Big Walnut’s Macie Kercsmar and Lexie Kirkpatrick made some serious noise at Thursday’s Division I sectional tennis tournament in Pickerington, combining to win all six of their matches.
Kercsmar won three straight to become the first D-I district qualifier in program history. The last time the Golden Eagles had a district qualifier was in 2008, when they competed in Division II.
Kercsmar started her run with a 6-0, 6-0 opening-round win over Mount Vernon’s Shannon Powers. She followed up the straight-set win with an equally impressive 6-1, 6-1 victory over Lancaster’s Sydney Bird and handled Pickerington Central’s Jessie Weidner 6-4, 6-1 in the quarterfinals to ensure a spot in next week’s district tourney.
Kirkpatrick could become BW’s second Division I district qualifier, but will need to win one more match as she started the day needing a win in the feed-in bracket to keep her season alive — a win she notched 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 over DeSales’ Izza Arbona.
She went on to beat Hamilton Township’s Madison Barney (6-3, 3-6, 7-5) in her next match and Mount Vernon’s Hannah Baldwin (6-2, 6-1) in her third to advance to the quarterfinals and a date with Westerville Central’s Nicole Cardwell. The match will take place today at 3 p.m. at Westerville Central High School.
Kercsmar, meanwhile, will look to improve her district seeding with a win in her sectional semifinal match Saturday morning at Pickerington Central.
Olentangy, led by freshman Leila Raines’ medal-winning 33 (three-under par), fired a combined 160 to edge sister schools Liberty and Orange Thursday at Scioto Reserve.
Kara Raines (39), Alex Cardi (40) and Taylor Renzi (48) also chipped in for the Braves.
The Patriots finished second with a 163 while the Pioneers smoothed out the scoring summary with a 167.
Kayla Primm scored a pair of goals, the second with 4:12 left in the game, to lift Olentangy to a key 2-1 OCC-Buckeye Division win Thursday in Lewis Center.
Liberty 1, Westerville Central 0
The Patriots improved to 11-2 overall and 4-0 in OCC-Buckeye play with a win over the Warhawks Thursday in Powell.
Abby Townsend scored the game’s lone goal.
Buckeye Valley 2, Johnstown 1
Chloe Aquino and Selina Seliskar scored to lead the Barons to a solid non-league win Thursday night.
Seliskar and Anna Cox were credited with assists in the win.
Also: Big Walnut 14, Franklin Heights 0.
Big Walnut made its final home game of the season a memorable one, blanking visiting Franklin Heights 7-0 on Thursday’s Senior Night.
The Golden Eagles did the bulk of their damage in the first half, scoring five of their seven goals.
Andrew Mickley opened the scoring summary less than five minutes into the action. Tim Rumas, Michael Elicson, Chase Geddis, Carson Dearth, Chase Muhlbaier and Nicholas Flury also found the back of the net in the win.
Michael Kline led a trio of Big Walnut goalies with three saves.
Also: Westerville Central 2, Liberty 1.
Olentangy 5, Hartley 0.
Orange 3, Olentangy 1.
Follow Ben Stroup on Twitter @delgazette_ben.