Martzolf eager to lead girls tennis team
Megan Martzolf realized she was moving into an ideal situation as coach of the Columbus Academy girls tennis team.
Instead of a rebuilding situation, she inherited a program rich in tradition.
"I'm really looking forward to the challenge," Martzolf said. "They're not just a great group of tennis players, but they're all great girls. Everybody that I have talked to has told me great things about all of them. I'm very excited to work with them and looking forward to the season."
Martzolf replaces Jeff Warstler, who was named boys basketball coach. He also will remain boys tennis coach.
Martzolf graduated from Park Tudor School in Indianapolis in 2007 and Miami University in 2011. She played tennis in high school and college.
She also is an instructor at The Racquet Club of Columbus.
Academy opened at home against North Canton Hoover on Aug. 13. The Vikings begin MSL-Cardinal/Ohio Division play Aug. 30 at Bexley.
Academy did not lose any players from a year ago to graduation.
Sophomore Andrea Ballinger played first singles as a freshman and is expected to contend for that spot this fall. She was the league's Player of the Year last season.
Senior captain Annie Lavin and junior Hannah Wexner also are competing for singles positions. Both were first-team all-league last season.
Other key players are senior Neela Nataraj, junior Deepa Manda and sophomore Katherine Guan. Nataraj and Manda were second-team all-league last year, and Guan was honorable mention.
"We are going to try some different combinations for doubles trying to find the best matches and the order of our singles players," Martzolf said.
Last season, Academy went 14-7 overall and finished first in the league with 28 points, ahead of Bexley (24), Grandview (16), Granville (12), Fisher Catholic (8) and Whitehall (0).
The league tournament was canceled because of bad weather.
Academy finished fourth in the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association Division II state tournament, losing to eventual champion Lexington 3-1 in a semifinal and Gates Mills Hawken 3-0 in the consolation match.
It was Academy's sixth state semifinal berth. The Vikings last won a state title in 2008.
Boys golf team looks to build on success
The boys golf team, which opened in the MSL preseason tournament Aug. 14 at Columbus Country Club, is looking to build on last year's postseason success.
Sophomore Carter Kistler returns along with juniors Max Burke and Shabaz Khan and sophomores Nabeel Khan and Ted Loper. Shabaz and Nabeel Khan are brothers.
Ninth-year coach Steve Evans said several underclassmen are contending for the remaining spots.
"This is a rare instance where we basically have all but two of our varsity players back from last year and none of them are seniors," Evans said. "We have a lot of youth and experience coming back, so we're excited for this year."
The Vikings finished fourth (334) in last season's MSL-Ohio postseason tournament at Clover Valley behind Granville (310), Newark Catholic (324) and Bexley (332) and ahead of Heath (357), Lakewood (358) and Licking Valley (367). Whitehall did not have enough players for a team score.
Academy then shot a 324 to win the Division III sectional at Darby Creek ahead of Wellington (333) and finished fifth (330) in the 12-team district tournament at Pickaway Country Club behind champion Wellington (314). The top four teams qualified for state.
At district, Darnell Ellis led Academy with an 81 followed by Nabeel Khan (82), Shabaz Khan (83), Kistler (84) and Morgan Ransom (84).
Ellis, a sophomore, now is playing at Reynoldsburg.
Ransom, a 2012 graduate, opted to compete with the boys team in the postseason last year after winning the Division II girls state tournament as a junior.
"Winning the sectional tournament is always a very good day," Evans said. "Unfortunately, we didn't play very well at districts, but with most of the kids coming back this year, it's definitely exciting."
Also returning is sophomore Chloe Bradburn, who competed on the boys team during the regular season last fall before qualifying for the Division II girls state tournament. At state, Bradburn had a two-day total of 170 to tie Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown's Ashley Yarbrough for 16th.
"Chloe is definitely going to be fighting for a varsity spot on the boys team," Evans said.
Sophomore Allison Wallace also returns.