Centennial High School junior Zoey Weil finished third in the Division I state girls tennis tournament for the second season in a row.
Like she did last season, Weil won her first two matches at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason before losing in a semifinal.
She defeated Mia Zivkovic of Brecksville-Broadview Heights 6-1, 6-1 and Mason's Jaime Kim 2-6, 6-4, 6-0 on Oct. 20 before losing to Rocky River Magnificat's Anna Roggenburk 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 in a semifinal Oct. 21. She then rebounded to beat Mason's Ananya Aggarwal 6-0, 6-1 in the third-place match.
Roggenburk defeated Pickerington North's Cassie Alcala 6-0, 6-0 in the championship match.
"It was a little bit disappointing, but I'm still happy to have played well," Weil said. "It was a tough semifinal match with Anna, but this wasn't bad tennis at all. I just think I need to work on my consistency off the baseline and closing out points.
"I was pretty tired after that (semifinal) and I'm still kind of sore because I've been having back issues."
Weil advanced to state by placing second in the district tournament, retiring in the championship match against Alcala on Oct. 14 at Upper Arlington. She re-aggravated a back strain during the first set, which she won 6-4, and played through a 6-1 loss in the second set before retiring.
Weil won a sectional singles title at Reynoldsburg, where she was the top seed and defeated second-seeded Alcala 6-2, 6-1 in the final Oct. 7.
Also competing for the Stars at sectional were seniors Maria Karakay and Julia Zeid in singles and the doubles teams of juniors Lanie Niehoff and Emma Young and freshmen Nicole Kaiser and Ana Neruda.
Also on the roster were sophomores Haijer Ahmed and Sophie Steinman and freshman Champa Bista.
Centennial finished 3-5 overall and went 3-1 in the City League-North Division to place second behind Whetstone. Weil won the league title at first singles, beating Whetstone's Arielle Swinehart 6-0, 6-0 in the championship match in the City coaches tournament Sept. 27 at Africentric.
Football team preps for rival Whetstone
The football team will be looking to find some success against its rival when it visits Whetstone on Friday, Oct. 27, for the season finale.
Whetstone has won 13 of the past 14 meetings, with the Stars' victory in that stretch being a 53-21 decision in 2014. The Stars won three in a row from 2000-02 by scores of 13-9, 21-14 and 13-11.
"They are Whetstone and we are Centennial; they want to beat us and we want to beat them," coach Donte Goosby said. "There's not much else that needs to be said. It's been pretty one-sided for the past 10 or 12 years, but we've got a group of young guys that wants to start a trend of winning this game."
Both teams have struggled this year and enter the contest with identical records of 3-6 overall and 2-3 in the City-North.
Whetstone is coming off a 34-7 win over the Columbus Crusaders on Oct. 20, while the Stars lost to Mifflin 41-21 the same night.
The Stars are averaging 34.7 points and allowing 37.8. Whetstone is scoring 12.9 and allowing 20.9.
"(Whetstone has) had more success defensively this year than we have," Goosby said. "We have scored more points than they have, so that could be an interesting matchup."
Centennial has been led offensively by running back Luchene Davis, quarterback Jaylen Gilbert and receiver Craig Burt.
Through eight games, Davis had rushed for 655 yards on 78 carries with 10 touchdowns, with two of those on receptions. Gilbert was 64-for-116 passing for 1,080 yards and 19 touchdowns, and he had five rushing touchdowns.
Burt had 26 receptions for 801 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Whetstone has received a solid defensive effort led by Ibrahim Sesay and Oshea Jones in the secondary, linebackers T.J. Johnson and Lincoln Mullins and lineman Gerard Reynolds.
Offensively, the Braves have had trouble keeping their rhythm.
"We have been faced with some adversity," coach Don Poff said. "We lost our top three running backs to injuries in the first three weeks, then we lost a key lineman for the season and (quarterback) Terris Crider couldn't take snaps due to a broken finger against Mifflin (on Oct. 6)."
The Braves lost to Mifflin 20-0 and to Beechcroft 18-0 on Oct. 20, but got Crider back against the Crusaders.
Whetstone trailed Mifflin 6-0 at halftime. Its game against Beechcroft was scoreless at halftime, but the Braves had six turnovers against the Cougars.
The Stars led Mifflin 7-6 after the first quarter and were tied with the Punchers at 14 in the second before the visitors scored the next 27 points.
The Stars trailed 28-14 at halftime and 41-14 before Syquee Womack scored on a 28-yard run in the fourth. Womack also caught a 52-yard scoring pass from Gilbert, and Marquise Scott scored on a 67-yard run.
Boys soccer team ousted by Vikings
The boys soccer team lost at fourth-seeded Columbus Academy 2-0 in the second round of the Division II district tournament Oct. 21.
The Stars, who finished 7-8-2, were seeded 11th and defeated 21st-seeded Caledonia River Valley 7-0 in the first round Oct. 17 at home. Jordan Walker scored three goals and Emmanuel Ochieng scored two.
Against Academy, Alex Tierney made eight saves.
Season ends for cross country teams
The boys and girls cross country teams concluded their seasons in the Division I district meet Oct. 21 at Watkins Memorial.
For the boys in the district 1 race, Will Zimmerman was 44th (17 minutes, 31.96 seconds), followed by Kaleb Turner (66th, 18:06.52), Ben Klingler (77th, 18:36.19) and Jabe Miller (95th, 19:49.35).
For the girls in the district 2 race, Chloe Flemming was 49th (21:27.89), followed by Laren Reesman (78th, 22:59.71) and Emily Boyer (113th, 27:55.0).
Girls soccer team falls to Blue Aces
The girls soccer team lost at top-seeded Granville 10-0 in the second round of the Division II district tournament Oct. 19 to finish 9-7-1 overall a year after going 3-10-1.
The Stars, who were seeded ninth of 16 teams, beat 10th-seeded River Valley 3-2 in the first round Oct. 16 at home.
The season was memorable for Centennial, which defeated Whetstone 2-1 on penalty kicks in the City championship game Oct. 12 at Mapfre Stadium.
The teams were tied at 1 through regulation and two 15-minute overtime periods before the Stars snapped the Braves' five-year reign as City champions as freshman defender Sophia Pizzurro and sophomore midfielder Nina Zimmerman converted their penalty kicks.
The teams had split their regular-season meetings, with Centennial winning 2-1 on Sept. 19 and Whetstone winning 1-0 on Oct. 3. The Stars had lost 10 consecutive games to Whetstone before Sept. 19. The teams both went 5-1 in league play to set up their seventh consecutive meeting in the championship game.
Expected returnees also include juniors Morgan Lawson (defender), Stacey Leach (forward) and Gwen Moran (midfielder) and sophomores Sarah Clifton (goalkeeper) and Yana Napier (forward).
Girls volleyball team again loses to Braves
The girls volleyball team lost at 35th-seeded Whetstone 25-8, 25-18, 25-17 in the first round of the Division I district tournament Oct. 17.
The Stars, who were seeded 38th of 50 teams, finished 12-8 overall after their third loss of the season to the Braves.
Centennial lost to Whetstone 25-11, 25-13, 25-16 on Sept. 7 and 22-25, 25-20, 25-22, 22-25, 15-12 on Oct. 3. Before Sept. 7, the Stars had won 76 consecutive City-North matches and their previous loss to a City opponent was to Eastmoor Academy in the City championship match in 2012.
The Stars finished 11-3 in the City-North to tie Northland for second behind Whetstone (14-0).
Three players who were expected to return did not, so first-year coach Britney Lewis had just two letterwinners on the squad.
"The girls grew a lot mentally and physically from how they started when I met them," Lewis said. "There's a lot of youth and yearning to learn, so that aided in their overall growth and progress."
The Stars lose two seniors in outside hitter Macie Sampson and defensive specialist/libero Sophia Simon.
Among the expected key returnees are juniors T'Anna Collins (setter) and Akea Hunter (middle hitter) and sophomores Sky Harris (outside hitter), Rhian Jones (setter) and Naa Dromo Korley (middle hitter).
"I think this year was a steppingstone," Lewis said. "The players grew camaraderie and learned about me, and I learned about them. It's a fairly young team so it gives us more time to build on the things we need to be more successful."