Doubles often is where young tennis players end up simply because of a lack of courts and time at the reserve level.
Many of Granville’s seniors, however, fell in love with doubles, and they have never left. The Blue Aces enter next week’s Division I postseason with four senior captains playing on their two doubles teams.
Charlton and classmate Abbey Wells qualified to the Division II district tournament a season ago, but will see a significant change in competition with the move to Division I. They do have experience on their side when they compete in the sectional tournament Oct. 1 at Reynoldsburg.
Wells played her first two seasons of varsity with Skylar Speelman. Once Speelman graduated, Charlton joined her, and they have been a force since.
“I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that we work really well together as a team,” Charlton said. “We both balance each other out on the court. … We can communicate without actually speaking.”
Victories from the two doubles teams led the Blue Aces to victory Monday against visiting Watkins Memorial.
Charlton and Wells beat won 6-2, 6-3, and Sarah Demeter and Mara Dunning won 6-1, 6-1. At No. 1 singles, Eleanor Male won 6-0, 6-0, and Kate Ginise won 6-1, 6-1, at No. 3. Lindsay White fell, 6-2, 6-4, at No. 2.
“When you are feeling down in between a point, if someone else can build you up, it makes all of the difference,” Charlton said.
Demeter and Dunning do not have as much experience together as Dunning still is working her way back up to speed after missing her junior season with injury. She practiced a little bit with the boys team this past spring.
Coach Keith Mullins has used Dunning in some singles matches this season, but he said playing her with Demeter for the postseason should be the right fit.
“Being friends helps too, because you know that person on a personal level,” Demeter said. “It is just really nice from her aspect knowing that there is someone else on the court to help her, so doubles is a good way for her to come back and be strong and feel confident.”
With five seniors in the current varsity lineup, the Blue Aces will have a number of holes to fill. The current seniors, however, will be gone but not forgotten.
Demeter said she and her classmates have made it a point to help the reserve players get up to speed, so the Blue Aces do not skip a beat in 2016.
“We have been giving a lot of guidance to our little underclassmen,” Demeter said. “Just teaching them the ropes because we know that most of the varsity is going to be gone next year.”