New Albany Roundup
State next for DiLorenzo sisters
New Albany freshman Francesca DiLorenzo (above) and her sister, senior Cristina, will compete in doubles at the Division I state tournament, which is Friday, Oct. 19, at Ohio State and Saturday, Oct. 20, at Hilliard Davidson. Buy This Photo
Sisters Cristina and Francesca DiLorenzo of the New Albany High School girls tennis team played coy after qualifying for the Division I state tournament as a doubles team.
"I don't think we're that strong," said Francesca, a freshman. "We don't always get along that well, but on the court, we talk to each other so that helps things go well. We practice together a lot and that always helps."
Yet neither had dropped a set in singles or doubles this season until the district final Oct. 13 at Hilliard Davidson, and each has the other's back on the court as they enter the state tournament Friday, Oct. 19, at Ohio State and Saturday, Oct. 20, at Davidson.
The DiLorenzos defeated Pickerington Central's Peyton Klein and Madi Schott 6-0, 6-1 in the first round at district and qualified for state by beating Upper Arlington's Beniva Ganther and Andi Smart 6-0, 6-0. They defeated Dublin Jerome's Eleanor Bullock and Caitlyn Merzbacher 6-2, 6-2 in a semifinal and survived the final against Jerome's Emma Stein and Sarah Stein, winning 6-4, 3-6, 7-6.
"It's awesome, especially with it being (my) senior year," said Cristina, who went 1-1 at state last year.
"This was our goal from the beginning. Doing it like this is really nice. But (this) weekend is going to be pretty hard."
The Eagles' other doubles team of junior Alyssa Seneviratne and sophomore Sydney Setnar lost in the first round 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 to Olentangy Liberty's Anna Delaney and Olivia Groves.
In singles, junior Carol Vitellas went 1-1, losing to Dublin Coffman's Ashley Tan 6-4, 6-0 in the second round. Junior Priyal Reddy and sophomore Jane Haffer each lost in the first round.
New Albany entered the week with another team goal intact. The Eagles visited Dublin Jerome on Oct. 15 for the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association district final; the winner will play in a state semifinal Sunday, Oct. 21, at Reynoldsburg.
Runners dominate OCC-Capital meet
The boys cross country team placed seven runners in the top 13, the girls placed five in the top 16 and sophomores led both teams as the Eagles swept the OCC-Capital Division meet Oct. 13 at Lancaster.
Dennis Mahoney was first in 16 minutes, 22 seconds to lead the boys team, which scored 32 points to easily beat second-place Olentangy (56). Camilla Suarez's second-place finish in 19:21.9 paced the girls, who scored 33 points to finish ahead of runner-up Olentangy Orange (65).
Also for the boys, Zack Buck was third in 16:34.1, followed by Austin Bach (seventh, 16:48.1), David Stanislav (10th, 17:03.2), Joydeep Ganguly (11th, 17:14.3), Nathan Lackey (12th, 17:15) and Brian Krugh (13th, 17:23.3). Mirra Galbreath was fourth for the girls (20:15), followed by Eliza Matt (fifth, 20:32.5), Charlotte Matt (sixth, 20:37.5), Catherine Ralston (16th, 21:22.2), Becca Adams (31st, 22:34.5) and Elissa Burack (38th, 22:49.3).
The boys earned the fifth seed in the Division I district meet Saturday, Oct. 20, at Watkins Memorial and will run in district 3. Other top teams in that race include third-seeded Liberty, fourth-seeded Jerome and 11th-seeded Gahanna. The girls are the eighth seed and will run in district 1, a race that also will include second-seeded Hilliard Davidson and sixth-seeded Westerville North.
The top six teams and top 24 individuals in the boys race and the top five teams and top 20 individuals in the girls race advance to the regional Oct. 27 at Pickerington North.
Football team wins again
Alan Watson's 75-yard touchdown run with 5:02 left Oct. 12 helped secure the football's team sixth consecutive win, a 17-6 victory over Big Walnut that improved New Albany to 6-2 overall and 5-0 in the OCC-Capital.
New Albany outgained Big Walnut 423-149 and took a 10-0 lead in the first half on Leslie Anokye's 2-yard touchdown run and Trey Quillin's 32-yard field goal.
"It was a very physical game and we knew we had to bust a big one to win it," said Watson, who rushed for 158 yards on 19 carries.
That focus impressed coach Mark Mueller, especially because it came during New Albany's homecoming week.
"There's so much stuff going on and the kids' minds aren't always there," said Mueller, whose team visits Watkins Memorial on Friday, Oct. 19. "It's a lot of things back-to-back. It's a playoff-like atmosphere for our kids, playing a playoff-caliber team and beating them at our place."
Unfamiliar road set for volleyball team
The volleyball team, which finished the regular season 10-10 overall and 7-7 in the OCC-Capital, began the Division I district tournament Oct. 16 with a first-round match at Dublin Scioto. The winner will play 11th-seeded Grove City or Marysville in a second-round match at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18; if New Albany won, it would visit Grove City or play host to Marysville.
The second-round winner plays third-seeded Westerville Central, Briggs or Whetstone in a district semifinal at 6 p.m. Oct. 25 at Big Walnut.
Of those teams, New Albany played only Marysville during the regular season, winning 25-22, 25-22 on Aug. 25.