When the Columbus Academy girls lacrosse team returned from spring break in early April, assistant coach Ali Hildahl knew head coach Anne Horton's knee was hurting.

When the Columbus Academy girls lacrosse team returned from spring break in early April, assistant coach Ali Hildahl knew head coach Anne Horton's knee was hurting.

"I told her just to get (the surgery) done," said Hildahl, who has been a Vikings assistant coach since 1997.

On April 21 and a week ahead schedule, Horton underwent knee replacement surgery. A day later, Hildahl took over Horton's head coaching duties for the Vikings game against New Albany.

"It was different," Hildahl said. "We missed her. She has such a strong personality. I had been planning for it for a week, so I was OK with it, but we missed her and her intensity. She brings such a strong personality to the sidelines."

Horton's time off is limited. Academy expects her to return to the sidelines for Friday's game against Upper Arlington. In all, Horton will have missed three games.

Academy was 6-2 overall before last Tuesday. After the Vikings lost their opener to Thomas Worthington 8-5 on April 1, they won six of their next seven games.

"We're progressing really well," Hildahl said. "We had two big victories at the (Hannigan-Galipault Tournament) and had a huge win over Dublin Jerome (10-9 on April 15)."

Senior Mia Wise has provided much of the offensive output while senior Alex Rife has been steady in her first season as Academy's full-time starting goalie.

"Our defense is very strong and they have excellent fundamentals," Hildahl said. "Overall, we have good chemistry and they work well together."

Beginning today at home against Upper Arlington, Academy has five regular-season games remaining - Tuesday at Wellington, May 6 at home against Worthington Kilbourne, May 11 at Hartley and May 12 at home against Westerville North.

•The boys tennis team entered last Tuesday's MSL-Cardinal/Ohio match against Bexley with a solid footing within the conference after three 5-0 victories over West Jefferson on April 8, Whitehall on April 20 and Granville on April 22.

"The chemistry is great," coach Jeff Warstler said. "This is a blue collar type of team with a great work ethic."

Warstler is pleased with Academy's current lineup and does not expect many changes throughout the rest of the regular season and the Division II OTCA team tournament.

Academy's lineup features Andrew Enslen at first singles, Chad Buchanan at second singles and Langston Hughes at third singles followed by the first doubles team of Eoghan Bahnson and Dan Leathery and the second doubles team of Chris Perrini and Abram Schottenstein.

"Eoghan has done a great job with Dan, and Chris and Abram have been so solid," Warstler said. "Also, Chad has been a lynchpin at second singles."

In preparation for the defense of its two consecutive OTCA titles, Academy has played a non-conference schedule against the best competition possible. Through 13 matches, the Vikings were 11-2 with losses to Louisville (Ky.) St. Xavier (3-2 on April 3) and New Albany (3-2 on April 12).

"There isn't anything we haven't seen with this schedule," Warstler said. "It'll pay off down the stretch when we're in a situation like serving up 5-4 in the second set in a 2-all match. I can tell the guys that we've been here 1,000 times before and it gives the kids a calming feeling. They know how to conduct themselves in that kind of environment."

At a glance

Below are recent results and coming schedules for the Academy baseball, boys tennis, girls lacrosse and track and field teams:

BASEBALL

*April 20 - Lost to Lakewood 4-1

*April 21 - Defeated Newark Catholic 5-2

*Last Friday - Lost to Heath 6-5

*Last Tuesday - Played Whitehall in a game postponed from Monday

*Last Wednesday - Played Granville

Today - Home vs. Berne Union

*Friday - At Licking Valley

*Monday - Home vs. Lakewood

Tuesday - At Hartley

Of note: The Vikings were 9-6 overall and 5-5 in the MSL-Ohio before last Tuesday.

*MSL-Ohio game

BOYS TENNIS

*April 20 - Def. Whitehall 5-0

April 21 - Def. Chillicothe 5-0 in OTCA match

*April 22 - Def. Granville 5-0

Last Friday - Def. Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit 5-0

Last Saturday - Lost to Toledo St. John's 4-1

*Last Tuesday - Played Bexley

Today - At Grandview

Friday - At Cincinnati St. Xavier

*Tuesday - Home vs. Fisher Catholic

Wednesday - At Upper Arlington

Of note: The Vikings were 11-3 overall and 3-0 in the MSL-Cardinal/Ohio before last Tuesday.

*MSL-Cardinal/Ohio match

GIRLS LACROSSE

April 22 - Lost to New Albany 10-9. Mia Wise scored three goals.

Last Tuesday - Played Watterson

Last Wednesday - Played Westerville Central

Friday - Home vs. Upper Arlington

Tuesday - At Wellington

Of note: The Vikings were 6-2 before last Tuesday.

TRACK & FIELD

April 21 - Boys: Def. Whitehall 72-55; Girls: Def. Whitehall 97-25

Last Saturday - Boys: Finished tied with Bloom-Carroll for second (108) at the Bloom-Carroll Invitational won by Berne Union (130). Finishing first were Jon Michael Hilsheimer in 1,600 (4:55.6), Gebby Keny in 400 (50.0), the 1,600 relay (3:27.2) and the 3,200 relay (3:27.2). Girls: Finished first (142) at the Bloom-Carroll Invitational. Finishing first were Jackie Spence in long jump (13-8 1/20 and Alisha Ho in 3,200 (12:32.3).

Last Tuesday - Competed against Marion Pleasant and Columbus West

Friday - At Hamilton Township's Ranger Invitational

Tuesday - Boys: Home vs. Hartley and Ready; Girls: At Columbus School for Girls Invitational