Bull Dogs blank Olympians; semis, final to be played today

After getting rained out of their first-round girls tennis sectional match on Wednesday, Columbus North was hoping to get in its opening-round match with Columbus East, as well as the semifinals on Thursday.

As it turned out, only that first match was able to be completed, with the third-ranked Bull Dogs posting a 5-0 victory against the Olympians.

The semifinal match between Hauser (10-9) and Brown County (6-9) was suspended because of rain and will pick back up at 4 p.m. today. North (12-3) and Edinburgh (10-5) also will start their semifinal match at 4 p.m., and the sectional final will follow after the semis are completed.

“We just didn’t want to get sloppy and get mad and make mistakes, so we did what we needed to do. It’s going to be tougher down the road, but this is one of those things where you just keep working on things, keep focusing on some strategies and your shots and improve yourself for the next match,” North coach Kendal Hammel said. “We knew the sectional and even the regional are matches that we should win, that we would be favored in. But those are things that we need to work on to get ready for a very tough draw the rest of the state tournament.”

The Bull Dogs jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead Thursday with Kathryn Wilson blanking Shruthika Kumar 6-0, 6-0 at No. 2 singles and Ashlie Wilson beating Katie Hong 6-1, 6-0 at No. 1 singles. Aya Saad then finished off a 6-1, 6-0 win against Ruth Federle at No. 3 singles.

North’s Leah George and Tiffany Fu won a 6-2, 6-1 decision against Cathrine Millwood and Katey Rieckers at No. 1 doubles. Sydney Cooper and Annabelle Sun topped Betsy Hoene and Ashlynn Waddle 6-1, 6-0 at No. 2 doubles.

“Especially in doubles, I feel like we were pretty competitive,” East coach Matt Malinsky said. “Even some of the games we didn’t actually win, I felt like they had a lot of points they won. They had a lot of good shots they made, so I’m pretty happy with the way they played. I thought they performed to their level, if not better, today.”

The Bull Dogs and Olympians were meeting for the first time this season after their regular-season contest was rained out.

“We played fine,” Hammel said. “We’ve not played East this year, but we came out and did what we expected to do.”¬

East, which finishes the season 1-15, is losing only one player — Millwood — from it’s sectional lineup.

“We’re losing very few seniors, so we’re going to have a lot of the same experience coming back,” Malinsky said. “Before any of the juniors we have this year graduate next year, we should be able to make a run with the same players with another year of experience under their belt. Hopefully, we can get everybody to come out and play in the offseason, and we can build upon their experience from this season.”

In the Hauser-Brown County semifinal, only one of the five matches was completed. The Eagles’ Anna Tipton beat the Jets;’ Addyson Barriger 6-0, 6-0 at No. 2 singles.

Brown County’s Anna Stogsdill leads Bella Kilps 5-4 at No. 1 singles, and the Eagles’ Mattie Satter leads Lydia Jordan 5-2 at No. 3 singles. Brown County’s Mary Rygiel and Katie Tipton lead Charlie Clark and Gabby Johns 6-3, 4-1 at No. 1 doubles

The No. 2 doubles match between the Eagles; Abie Bowman and Julia Burt and the Jets’ Piper Rowell and Mattie Foster had yet to begin when play was suspended.