Prep Notebook: Northwestern girls tennis advance five players to districts

Northwestern senior Kate Pederson returns the ball during their season-opening match against Greeneview on Tuesday. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER

The Northwestern High School girls tennis team won its second straight Central Buckeye Conference championship this fall, finishing the regular season with a 16-2 record and a perfect conference conference mark of 14-0.

The Warriors have carried the momentum into the postseason.

Northwestern qualified five players to next week’s Division II district tournament at the ATP Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, including sophomore Leah Fraker at singles and the doubles teams of seniors Kate Pederson and Kate Tanner and sophomore Macy Yeager and freshman Taylor Errett.

It was the first time the Warriors have qualified fiveto districts during Kevin Fraker’s 10-season tenure as head coach. They’ll play for sectional championships at today’s sectional semifinals at Troy High School.

“We’ve got a great group of girls who believe in themselves and they’ve been working hard all year, even the offseason,” Kevin Fraker said. “This is a reward for all of the hard work they’ve done. I’m happy for them.”

The Warriors unseeded senior doubles duo of Pederson and Tanner beat fourth-seeded Gretchen Heffner and Kyla Collins of Kenton Ridge 6-3, 6-0 on Tuesday at Troy High School to advance to the semifinals. They’ll face top-seeded Amelia Zweizig and Eliza Zweizig of Tippecanoe.

“It’s their last shot and they gave it their all and played really well,” Kevin Fraker said. “They won most of the matches decisively. They’ve figured out a style of play that’s very effective.”

The Warriors third-seeded doubles duo of Yeager and Errett beat Kenton Ridge’s Kylie Reed and Ireland Cadogan 6-0, 6-3 to advance. They’ll face second-seeded Taylor Falb and Shannon Brumbaugh in the semifinals on Saturday.

Yeager and Errett played singles most of the year, but Kevin Fraker matched them up against some of the top teams in Dayton at the end of the season to prepare them for the postseason.

“It was almost state caliber play,” he said. “I had to remind them that they’re good and that they were going to be fine and they were.”

In the singles tournament, third-seeded Leah Fraker beat Bellefontaine’s Courtney Sims 6-0, 6-2 to advance to the semifinals. She’ll face Greenville’s Emily Marchal in the semifinals.

With multiple matches scheduled for the same day in the postseason, Leah Fraker began increasing her fitness level to prepare for the tournament. Over the last few weeks, she’s done extra work after matches, including sprints and

“She wants to make sure her conditioning will help her in any close match that she faces,” Kevin Fraker said.

Pederson, a four-year starter, has 74 wins as a varsity starter. She played mostly singles before moving to doubles this fall.

“She’s had a very successful high school career,” Kevin Fraker said. “I’m very happy for her.”

The Warriors who didn’t qualify for districts have played a key role in helping the team prepare for the semifinals, Kevin Fraker said. Sophomores Hannah Haley, Grace Estes, Delaney Miller and junior Anna Winkelman all saw time at second doubles this fall.

“We expect big things from them and hopefully we can get them there in the future,” Kevin Fraker said.

Boys golf: Greeneview senior Mason Witt shot 75 at the D-II district meet at Glenview Golf Course in Cincinnati on Wednesday, qualifying for next week’s state championship tournament. Witt, a Xavier University commit, is the defending state champion.

Cross Country: The Shawnee boys and girls cross country teams took home championships at the Clark County Meet held at Emmanuel Christian Academy on Tuesday.

Shawnee junior Audrey DeSantis won the girls race in a time of 19:06 for the Braves, while Emmanuel Christian junior Jacob Kittles won the boys race in 17:11.

Volleyball: Northeastern is ranked 13th in the most recent Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association state poll, earning one first-place vote. The Jets are 18-0 and 13-0 in the Ohio Heritage Conference North Division. They can clinch at least a share of their second straight league title with a victory today at West Liberty-Salem (10-7, 9-4).

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