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State Tennis: Golick leads contingent to Columbus
State Tennis: Golick leads contingent to ColumbusBy Jim Horvath

And then there were six.

Six girls from the Westshore area have advanced to the 2011 OHSAA Girls State Tennis Tournament in Columbus this weekend. Leading the field is Westlake’s three-time state qualifier Lauren Golick, who last week won the Oberlin Division I district championship at Oberlin College.

Also advancing to state in the singles competition is Magnificat’s Emily Witt. The sophomore is making her first appearance at state for the Blue Streaks, who finished ranked No. 3 in the final Division I coaches poll.

Westlake finished sixth in the final poll and will be sending its second and third singles players, Michelle Djohan and Julia Dunbar. The two joined forces as a doubles team toward the end of the season and advanced to this weekend’s tournament.

Rounding out the area’s state qualifiers are Bay’s top singles players Katy Quillen and Lauren Chen. They qualified in district play as a doubles team and will be making their first-ever trip to Columbus.

Golick, who is undefeated this season, will open play against senior Brooke Dennis of Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame. In the bottom part of the bracket are senior Sydney Delp of Toledo Central Catholic and junior Cristina DiLorenzo of New Albany.

With two wins on Friday, Golick would again advance to the semifinals. She did so last year, but lost to Upper Arlington’s Niki Flower in the semifinals. Flower went on to lose the title match to Mount Notre Dame’s Sandy Niehaus in three sets. Flower has graduated, but Niehaus is back in 2011 as a junior.

In fact, she could face Golick in the semifinals on Saturday. She is the second seed in her bracket, with the top seed being sophomore Anna Sanford of Olentangy Orange. But no matter who Golick would face, Demons head coach Ralph Dunbar feels she’s prepared for the challenge.

“Lauren is peaking at the right time,” Dubar said Thursday morning. “She’s been working toward that. She’s been ramping up throughout the season to make sure she’s playing her best tennis this weekend.

“Lauren is prepared, both physically and mentally. This year, she hits the ball harder and stronger, plus she’s added more offense into her game,” Dunbar said.

Dunbar also felt his doubles team of Djohan and Dunbar would be ready. “They’ve been practicing on and off with each other all season,” he said. “They compliment each other. Michelle’s aggressiveness and experience go well with Julia’s consistency and accuracy in setting up the point.”

Djohan, a senior, will be returning to state after competing in doubles last year with former teammate Kelsey Wanhainen. She and Dunbar, a sophomore making her first trip to state, are the second seed and will face juniors Lauren Thai and Ashley Thai of Hilliard Bradley in their opening-round match.

Witt, a second seed, will open singles play against junior Taylor Holden of Lakota East. On the other side of the bracket are Ashwatha Thenappan of Dublin Coffman and top seed Kennedy Shaffer, a freshman from Toledo St. Ursula Academy.

In Division II doubles, the Rockets’ duo of Quillen and Chen will start out their day against the top seed in the bracket, seniors Dominique Baxter and Holly Dahmus of Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy.

Play starts Friday with Division I singles matches at 9 a.m. at the Ohio State University Outdoor Varsity Tennis Courts. Division II singles matches follow, with doubles matches starting up after that. Two rounds will be played that day, with the semifinals and championship matches slated for Saturday. Matches for all semifinalists begin at 9 a.m.

Magnificat in state final four

The Blue Streaks advanced to the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association Coaches Cup final four with a 3-0 win over Walsh Jesuit. It is the third time in the past five seasons that the Blue Streaks have advanced to the final four.

Magnificat reached the district title match with a 3-1 win over Westlake in the semifinals.

In that match, singles victories by Lauren O’Malley and Maddie Lugli and a doubles win by Annie Foliano and Kelly Plagens got the Streaks past the Warriors.

The Blue Streaks will play Cincinnati Ursuline Sunday at 8 a.m. at Hilliard Davidson High School in the OTCA state semifinals. With a win, they would play for the team state championship later that day.

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