Ballinger, Wexner advance in tennis
After playing singles for most of the season, Columbus Academy girls tennis players Hannah Wexner and Andrea Ballinger had to refocus so they could play doubles in the postseason.
They have been successful, as they qualified to compete in the Division II state tournament by finishing first in doubles at district Oct. 12 and 13 at Columbus School for Girls.
Wexner, a junior, and Ballinger, a sophomore, defeated CSG's Mary Anne Click and Tiffany Lau 6-3, 6-3 in the final.
The top two finishers in singles and doubles advanced to state Friday, Oct. 19, at Ohio State and Saturday, Oct. 20, at Hilliard Davidson.
"They've been working really well together and they're blending well, so it hasn't been too hard of a transition," coach Megan Martzolf said. "They have a great chance as long as they keep playing the way that they can. Hopefully it will be a good weekend."
Wexner and Ballinger, the top-seeded team at district, opened with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Village Academy's Allison Gates and Mallory McCorkle before defeating teammates Deepa Manda and Neela Nataraj 6-3, 6-4 in a semifinal to secure a state berth.
"We just want to go out there and play the best that we can," Ballinger said. "We obviously want to go far in the state, but as long as we play well we'll be proud of ourselves."
Manda and Nataraj, who are both seniors, defeated Worthington Christian's Corey Naim and Sarah Mynes 7-5, 6-4 in the first round.
In singles, sophomore Katherine Guan opened with a 6-1, 6-3 win over DeSales' Sarah Schockling before losing to top-seeded My Linh Li of DeSales 6-0, 6-1 in a semifinal.
It will be a busy weekend for Ballinger and Wexner, as they will join their teammates in competing in the Division II OTCA state tournament Sunday, Oct. 21, at Reynoldsburg.
The Vikings defeated CSG 5-0 in a district final Oct. 8.
Ballinger and Wexner will return to singles play in the team tournament.
Martzolf said her team will play in a semifinal against Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown or Shaker Heights Laurel, which played Oct. 16.
Academy is seeking its first state team title since 2008, when it defeated Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy 3-1 in the final.
"The team tournament takes priority over ourselves, but we'll definitely be practicing (for) both and trying to get ready for both," Wexner said.
Boys golf team finishes 3rd at state
The boys golf team earned its best finish in the Division III state tournament since 2007 by placing third Oct. 12 and 13 at NorthStar.
The Vikings tied Wellington for second (651), with Wellington earning the second-place trophy with a lower score by its fifth-place golfer.
Ashland Crestview (646) was first in the 12-team event.
In 2007, Academy (661) was second behind champion Sugarcreek Garaway (660).
Sophomore Carter Kistler led the Vikings with a two-day total of 160. Other golfers were sophomore Nabeel Khan (161), junior Shabaz Khan (167) and freshmen Ted Loper (169) and Vincent Dong (179).
"You're never happy not to win, but with the young group of guys that we have it's something to build on for next year," coach Steve Evans said.
Gates Mills Gilmour Academy's Andrew Bieber (144) won his second consecutive individual state title, finishing ahead of Grove City Christian's Cameron Michalak (151).
Girls golfer Bradburn competes at state
Sophomore golfer Chloe Bradburn competed in her second Division II girls state tournament, tying Sandusky Perkins' Summer Seitz for 16th with a two-day total of 168 on Oct. 12 and 13 at the Ohio State Gray Course.
Sandusky Perkins' Maddie Mullins (149) was first.
Last season at state, Bradburn had a two-day total of 170 to tie Hathaway Brown's Ashley Yarbrough for 16th.
Boys soccer team wins league title
The boys soccer team won its third consecutive MSL-Ohio Division title after tying Bexley at 1 on Oct. 11.
The Vikings finished first at 5-0-1, ahead of Bexley (4-0-2), Granville (4-1-1), Heath (3-3), Whitehall (1-4-1), Licking Valley (1-5) and Lakewood (0-5-1).
"The team played well against Bexley and we're excited about winning our third straight league championship," coach Ron Leach said. "We look forward to this year's tournament and hope to advance further than last year."
The second-seeded Vikings open Division III district play at home against Madison Plains or East Knox in the second round Saturday, Oct. 20.
Worthington Christian is the top seed.
Last season, Academy finished 13-4-2 overall, losing to Grandview 1-0 in a district final.
Field hockey team takes league title
The field hockey team won the Central Ohio Field Hockey League championship at 10-0-1 after tying Thomas Worthington at 0 on Oct. 9 and defeating Watterson 1-0 on Oct. 11.
Watterson (10-1) finished second.
"That was one of our team goals," coach Anne Horton said of winning the league. "That was the very first thing that the team wanted to see happen. They were super excited to have achieved that."
Last season, Academy and Thomas tied for first in the league at 10-0-1.
Academy received the top seed in the district tournament and opened the postseason by playing Lancaster on Oct. 16.
Football team to face Whitehall
The football team will look to bounce back from a 21-17 loss to Licking Valley on Oct. 12 when it plays host to Whitehall on Thursday, Oct. 18.
The Vikings are 4-4 overall and 3-2 in the MSL-Ohio.
Last season, Academy lost to Whitehall 27-20.
Jared Harris leads the Vikings in rushing with 767 yards on 119 carries and receiving with 27 catches for 345 yards. He has nine touchdowns.
Hart Wise has completed 66 of 118 passes for 773 yards with six touchdowns.
"I'm waiting for the football gods to shine some light on us," coach Jim Collis said. "The kids are playing their butts off. They're playing hard and they're playing inspired. It's a great group of kids. I've been coaching for almost 30 years and I've enjoyed these guys more than anybody."