By Ben Stroup
The Pacers were sharp Tuesday, especially mentally, as they outlasted host Big Walnut in a key OCC-Capital Division showdown in Sunbury.
“We won the mental game on a couple of key courts tonight,” Hayes girls tennis coach Julieanne McClain said. “Second doubles lost the first set and was down 2-5 in the second set, but didn’t give up. They were able to focus their efforts and just keep playing one more point at a time, and that made a big difference.”
That second doubles duo — Emily Miklas and Paris Knipp — rallied to beat Lexie Kirkpatrick and Kayleigh Cummins 3-6, 7-6, 6-4.
Mallory Hackett, who beat BW senior Sara Althauser 7-6, 6-4 at third singles, picked up another critical win.
“Mallory was able to really focus her game,” McClain said. “She knew she had to hit a lot of balls tonight to win points, and she didn’t let herself get distracted from that goal. It helped her to outlast her opponent in long points.”
Hayes’ third wan came courtesy of Jillian Goulet, who beat Lindsey Hill 6-3, 6-3 at second singles.
The Golden Eagles, who were in the hunt on all five courts, were led by Macie Kercsmar, who knocked off Anna Adams 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 at first singles; and Anna Faust and Hannah Moroz, who beat Kara Wegmiller and Kelsey Knodell 7-5, 6-2 at first doubles.
Orange 3, Olentangy 2
Olentangy dominated at first and second singles, but host Orange handled its business on the other three courts as the Pioneers earned a 3-2 OCC-Capital Division win Tuesday in Lewis Center.
Orange winners included Isabella Prislusky, who knocked off Jothsna Sabbasani 6-0, 6-2 at third singles; Mary Damko and Katherine Dahs, who beat Janie Miller and Alyssa Shakley 7-6, 6-0 at first doubles; and Jessie George and Livie Mauger, who defeated Olivia Gornichec and Sophie Tayade 7-5, 6-0 at second doubles.
Bri Brdicka and Kathleen Jones boosted the Braves, winning by 6-0, 6-0 margins at first and second singles, respectively.
Liberty 3, Upper Arlington 2
The Patriots edged the host Golden Bears Tuesday, nabbing a hard-fought 3-2 OCC-Central Division win in Upper Arlington.
Alexia Meyer and Sidney Reineke secured Liberty’s singles wins. Meyer knocked off Olivia Kompa 6-1, 6-2 at first singles while Reineke handled Evelyn Holman 6-1, 6-0 at third singles.
The Patriots also won at second doubles, where Avivah Wang and Cellini Ko teamed up to beat Ashley Weeks and Masha Manilchuk 6-4, 6-1.
Buckeye Valley 4, Galion 1
The Barons swept the doubles courts and took two of three at singles en route to a 4-1 win over visiting Galion Tuesday in Delaware.
BV winners included Arianna Phrakornkham, who beat the Tigers’ Katelyn Smith 6-1, 6-4 at first singles; Kasey Morris, who handled Cassidy Ivy 6-0, 6-0 at second singles; Alexis Poulton and Jo Ann Leienberger, who beat Dani Court and Tori Chandler 6-1, 6-2 at first doubles; and Alex and Brienna Garber, who breezed by Marisa Brenich and Kristen Gifford 6-0, 6-0 at second doubles.
Follow Ben Stroup on Twitter @delgazette_ben.