburg, the Sectional was moved to Gahanna yesterday. The OTCA Tournament is scheduled to be played at Reynoldsburg, but since the tournament takes place on Sunday, union picketing is not expected to be a problem


Pickerington Central Beats Olentangy Liberty | Columbus Academy Defeats Columbus School for Girls

Yesterday included both Sectional matches in the Northeast and Southwest Districts, and dual matches in the Central (11) and Southwest (3) Districts. The number of matches played at the Sectionals are huge. There were 125 singles and doubles matches recorded from just those two Sectionals.

DeSales' Taylor Gray
DeSales' Taylor Gray - Click to enlarge
There were several close, 3-2 dual matches. They included: Teays Valley defeated Central Crossing; Watterson-B beat Bexley; Dublin Scioto defeated Watkins Memorial; Gahanna beat Westerville Central; and Pickerington Central beat Olentangy Liberty. In another prominent match, Columbus Academy defeated Columbus School for Girls to claim a spot in the Final Four for the Central District.

For all of yesterday's dual match results and for the "by-court" performance graphs, click on Previous Day Match Results.

Among the top players, Pickerington Central's Kyah Thomas defeated Olentangy Liberty's Alexia Meyer; Pickerington Central's Isis Thomas beat Olentangy Liberty's Sidney Reineke; Watkins Memorial's Alexis Steer defeated Dublin Scioto's Hrunya Ravindran; and Columbus Academy's Andrea Ballinger beat Columbus School for Girls' Mary Anne Click. Click to view the Top Player and Watch Lists for the Central, Northeast, and Southwest Districts.

I woke up crazy early to get the Sectional results entered, but unfortunately, I get no caffeinated coffee until I am finished taking pictures. I will be at Columbus School for Girls Sectional this morning.


Dublin Jerome Beats New Albany | Olentangy Liberty Defeats Columbus School for Girls

Yesterday was a huge tennis day. The 30 dual matches played have been recorded, but the Sectional matches from Northeast Ohio take a significant amount of time to enter so those will not be online until early afternoon. The breakdown of dual matches by District was: Central - 15, Northeast - 1, and Southwest - 14. The close, 3-2, matches included: Harrison defeated Colerain; Archbishop Hoban beat Hathaway Brown-B; Hilliard Bradley defeated Big Walnut; Olentangy Liberty beat Columbus School for Girls; Ready defeated Grandview; St. Ursula Academy beat McAuley; Olentangy defeated DeSales; Central Crossing beta London; and Madeira defeated Northwest. For all of yesterday's dual match results and for the "by-court" performance graphs, click on Previous Day Match Results.

Boys 2014 State Tournament Draw
Photos on Player Profile

Among the top players, Indian Hill's Meredith Breda defeated Seven Hills' Alana Saggar; Dublin Jerome's Ellee Bullock beat New Albany's Alexandra Cash; Hamilton's Cassidy Hicks beat Oak Hills' Abigail Rembold; Columbus Academy's Andrea Ballinger defeated Wellington's Aashika Katapadi; Walnut Hills' Lilly O`Toole beat Lakota West's Sharon Danquah; Pickerington Central's Kyah Thomas defeated Watterson's Claire Ghidotti; Pickerington Central's Isis Thomas beat Watterson's Maria Jeric; and Dublin Jerome's Rhiannon James defeated New Albany's Taylor Selby. Click to view the Top Player and Watch Lists for the Central, Northeast, and Southwest Districts.

As many of you know, the Player Profile does a great job of sharing match results for each player. Each Player Profile comes as part of being an OhioTennisZone.com member. Now a new feature has been added that enables players and parents to share the digital photos they have purchased from OTZ with other tennis fans on OTZ. These photos are also shared with everyone who visits the team picture page. To purchase a photo, click on the image on the right. Digital photos are $19.95 and for an extra $3.00 a 5x7 photo will be included [this is a limited time offer].

Tonight's matches include: DeSales (H) versus Wellington; Hilliard Davidson (H) versus Worthington Kilbourne; Olentangy Liberty (A) versus Pickerington Central; and Centennial (H) versus Bloom-Carroll.


Sycamore Wins the Greater Miami Conference Tournament

Sycamore won the Greater Miami Conference Tournament and Mason came in second. From Friday, Hathaway Brown defeated Gilmour Academy.

Among the top players, Hamilton's Cassidy Hicks defeated Princeton's Emily Thomas; Hathaway Brown's Lauren Gillinov beat Gilmour Academy's Claudia Althans; and Sycamore's Maggie Skwara defeated Mason's Sanjana Datla. Click to view the Top Player and Watch Lists for the Central, Northeast, and Southwest Districts.

Boys 2014 State Tournament Draw
Linden-McKinley Tennis Team - Click to enlarge

There will be a few more photos posted online today from matches played last week.

Today's featured team is Linden-McKinley. They are coached by Steve Cudney.

The Columbus City League team championship takes will be played today with Whetstone facing Eastmoor Academy. Other matches include: Columbus Academy (H) versus Wellington; Columbus School For Girls (A) versus Olentangy Liberty; Dublin Jerome (H) versus New Albany; Magnificat (H) versus Mayfield; and Pickerington Central (H) versus Watterson.


Avon Wins West Shore Conference Tournament

Tennis activity slowed down dramatically yesterday as we near the end of the season, and as another sport called football takes up most of the day for many. Avon won the Western Shore Conference Tournament and Rocky River was second. There was just one dual match. Columbus School for Girls defeated Upper Arlington-B.

Boys 2014 State Tournament Draw
State Draws Updated during States - Click to enlarge

While it may seem too early ** to mention this, it's not. Today marks the first day of about 2,313 when I urge parents to take photos of *all* of the state qualifiers from their District. This has never happened before, but I am still holding out a tiny ray of hope that one parent from each District will make this happen. Note that it is not good enough to take a photo of the players from your team who are going to States. What is needed are the players on *all* teams grouped together -- smiling and happy -- who reached States. This would be one of your daughter's most valued photos 30 years from now if you take it. You need to make this happen.

Click to view the Central District State Qualifier photos that date back to 2009.

A very popular page that I started with the 2014 Boys State Tournament was the State draw sheet that I updated during the day while the tournament was taking place. It not only included the player photos, but it also linked to each player's Player Profile and to any action photos that I had taken of that player. Note how some players do not have photos. Again, this is another reason why I need photos of the State qualifiers. The coach photos are at the bottom of the page so even the coaches have an incentive to make sure that this photo gets taken.

** Please note that thinking about it does not jinx your child for States because you will plan to take the photo even if your daughter does not reach States (even if you don't).


Copley Beats Kent Roosevelt

There were only five dual matches recorded from yesterday. The Northeast District had four and the Central District recorded one. The matches included: St. Joseph Academy defeated Massillon Jackson-B; Willoughby South beat Lakeside; Copley defeated Kent Roosevelt; Medina beat Highland; and Columbus School for Girls defeated Worthington Christian. For all of yesterday's dual match results and for the "by-court" performance graphs, click on Previous Day Match Results.

St. Francis DeSales
DeSales - Click to enlarge
In tournament play, Walnut Hills won the Eastern Cincinnati Conference Tournament. Turpin was second.

Among the state's top players, Walnut Hills' Lilly O`Toole defeated Milford's Reinhart and Columbus School for Girls' Mary Anne Click beat Worthington Christian's Christina Hemmingsen. Click to view the Top Player and Watch Lists for the Central, Northeast, and Southwest Districts.

Today's featured team is Columbus' St. Francis DeSales high school. They are coached by Anthony Tiensprasid.


Upper Arlington Defeats Olentangy Liberty | GCTA Awards Ceremony

From this point forward, there will be a significant drop off in matches played each day as teams prepare for Sectionals next week. There were 31 matches recorded from yesterday. The breakdowns by District were: Central - 12, Northeast - 9, Southwest - 9, and Northwest - 1. The close, 3-2 matches (in order of most contested) included: Harvey defeated Eastlake North; Big Walnut defeated Westerville North; Amelia defeated Felicity; Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy defeated Revere; Upper Arlington defeated Olentangy Liberty; Marysville defeated Grove City; and Olentangy defeated Hilliard Bradley. For all of yesterday's dual match results and for the "by-court" performance graphs, click on Previous Day Match Results.

GCTA Award Recipients
GCTA Award Recipients - Click to enlarge
In tournament play, Hudson won the Northeast Ohio Conference - Valley Division, and Mayfield came in second.

Among the state's top players, Dublin Jerome's Ellee Bullock defeated Dublin Coffman's Ashley Tan; Upper Arlington's Audrey Berger beat Olentangy Liberty's Sidney Reineke; Dublin Jerome's Rhiannon James defeated Dublin Coffman's Nethra Thenappan; Upper Arlington's Olivia Kompa beat Olentangy Liberty's Cellini Ko; and Hilliard Davidson's Heather Haynes defeated Olentangy Orange's Jessica Phelps. Click to view the Top Player and Watch Lists for the Central, Northeast, and Southwest Districts.

The Greater Columbus Tennis Association (GCTA) held its annual awards ceremony last night. The award recipients (and their awards) were: Pam Brady (Special Recognition), Buddy Up Tennis Coaches (Special Recognition), Ben Gelber (Media), Pat and Mark Anderson (Special Recognition), Anna and Alexandra Sanford (Female Junior Players of the Year), India Carter (Columbus Recreation & Parks), Jeffrey Melvin (Male Junior Player of the Year), Shelby Rhyne (Special Recognition), and Fred Levy (Promotion of Tennis). Congratulations to these award winners. Also as part of the ceremony, the USTA Midwest Section's Joy Albi presented the GCTA with the USTA National Community Tennis Association of the Year Award.

The listings of the Sectional Draws are largely complete. They are located in the right navigation bar.

The OhioTennisZone's Top Ten State Team Rankings were updated yesterday. They are also listed in the right navigation bar. Click on the links to view each team's record. Those teams with the blue stars are Team Members and they have Player Profiles for each player. The asterisk's indicate that player injuries might be affecting that team's ranking.

There are just two matches scheduled for today. They are: Columbus School For Girls versus Upper Arlington-B and Hartley versus Village Academy.


Olentangy Liberty Beats Olentangy Orange | Dublin Jerome Defeats Lexington

There were 32 matches recorded from yesterday. The breakdowns by District were: Central - 14, Northeast - 0, and Southwest - 6. The close, 3-2 matches included: GlenOak defeated Kent Roosevelt; Jonathan Alder beat Big Walnut; Lakewood defeated Olmsted Falls; Olentangy beat Hilliard Davidson; Granville defeated Lancaster; Mount Notre Dame beat Mariemont; Ready defeated Central Crossing; Lake Catholic beat Andrews Osborne; Green defeated Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy; Westerville North beat Delaware Hayes; and Pickerington North defeated Westerville Central. North Royalton finished first in the Northeast Ohio Conference River Division Tournament, and Cuyahoga Falls was second. For all of yesterday's dual match results and for the "by-court" performance graphs, click on Previous Day Match Results.

Archbishop Alter Tennis Team
Archbishop Alter Tennis Team - Click to enlarge

Among the top players, Dublin Jerome's Ellee Bullock defeated Lexington's Alex Griebling; Pickerington Central's Kyah Thomas beat Dublin Scioto's Hrunya Ravindran; Granville's Charlotte Purnode defeated Lancaster's Anna Schmidt; Olentangy Liberty's Alexia Meyer beat Olentangy Orange's Jessica Phelps; and Dublin Jerome's Rhiannon James defeated Lexington's Jordyn Traxler. Click to view the Top Player and Watch Lists for the Central, Northeast, and Southwest Districts.

The Ace Report was updated. The leaders are: Olentangy's Kathleen Jones, Lexington's Alex Griebling, and Watkins Memorial's Libby Hatton.

Today's featured team is Archbishop Alter. They are coached by John Kirk. Archbishop Alter is another team that has a Team Membership. This provides all of their players with Player Profiles.

The Greater Columbus Tennis Association (GCTA) Awards Banquet takes place tonight at 6:30 at the Everal Barn in Westerville. Please come out and congratulate the award winners.

The articles about States and the OTCA tournament are starting. Here is a nice article about Toledo's Notre Dame Academy.

Matches scheduled for tonight include: Magnificat (A) versus Massillon Jackson; Olentangy Liberty (H) versus Upper Arlington; Westerville North (A) versus Big Walnut; Westerville South (H) versus Beechcroft; Hilliard Bradley (H) versus Olentangy; Bloom-Carroll (A) versus Lancaster; Granville (H) versus Newark; and Hilliard Darby (H) versus Westland. These schedules are always subject to change. Please talk with a player or coach before traveling to a match.


Ursuline Academy Beats Sycamore | Mason Defeats Lakota East

There were 44 matches recorded from yesterday. As is normally the case during this time of the season, there were also several very important matches. The breakdowns by District were: Central - 18, Northeast - 11, and Southwest - 15. The close, 3-2 matches included: New Albany defeated Columbus Academy; Stow beat Brush; Ursuline Academy defeated Sycamore; Columbus School for Girls beat Watterson; Teays Valley defeated Canal Winchester; DeSales beat Hartley; Wilmington defeated Chillicothe; Lancaster beat Washington CH; Madison Comprehensive defeated Harvey; Northwest beat Middletown; Summit Country Day defeated Cincinnati Country Day; New Richmond beat Goshen; Hamilton defeated Talawanda; and Archbishop Hoban beat Warren John F Kennedy. Other prominent matches included: Mason defeated Lakota East and Laurel beat Hawken.

Weird Bar ChartHere is an interesting performance graph from last night. For all of yesterday's dual match results and for the "by-court" performance graphs, click on Previous Day Match Results.

Among the top players, Lakota East's Maddy Mueck defeated Mason's Elizabeth Kong; Sycamore's Alexandra Abele defeated Ursuline Academy's Elizabeth Foster; Laurel's Danielle Buchinsky defeated Hawken's Sydney Green; Pickerington Central's Kyah Thomas defeated Bexley's Caroline Phillips; Columbus School for Girls' Mary Anne Click defeated Watterson's Claire Ghidotti; Mason's Sanjana Datla beat Lakota East's Paige Silverberg; and Gilmour Academy's Althans defeated Orange's Adrian Young.

Micro PollThe first poll question of the season deals with the Sectional Draws. The ability to view the Central District draws is a very well-liked and frequently used feature on OhioTennisZone, and it typically spikes OTZ usage for Sunday and Monday as excitement builds for the rest of the season. A small number of Central District coaches want the draw information to be held back until they have an opportunity to meet with their teams face-to-face at practice. How do you feel about this? In the current state of the world with Twitter, email, Facebook, texting, and Pinterest, it is difficult to block players, parents, and fans from getting information. Is it worth trying? Also feel free to sound-off using Feedback.

[Note that you may no longer vote in this poll.]

Also note that there is a new table in the right navigation bar that shows the final match-ups for the OTCA Final Four.

Matches scheduled for tonight include: Olentangy (H) versus Hilliard Davidson; Olentangy Liberty (H) versus Olentangy Orange; Pickerington Central (A) versus Dublin Scioto; Pickerington North (H) versus Westerville Central; Thomas Worthington (A) versus Worthington Kilbourne; and Granville (H) versus Lancaster.


Indian Hill Defeats Archbishop Alter | Columbus School for Girls Beats New Albany

There were 43 matches recorded from yesterday. The breakdown by District was: Central - 15, Northeast - 14, and Southwest - 14. There were a large number of close, 3-2 matches. They included: Amherst Steele defeated Lakewood; Thomas Worthington defeated Westerville Central; Amelia beat Glen Este; Ursuline Academy-B defeated Loveland; Big Walnut beat Buckeye Valley; Reynoldsburg defeated Hilliard Darby; Lancaster beat Watkins Memorial; Hudson defeated North Royalton; Princeton beat Harrison; Columbus School for Girls defeated New Albany; Strongsville bet Normandy; Andrews Osborne defeated Euclid; Talawanda beat Badin; Anderson defeated Mother of Mercy; Green beat Massillon Jackson; Ursuline Academy defeated Lakota East; Hartley beat Groveport; and Mayfield defeated Brunswick. In another prominent match, Indian Hill defeated Archbishop Alter. For all of yesterday's dual match results and for the "by-court" performance graphs, click on Previous Day Match Results.

Hilliard Davidson Tennis Team
Hilliard Davidson Tennis Team - Click to enlarge
Usage from yesterday did hit another two year high. I was curious enough to compare it with the all-time highs for the boys. The boys all-time high remains greater (so far) at 13% more usage than the girls.

Among the top players, Laurel's Danielle Buchinsky defeated Magnificat's Lauren O`Malley; Indian Hill's Meredith Breda beat Archbishop Alter's Lauren Hawley; Lakota East's Maddy Mueck defeated Ursuline Academy's Olivia Sabo; Seton's Maggie Walroth beat Walnut Hills' Lilly O`Toole; New Albany's Alexandra Cash defeated Columbus School for Girls' Mary Anne Click; Watkins Memorial's Alexis Steer beat Lancaster's Anna Schmidt; Lakota East's Paige Silverberg defeated Ursuline Academy's Jennifer Duma; and Magnificat's Alexandra Vesikallio beat Laurel's Valerie Shao. Click to view the Top Player and Watch Lists for the Central, Northeast, and Southwest Districts.

Today's featured team is Hilliard Davidson. They are coached by Steve DeDent. Hilliard Davidson is another Team Special Member so all of the players have Player Profiles.

Matches scheduled for tonight include: Dublin Coffman (H) versus Upper Arlington; DeSales (H) versus Hartley; Dublin Scioto (A) versus Olentangy; Gahanna (A) versus Hilliard Davidson; Granville (A) versus Big Walnut; Magnificat (A) versus North Royalton; and Olentangy Orange (H) versus Thomas Worthington. These schedules are always subject to change. Please talk with a player or coach before traveling to a match.


Picture Monday

The excitement of the Sectional Draw enabled the OTZ site to hit a new usage record for the season. Usage from yesterday also exceeded the biggest day from the 2013 season. Today's activity should also be high because it is [drum-roll please] Picture Monday.

Dublin Jerome's Stephanie George
Dublin Jerome's Stephanie George - Click to enlarge
Eighty-six photos were added last night from matches that took place between August 26 and September 20. Please sign-in to view the Most Recently Added Photos.

Also updated for the season is the Top Ten Girls photos area, which everyone can view. In general, these photos stand out because they incorporate several of the following attributes: great lighting, sharp focus, emotion, action, eye-on-ball player focus, and a pleasing background. Since I do not have ten high school photos that I really [really] like, the photos of two professional players that I took at the Western & Southern Open are also included as placeholders.

The goal with all of the photos is to portray the girls in a positive manner. Player photos with unflattering expressions are avoided. Also excluded are player photos with pretzelized arm and body movements, and backgrounds that are distracting (i.e. Port-A-Johns). For example, this photo of Melanie Oudin would not be included because of her expression. Next is a great example of a pretzelized body movement by platform tennis extraordinaire, Tony Jagodzinski, who once crushed me in a platform tennis match. This photo of Slone Stephens is excellent, except for the background.

OTZ remains the best source for high school tennis photos with more tennis photos than all major Ohio newspapers combined (and for that matter, probably all Ohio newspapers combined).

Note that the draws from the other Districts will be added to the table in the right-nav bar as (or "if") they become available. The Southwest District has now posted many of their draws.

Matches scheduled for tonight include: Columbus Academy (H) versus Upper Arlington; Dublin Jerome (H) versus Gahanna; Magnificat (A) versus Lexington; Thomas Worthington (A) versus Westerville Central; Watkins Memorial (H) versus Lancaster; and Worthington Kilbourne (H) versus DeSales.






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