Columbus Academy freshman girls tennis player Sydni Ratliff came within one win of earning a Division II state title.
The following day, the same thing happened to the Vikings.
Ratliff reached the final in the individual state tournament Oct. 21 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, falling to Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown sophomore Nicole Gillinov 6-2, 6-4.
"I wasn't playing my best tennis," Ratliff said. "That definitely showed in the result. (Gillinov) deserved to win. She played an incredible match. I will just have to come back stronger next year."
Gillinov finished second at state last season.
Ratliff opened state Oct. 20 with 6-0, 6-0 wins over Cincinnati Indian Hill's Samantha Pregal and Poland Seminary's Marisa Ricciardi. Ratliff also defeated Cincinnati Summit Country Day's Elizabeth Fahrmeier 6-3, 6-1 in a semifinal Oct. 21.
Senior Georgia Tuckerman and junior Himaja Reddy also qualified for state, splitting a pair of doubles matches. They defeated Toledo Central Catholic's Rachel Gorman and Ellie Hire 6-1, 6-1 before losing to Hathaway Brown's Isabella Daverio and Rebecca Wolf 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in a quarterfinal.
Academy closed its season by competing in the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association Division II state team tournament Oct. 22 at Reynoldsburg.
After defeating Central Catholic 3-2 in a semifinal, the Vikings lost to Hathaway Brown 3-0 in the final.
"It was a great season," coach Tom Haddow said. "Second place in the state. Our first goal was to get to the final four and we lost to a great team. We have a strong core coming back. It's a good group of girls."
Against Central Catholic, winners were Ratliff 7-6, 6-2 at first singles, Tuckerman and Reddy 6-1, 6-0 at first doubles and senior Lexis Hughes and freshman Lauren Motta 6-0, 6-2 at second doubles.
Against Hathaway Brown, Ratliff was leading Gillinov 4-3 in the first set when the match was stopped because the Blazers had taken an insurmountable 3-0 lead.
Ratliff and the doubles team of Tuckerman and Reddy won district titles Oct. 14 at Upper Arlington. They also won sectional titles Oct. 7 at home.
Also at sectional, sophomore Alex Graham finished second in singles, Hughes and junior Maddie Tuckerman were second in doubles and Motta placed third in singles to earn district berths.
Junior Haylee White also is eligible to return.
Academy finished 11-3 overall and won the MSL-Ohio Division title (51 points, 6-0) ahead of Wellington (37, 5-1), Bexley (27, 4-2), Worthington Christian (24, 3-3), London (22, 2-4), Grandview (5, 1-5) and Whitehall (0, 0-6).
Cross country teams excel at district
The boys and girls cross country teams turned in strong efforts in the Division III district meet Oct. 21 at Watkins Memorial to advance to regional.
Led by senior Nick Robie, the boys finished first (42) of 11 teams in district 2 ahead of runner-up Grandview (84).
Robie set a program record of 16 minutes, 6.34 seconds while finishing third of 83 runners. He was followed by Nick Watson (sixth, 16:32.34), Luke Nester (10th, 16:55.72), Liam McCann (11th, 17:07.59 ), Chris Heermann (12th, 17:09.05), Charlie Sabgir (16th, 17:28.06) and Abhi Ramesh (20th, 17:43.4).
"We have this pack and today they ran as a pack. That's how we're going to be successful, if we stay together as a group," coach Denny Hammond said. "These kids have worked their tails off. They've done everything they've needed to do and they're really to roll, so I'm excited about that."
The top four teams and top 16 individuals in the boys and girls district meets advanced to regional Saturday, Oct. 28, at Pickerington North. At regional, the top five teams and top 20 individuals advance to state Nov. 4 at National Trail Raceway.
The girls finished fourth (98) in district 2 behind champion Mount Gilead (28) as Annalise Grammel was third (19:11.37) of 69 runners.
"I went out a little fast, but I'm super proud of our team because we've worked so hard to get to where we are," Grammel said.
Regan Cornelius was fourth (19:34.09), followed by Maddie Tuckerman (22nd, 22:13), Ryan Milbourne (35th, 24:08.27), Briyana Dragin (47th, 25:03.7) and Rachel Raque (48th, 25:06.91).
Football team seeks postseason berth
The football team enters its game against visiting Grandview on Friday, Oct. 27, looking to secure a Division V, Region 19 postseason berth.
The Vikings are 7-2 overall and 3-1 in the MSL-Ohio.
Academy also hopes to earn a share of the league title, as league-leading London (4-0) plays host to Whitehall (3-1) on Oct. 27.
The Vikings were projected to be eighth in the region's computer ratings this week. The top eight teams qualify for the playoffs.
Academy defeated Liberty Union 17-6 on Oct. 20 as Herman Moultrie ran for 205 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries, giving him 1,038 yards and 12 touchdowns on 162 carries this season.
Matt Saling has completed 108 of 194 passes for 1,095 yards with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions.
Grandview is 5-4 overall and 2-2 in the MSL-Ohio.
The Bobcats defeated Logan Elm 28-0 on Oct. 20 behind James Lachey, who ran for a touchdown, threw for a touchdown and returned an interception 40 yards for a score. Lachey passed for 148 yards, including a 72-yard touchdown to his brother, Luke Lachey.
"We know we have to take care of business and we just know how good a team (Grandview) is," coach Robin Miller. "They're well-coached and we know how explosive they can be. We have to play as hard as we can from start to finish and can't take any plays off."
Boys soccer team reaches district semifinal
The boys soccer team earned a rematch with Bexley with a 2-0 win over 11th-seeded Centennial in the second round of the Division II district tournament Oct. 21 at home.
Fourth-seeded Academy was 11-4-3 before playing second-seeded Bexley in a district semifinal Oct. 25, with the winner playing third-seeded Granville or fifth-seeded Bloom-Carroll in a district final Saturday, Oct. 28, at a neutral site to be determined.
Academy lost to Granville 3-1 on Oct. 14.
The district champion plays in a regional semifinal on a date to be determined.
The Vikings defeated Bexley 2-1 on Oct. 4 on their way to winning the MSL-Ohio title at 3-0-2.
Against Centennial, Connor Brown and Angus Soderberg scored and goalkeeper Justin Kahle had three saves.
Academy defeated 26th-seeded Lakewood 10-0 in the first round Oct. 18 at home.
Girls soccer team plays in semifinal
The girls soccer team was 12-2-2 before playing fifth-seeded Worthington Christian in a Division III district semifinal Oct. 25.
The winner plays top-seeded Grandview or sixth-seeded Johnstown in a district final Saturday, Oct. 28, at a neutral site to be determined.
Academy defeated Grandview 5-4 on Oct. 7 on its way to winning the MSL-Ohio title at 6-0-1. The Vikings also defeated Johnstown 3-1 on Aug. 24.
The district champion plays in a regional semifinal on a date to be determined.
Second-seeded Academy defeated 15th-seeded Madison Plains 9-0 in the first round Oct. 17 and 10th-seeded Fisher Catholic 8-0 in the second round Oct. 19, both at home.
Nine players scored against Madison Plains and eight players scored against Fisher Catholic.
Field hockey team wins tourney opener
The field hockey team opened the district tournament with an 8-0 win over 15th-seeded Dublin Coffman in the second round Oct. 17 as Calista Popp scored three goals.
"We have had balanced scoring all season, which was seen in our Coffman game," coach Anne Horton said. "The girls are focused and ready to push forward."
The second-seeded Vikings were 15-2 before playing seventh-seeded Upper Arlington in a semifinal Oct. 24, with the winner playing fourth-seeded Olentangy Liberty or sixth-seeded Worthington Kilbourne in a district final Saturday, Oct. 28, at Liberty.
Academy defeated Kilbourne 4-2 on Aug. 30 and Liberty 6-1 on Sept. 14.
The district champion advances to a state semifinal Nov. 3 at UA.
Girls volleyball team loses district opener
The girls volleyball team lost at fourth-seeded Galion Northmor 25-14, 25-9, 25-12 in the first round of the Division III district tournament Oct. 17.
The 22nd-seeded Vikings finished 7-12.