IN THE NEWS: WORTHINGTON CHRISTIAN’S MEGHAN MAYOTTE CAPS TENNIS CAREER WITH TRIP TO STATE
By Jarrod Ulrey, firstname.lastname@example.org
Before beginning the next step in her basketball career, Meghan Mayotte made one final athletic stop outside the sport: the Division II state girls tennis tournament.
The Worthington Christian senior, who helped the girls basketball team to a Division III state runner-up finish last winter, became the Warriors’ first singles player to qualify for state since Christiana Raymond won the 2006 championship.
The two sports form a symbiotic relationship for the 5-foot-9 Mayotte, a combo guard who announced Sept. 8 that she’ll play college basketball at Ohio Dominican.
“I’ve committed to Ohio Dominican for basketball and they don’t have a tennis program, so I’m only going to play basketball (competitively) from now on,” said Mayotte, a Westerville resident. “(Tennis) helps with my footwork and it’s always nice to have a break from basketball. It’s a good way to stay in shape and get to know more girls.”
The Warriors’ girls basketball program has a new coach in Aaron Davis and held its first official practice Oct. 21, which was the day Mayotte competed at state at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
Mayotte was leading Hamilton Badin sophomore Caroline Boyle 4-3 in the second set but wound up falling 6-3, 6-4 in the first round.
“She was up 4-3 in the second set and had chances to get it to 5-3 but couldn’t convert,” said coach Stefanie Mayotte, who is Meghan’s mother. “(Boyle) just doesn’t miss much and I think they kind of went toe-to-toe, but Meghan had a few more unforced errors than the other girl.”
Meghan Mayotte beat Columbus School for Girls’ Lanie Klatt 6-0, 6-1 to capture a sectional title and then beat Columbus Academy’s Malia Chow 6-2, 6-0 and Academy’s Tamanna Arya 7-5, 6-2 at district to qualify for state.
She lost 6-0, 6-0 to eventual state champion Amiya Bowles from Bexley in the district final, but this marked the first postseason since 2016 that the top two finishers in singles and doubles at district advanced to state in Division II after only the champion in both had qualified the past five seasons.
The setback to Boyle was just the fourth this season for Mayotte, whose 2021 season ended in a district-semifinal loss in singles. Mayotte teamed up in doubles with her sister, 2021 graduate Abby Mayotte, to finish second at district in 2019 and reach a district semifinal in 2020.
“It’s really exciting (making it to state),” Meghan Mayotte said. “I was pretty close a couple other years, but it’s just really cool and fun to play against really good girls.”
Mayotte was part of a senior class that also featured Brianna Nowery, who teamed with junior Ella Rouse to reach a quarterfinal in doubles at sectional.
Also in singles at sectional, sophomore Brooke Stone lost in a quarterfinal and sophomore Emma Flanigan fell in the first round.
The other doubles entry at sectional, sophomores Lauryl Burns and Brooke Winfree, lost in the second round.
Worthington Christian finished 5-10 overall and placed fifth (3-4) in the MSL-Ohio Division behind champion Academy (6-0).
“(Meghan) showed huge improvement, even just this year,” coach Mayotte said. “It helps that the Central District got two (players to state), but she earned her way (to state).”