Columbus East girls tennis coach Matt Malinsky stressed to his team this week not to take any team lightly in the East Sectional.
The Olympians got the memo. Facing a one-win Edinburgh team, East won 6-0, 6-0 in four of the five matches and cruised to a 5-0 opening-round victory on Wednesday.
“I made sure to tell them going into this week to play our best regardless of what the matchup is, and I think they came out and were focused right off the bat,” Malinsky said. “I was happy about that.”
The Olympians (14-3) advance to today’s semifinals, where they will face Brown County. Eleventh-ranked Columbus North and Hauser will meet in the other semifinal.
East’s No. 2 and No. 3 singles players were first off the court. Adycin Rager beat Molly Bowker and No. 2 singles, and Alaysha Pollert topped Heather Jones at No. 3 singles by 6-0, 6-0 scores.
“I was hitting really good shots, and I was moving her around a lot,” Pollert said. “I am very pleased with how I’m playing. Matt and (assistant coach) Steve (Fuller) have really prepared me for sectional, and I’m ready. I think we are very prepared for the upcoming matches.”
Megna Chari then finished off a 6-0, 6-0 win against Allie Schooler at No. 1 singles.
Soon after, Maddy Rhodes and Carolyn Travis completed a 6-0, 6-0 victory against Haley Jones and Sophia Parmer at No. 2 doubles.
“I just think we’re working really hard, and we’re really focused right now, and we gel really well together,” Travis said.
“In every practice, even though it’s hot, we’ve been out here working hard,” Rhodes said. “Matt has been pushing us, and it’s been worth all our work. Last year, we played really well together, and we’re just continuing on that streak.”
The Lancers (1-15) won their only games at No. 1 doubles. East’s Kendall Gerken and Kathryn Rhodes beat Sydney Schlotter and Haven Link 6-1, 6-2.
Link, a freshman, was filling in for Hannah Gosman, who had another commitment.
“(Schlotter and Link have) never played together before, and for Haven being the alternate, she definitely stepped up,” Edinburgh coach Rachel O’Brien said. “They had a fun time. They’re friends off the court, and I think that really helped them kind of bond and talk.”