GALION —After a 1-9 finish to the season in 2015, up was the only direction Galion’s girls tennis team to go.
And in case you haven’t noticed, that is exactly where the Tigers have been heading under coaches Bob Roesch and Terry Gribble.
The team is full of youth, sure, but they do not lack experience or talent. Some of the girls spend their winters playing tennis at an indoor facility in Lexington to keep honing their skills.
“They come to practice and work hard without complaining” Roesch said.
A valuable trait at any age, especially for young student athletes not yet old enough to drive themselves to practice.
It is all paying off for the Tigers.
Galion is tied for first place in the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference Red Division with the Jonathon Alder Pioneers, at 6-1 in conference matchups. The Pioneers are the only team to defeat Galion in the conference this season, and did so by just one point, 3-2. The only other loss on the season for the Tigers was at home against Clear Fork.
In fact, the only time that Galion has seen a rough go of things was at the Ontario Invite, which was the first action of the season, where the squad won just one of seven matches.
Galion has recorded wins this season over Shelby, Buckeye Valley (twice), River Valley (twice), Ontario, Marion Harding, Marion Pleasant and Upper Sandusky to take their overall record to 9-2.
The singles players have been standouts.
Kayley Gimbel has been nearly perfect at first singles. She is undefeated in 11 matches and owns a win in doubles while teaming with Jalyn Oswald. Katherine Talbott, who plays at second singles, is 10-2 . At third singles is Jalyn Oswald, 11-3 on the year, with both a win and a loss in doubles competition.
So, what’s next for the youthful Tigers?
Galion has seven dual meets remaining, including conference matchups against Jonathon Alder, Marion Harding and Marion Pleasant. Also remaining for the Tigers is another clash with the Clear Fork Colts on Sept. 29 at Heise Park.
The ever important MOAC tournament is Sept. 17 in Marion. Last year in the conference tournament, Galion finished in last place, while only recording three points.
The tennis team is having a fundraiser Tuesday, Sept. 27 from 5:30-8:00 pm at Galion Pizza Hut.