PORT CLINTON — Move over, Serena Williams. Make room for Lexington’s Sylvia Goldsmith, Jordyn Traxler and Maya Ahmed.
Goldsmith was a singles runner-up and Traxler and Ahmed finished third in doubles at the Division II district tennis tournament, which started in Bowling Green on Wednesday and concluded Saturday at Port Clinton. The three girls advance to next week’s state tournament at the Linder Family Tennis Center in greater Cincinnati. The center hosts pros like Serena every summer in the Western & Southern Open.
The tournament has moved from its traditional home on the Ohio State campus.
“They’re excited,” coach Ron Schaub said about playing in a new venue. “Any time you get to state it’s a huge accomplishment. They’ve put a lot of time in to get there. We’ll have to check the environment, but I think it’s a cool situation.”
Lex’s three qualifiers breezed through the first two rounds at BG. Goldsmith dropped only two games in two matches, beating Lima Bath’s Charis Barnes 6-0, 6-1 and then Port Clinton’s Alyssa Krupp 6-1, 6-0 in the quarterfinals.
Traxler and Ahmed advanced to the quarters with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Amelia Buchele and Olivia Wright of Toledo Central Catholic and then took out Taylor Steyer and Meghan Gallogly of Port Clinton 6-0, 6-1.
On Saturday, Goldsmith opened with a 6-4, 6-0 win over fellow sectional champ Kaylee Davis of Spencerville in the semis before falling in the finals to 2014 state runner-up Olivia Rohrbacher of Sandusky Perkins 6-3, 6-1.
Goldsmith, a freshman lefthander named Player of the Year in the Ohio Cardinal Conference, had two break points to pull even at 4-all in the first half, but Rohrbacher fought them off.
“Sylvia was awesome,” Schaub said. “She played strong the whole tournament and she’s peaking at the right time. She can handle pace and she’s playing well. I was hoping it would be Sylvia and Rohrbacher in the district finals when the season started and it happened. Sylvia took three games the first time they played and four this time.”
Traxter, a junior, and Ahmed, the lone senior on Lex’s squad, broke through as a tandem after getting within one victory of state last season.They clinched their state berth Wednesday, taking some of the pressure off. They lost 6-1, 6-0 in Saturday’s semis to fellow sectional champs Sophie Spinazze and Maverick Delp of Toledo Central Catholic and then beat Clyde’s Andrea Nearhood and Emi Bowers 7-6, 6-3 in the consolation finals.
“They’re playing with more poise; it’s one more year (of experience),” Schaub said of his duo. “Both have been solid. Just to make it (to state) is an awesome accomplishment.”
Lex’s No. 2 doubles team of Hayliegh Tucker and Madi Mueller went 1-1 in the tourney. They beat Lauren Stevens and Morgan Billstein of Ottawa Hills 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in their first match before falling 6-3, 6-1 to Wapokenta’s Hannah Lee and Madison Watt.
Falling in their first-round singles matches were Lex’s Kirstyn Geyer, St. Peter’s Natalie Zitko and Shelby’s Katie Bowman.
Lex will try to make it a three-day business trip next weekend when it hosts Clyde at 4 p.m. Tuesday for a berth in the Final Four of the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association state team tournament, set for next Sunday in Reynoldsburg. A win would set up an 11th straight trip to state for Schaub’s girls program.
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