Southwest Ohio Huddle: State tennis champs, state volleyball dominance and 12 straight state tournaments


Southwest Ohio Huddle

The 91st annual state boys’ tennis tournament begins Friday in Columbus.
And if history is any indicator, Cincinnati will have yet another
significant impact on the tournament this year. The same goes for the boys volleyball state tournament.

The 91st annual state boys’ tennis tournament begins Friday in Columbus. And if history is any indicator, Cincinnati will have yet another significant impact on the tournament this year.

That’s because for seven consecutive years, the Queen City has had a state singles champion in either Division I or II. The last time the Cincinnati-area didn’t have a state singles champion in either division was in 2002.

Cincinnati Country Day senior Joey Fritz – last year’s Division II state champion – returns again to Ohio State University’s Stickney Tennis Center this weekend. Fritz, who has signed with Amherst College, was recently named a High School All-American by the National High School Tennis All-American Foundation.

Fritz is scheduled to play Warren John F. Kennedy junior Michael Fredericka in the first round on Friday.

In Division I, Liberty Township Lakota East sophomore Zach Mueck is among the Cincinnati hopefuls after he won district singles title on Saturday. Mueck, who improved to 27-2, defeated Sycamore’s Adam Reinhart 7-6 (7-4), 5-7, 6-4, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Mueck, who was named the Greater Miami Conference player of the year earlier this spring, became just the second Lakota East player to be honored with the conference award since Ryan Hamning (2005 and ’06). Mueck is scheduled to play Shaker Heights junior David Gabriel in the state tournament.

“Zach is playing some dominating tennis right now,” Lakota East coach Greg Mahlerwein told the Pulse Journal late last week. “He’s worked incredibly hard, and he’s been focused on his goals of getting to state all year long. He’s got as good a shot as anybody at state to get the title and we made the next step of making it there. Now let’s see what we can do once we get there.”


Lauren Collier, Kings Mills Kings: The senior pitcher helped lead the Knights defeat reigning Division II state champion Hamilton Ross 5-0 last weekend. Collier had 13 strikeouts and had a one-hitter, according to the Pulse Journal. She also went 3-for-4 at the plate with a doubles and two RBI, according to the Pulse Journal.

“A 0-0 game is like huge tension,” Collier told the publication. “It made me feel so much better when we scored those runs. Once we did that, all I had to do was throw.”

Collier is the Knights’ leading hitter with a .436 batting average. She also has nine doubles, four triples, four home runs and 24 RBI. She is 22-6 as a pitcher, including 274 strikeouts and 16 shutouts. She has a 0.57 ERA.


Dayton Carroll softball team: Carroll won its second consecutive Girls’ Greater Cincinnati League Grey North division title. Carroll finished with a 16-7 overall record and was 9-1 in the league. “Winning back-to-back championships is great for us because we don’t have a feeder system like a lot of the GGL schools,” Carroll coach Mike Davis told the Dayton Daily News. “We have girls who are two- and three-sport athletes who don’t start playing softball until spring.”

Carroll’s offensive leaders included Joanna Ross (.439 batting average) and Casey Hobbs (.371). Ross had eight doubles, 25 RBI and 26 stolen bases. Hobbs had seven doubles, four triples, 17 RBI and 20 stolen bases.

“We didn’t have a lot of power so (we) had to manufacture runs,” Davis said. “Jo and Casey can really run and made a lot of things happen.”

Carroll pitcher Ronni Burns was 16-7 with 255 strikeouts and six shutouts. She had a 1.80 ERA. Carroll’s season ended when it lost to Urbana 3-0 in a Division II sectional game earlier this month.


Centerville advances to state: The Centerville boys volleyball team advanced to its 12th consecutive state tournament with a 25-19, 25-23, 25-18 win over Lakota East last weekend, according to the Dayton Daily News. It was the Elks’ 19th overall regional title, according to the publication. Senior Sam Sheers had 11 kills and junior David Riggsby had 31 assists, according to the publication. “For us, not getting to state would be an unsuccessful season,” Centerville coach Monte Moser told the Dayton Daily News. “With the success this program has had over the years, they have that obligation.”

Latimer commits:
Xenia wing player Brittiney Latimer has committed to play basketball at Cincinnati State, according to the Dayton Daily News. Latimer averaged 14.5 points and 9.2 rebounds last season, according to the publication.

Kentucky offers Clark:
The University of Kentucky recently offered Finneytown junior lineman Donavon Clark, according to Clark also has offers from Cincinnati, Southern California, North Carolina State, Syracuse, Louisville, Duke, Buffalo and West Virginia among others.

Matulis commits:
Milford senior Dan Matulis has signed to play water polo at Long Beach State University. Matulis is a two-time member of the USA Junior National Team and a three-time member of the All-Ohio first team.

Hayes adds additional offers:
Moeller junior defensive lineman Jesse Hayes added offers from Illinois and Iowa recently. Hayes (6-4, 230) has 19 other scholarship offers, including Cincinnati, Tennessee, Oregon, California, Arizona and several other schools.

Wilkins makes college commitment:
Princeton senior Darrien Wilkins signed with Sinclair Community College recently. Wilkins, a 6-5 guard/forward, averaged 13.4 points and 7.6 rebounds for the Vikings this past season. “Darrien was a huge part of the success of the Princeton Vikings basketball program over the last three seasons,” Princeton coach Josh Andrews said. “He is a dynamic athlete with a unique skill set.”

Hanson has offers:
Mason junior wide receiver Derek Hanson (6-0, 180) was offered by Central Michigan and Buffalo last week, according to

Wallace named Colerain girls’ basketball coach:
Colerain named Dan Wallace as the new Cardinals’ girls’ basketball coach last week. Wallace was previously an assistant coach at McAuley the past two seasons. He replaces former Colerain coach Christi Mack, who stepped down in order to spend more time with her family.


Kings Mills Kings vs. Greenville softball, 5 p.m. Wednesday: These two teams meet in a Division II regional semifinal at Clayton Northmont. Greenville defeated Valley View 3-1 in the Division II district final last week, according to the Dayton Daily News. Greenville pitcher Jordyn Fisherback had 12 strikeouts in that game, according to the publication. Kings defeated reigning state champion Ross 5-0 this past weekend. Kings pitcher Lauren Collier improved to 22-6.

Division I track and field regional at Welcome Stadium, 4 p.m. Wednesday:
The first day of the Division I regional track and field meet opens in Dayton. The field events begin at 4 p.m., and running events begin with the 3,200 relay at 4:30 p.m. The meet resumes at 4 p.m. Friday. The Mason boys’ and girls’ teams won the Division I district title in the Cincinnati area last week.

McNicholas vs. Franklin baseball, 2 p.m. Thursday:
These two teams play in a Division II regional semifinal at the University of Dayton. The winner plays the winner of Bellbrook or Plain City Jonathan Alder in a regional final at 5 p.m. Friday at the University of Dayton. McNicholas, which has won three consecutive games, has been led offensively by Tim Gormly, who is hitting .440 with 30 RBI. Other leaders for the Rockets include Craig Hyson (.420 batting average) and Ryan Curran (.402). Hyson has a team-leading 31 RBI. Franklin defeated Kenton Ridge 13-4 in the Division II district final on Saturday.

State boys’ volleyball tournament:
The annual state boys’ volleyball tournament will be held at Centerville High School Saturday and Sunday. The schedule on Saturday includes Purcell Marian vs. Hoban in a Division II semifinal at 10 a.m., followed by Alter vs. St. Charles at 11:45 a.m. Elder plays Lakewood St. Edward in a Division I quarterfinal at 1:30 p.m., followed by Moeller vs. Cleveland St. Ignatius at 3:15 p.m. Lakota West plays Hilliard Darby at 6:30 p.m., followed by Centerville vs. Mount Vernon at 8:15 p.m. The semifinals and finals resume Sunday starting at 11 a.m.

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