Weaver ready for state experience

Perrysburg’s April
Weaver in practice before going down to Columbus to play in the state tournament. 10/20/09 (Photo: Aaron
Carpenter/Sentinel-Tribune)

PERRYSBURG — This weekend’s state tennis tournament will be a new experience for April Weaver.
But it’s an experience the Perrysburg sophomore has been looking forward to since she began playing the
sport.
“I’m just going to make the most of it,” Weaver said. “I was hoping to make it to state … I’ll be
nervous, but I’m not really hoping to go far right now. It’s just for experience this year. I’ll have
another two years.”
Weaver is the lone Yellow Jacket to make the trip to Columbus after what was another solid season for the
Perrysburg girls tennis program.
Perrysburg won its seventh consecutive Northern Lakes League title and sent six players to the district
tournament.
All this success coming in a season in which the ’Jackets lost a talented senior class to graduation,
including three-time state qualifier Julia Metzger who is now playing tennis at the University of
Oregon.
“We had a lot of seniors graduate so it was going to be hard this year. But it’s a continuation of the
tradition,” Weaver said.
Now Weaver, even as a sophomore, has stepped into the role of the leader at No. 1 singles for the
program. Weaver won her first NLL individual title and was named first-team All-NLL.
“I definitely feel like she was ready to step into that role,” said first-year Perrysburg coach Julie
Weider. “She’s definitely been very valuable to our program this year. She took on the role quite well.”

Weaver credits her success to an increased practice schedule, one that has her playing two hours per day,
seven days a week.
She works individually with coach Weider as well as assistant coach Zorana George, a pro at the
Perrysburg Tennis Center where Weaver does most of her training. She also has two private lessons per
week to work on specifics of her game.
“April practices every day, pretty much seven days a week,” Weider said. “She has a varied practice. It’s
not the same every day.”
That practice has paid off, as Weaver cruised to a sectional title, losing a total of six games in her
four matches. She won her first three matches at districts easily before losing in three sets in the
finals to Notre Dame’s Megan McNamara, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. The top two players from the Northwest district
advanced to state.
Now the sophomore will going up against the very best in Ohio.
“Just win at least one or two matches,” said Weaver of her goals at state. “I know Julia Metzger used to
cream me and I know that she got beat down there, so I know it’s good competition.”
Metzger was the Division I state runnerup last season and finished third as a junior.
Weaver will face Akron Firestone senior Christine Coffman in the first round Friday. Coffman took third
place in the Northeast district.
“I just need to control my nerves and just play well,” Weaver said. “I’ll just have to think of it as
just another tournament.”
Weaver is the only sophomore in the 16-player field, but there are three freshman. Defending Division I
state champion, senior Kara Sherwood from Mentor, is not in the field.
“She’s ready for it. It’s going to be a great experience,” Weider said. “I think she needs to focus on
playing her game and not getting distracted by the whole experience and the excitement of going to
state.”
“It depends on how I play. Some days I can be really bad and the next day I can be really good. But
looking at the draw I know I can beat the other players, or most of them,” Weaver said. “Even against a
really good player, just fight, even if I don’t have the advantage. Just fight and win as many games as
I can.”
The first two rounds of play will be held at Ohio State University’s Stickney Tennis Center Friday
morning. The semifinals and finals on Saturday will move to Hilliard Davidson High School due to a home
Ohio State football game.

Athlete of the Week: 9-04-09 – April Weaver
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