Two seniors, three sophomores and two freshmen guided the New Albany High School boys tennis team to a perfect day in a Division I sectional tournament May 16 at Pickerington Central.

Two seniors, three sophomores and two freshmen guided the New Albany High School boys tennis team to a perfect day in a Division I sectional tournament May 16 at Pickerington Central.

If there was any novelty in that achievement, it largely was lost on the Eagles.

For now, all coach Marc Thomas and his players care about is the next two weekends.

Senior Rathnakishore Giri and freshmen Noah Fox and Harrison Lippy earned district tournament berths in singles, and they will be joined Friday, May 24, and Saturday, May 25, at Hilliard Davidson by the doubles teams of sophomores Nick Blair and Alex Kobelt and sophomore C.J. Cash and senior Jacob Teich.

After a 7-0 run through the OCC-Capital Division in which they attained the maximum 82 points, the Eagles earned three of the top four singles seeds and the top two doubles seeds for district.

"We play hard no matter who we play or what the situation," Blair said. "We just have a bunch of young guys who can play, and we don't think along those (age) lines. We just try to win."

Giri defeated Fox 6-2, 6-0 in the singles semifinal May 18 -- the only two points Giri allowed at sectional -- before winning the title when Groveport's Forest Baldwin retired in the first set. In the doubles final, Blair and Kobelt defeated Cash and Teich 6-3, 6-2.

"We are very deep," Thomas said, noting Fox and Lippy primarily were doubles players during the regular season. "The biggest thing is whatever challenge we've thrown in front of these guys, they've done whatever they've had to do to meet that challenge. I'm real proud of this performance."

The top four finishers in singles and doubles at district advance to the state tournament May 31 and June 1 at Ohio State.

Lippy won a series of challenge matches to earn his way into the postseason, taking the spot originally listed on the bracket as belonging to junior Durga Samanthula.

"He's done everything I've asked," Thomas said of Lippy, who lost to Baldwin 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 in a semifinal. "He's a hard worker. He never complains. He spends the time he needs to spend to get better and ... get through (to district). He is learning how to close out matches."

The Eagles entered the week at 13-3 overall and in the running for an Ohio Tennis Coaches Association tournament district championship. New Albany played Dublin Coffman in a district semifinal May 21, with the winner facing defending state champion Upper Arlington or Dublin Jerome on a date to be announced. The district champion will participate in the state tournament June 2 at Reynoldsburg.

"The biggest thing is we get through (playing each other for district seeding) and still being a team on the other side," Thomas said. "The team goals are more important than individual goals. That's what we've tried to emphasize all season."

Track teamssweep league titles

Senior Alex Frye of the boys track and field team won the high jump in an OCC-Capital record and personal-best 6 feet, 10 inches, captured the 110-meter hurdles (14.75 seconds) and 300 hurdles (39.09) titles and helped the 1,600 relay to a third-place finish (3:30.73) in the league meet May 16 and 18 at Hilliard Bradley.

The boys and girls teams swept the championships.

Sophomore Karrington Winters of the girls team also won three events -- the 100 (12.37), 400 (59.76) and 200 (league-record 24.58).

The boys scored 182 points to finish ahead of Watkins Memorial (173), Big Walnut (81), Olentangy (69), Delaware (52.5), Olentangy Orange (41.5), Mount Vernon (37) and Franklin Heights (25). The girls won with 153 points, ahead of Big Walnut (124.5), Watkins Memorial (109.5), Orange (79.5), Olentangy (50.5), Franklin Heights (50), Mount Vernon (46) and Delaware (27).

Other boys winners were the 3,200 relay (8:08.16), senior Darron Lee in the 100 (11.16), the 800 relay (1:29.17), sophomore Zack Buck in the 1,600 (4:28.36), the 400 relay (league-record 43.04), senior C.J. Stringer in the 800 (2:00.69), senior Alan Watson in the 200 (22.29) and sophomore Dennis Maloney in the 3,200 (9:49.39).

Also winning for the girls were the 3,200 (9:43.9), 800 (1:43.92) and 400 (50.33) relays.

New Albany began competition in the Division I, district 3 meet May 22 at Hilliard Darby. Running finals are scheduled for Saturday, May 25. The top four finishers in each event advance to the regional meet Wednesday, May 29 and May 31 at Pickerington North.

Girls lacrosse teamadvances in tourney

Senior attacker Elaina Enich's second nine-goal game of the season powered the girls lacrosse team past visiting Granville 18-6 on May 16 in a Division II South/Central Region tournament second-round contest.

Enich, a University of Cincinnati signee, also scored a program-record nine goals in a 19-12 win over Olentangy Liberty on April 18.

Freshman attacker Liza Hernandez and junior attacker Abby Manning added two goals apiece for New Albany, which improved to 11-4-1 overall entering a semifinal at home May 21 against Wellington. The winner plays host to Cincinnati Country Day or Cincinnati Mariemont in a regional final Thursday, May 23, with the winner advancing to a state semifinal May 31 at Thomas Worthington.

Boys lacrosse teamprepares for tourney

The boys lacrosse team resoundingly snapped a three-game losing streak, routing host Wellington 13-1 on May 17 to end the regular season at 8-9 overall after going 3-3 in the OCC-Ohio.

The Eagles earned the fourth seed in the Division II Central Region tournament. They received a first-round bye and play host to Wellington or Wooster in a second-round game Friday, May 24. The winner plays host to Canton Central Catholic, Kent Roosevelt or Watterson in a regional semifinal Wednesday, May 29, and the semifinal winner plays in a regional final June 1. Of those teams, New Albany lost to Watterson 7-2 on April 18.

Softball team fallsin tourney opener

One of the wildest games the softball team played all year also turned out to be its last.

Junior outfielder/shortstop Kaitlyn Gliha added to a record-setting year with her 12th home run in the first inning of a Division I district tournament first-round game May 14 at Upper Arlington.

The 28th-seeded Eagles erased a six-run deficit, but lost to the 23rd-seeded Golden Bears 14-13.

New Albany trailed 11-5 after three innings, but scored two runs in the fourth and six in the fifth to regain the lead. But UA tied the game in the bottom of the fifth and won on Annika Wachtman's RBI single to right in the bottom of the seventh.

The teams combined for 27 hits, and both teams had six errors.

"We were a mirror image of (UA)," said coach Patrick Finn, whose team finished 9-17 overall. "Everybody on both sides contributed. I knew it'd be a close game. Nobody was going to blow anybody out. The (number of) runs doesn't surprise me a whole lot. We've been capable of hitting the ball well all year."

The Eagles finished fifth (6-8) in the OCC-Capital behind Olentangy (13-1), Orange (12-2), Delaware (11-3) and Big Walnut (8-6) and ahead of Franklin Heights (2-12), Mount Vernon (2-12) and Watkins Memorial (2-12).

Eleven of New Albany's games were decided by three or fewer runs. The Eagles were 3-4 in one-run games.

Gliha finished with team highs of 12 home runs, a .513 average and 47 RBI. Sophomore shortstop/outfielder Jamie Sevenish had a season-record 50 hits and batted .500. Also hitting better than .300 were junior outfielder Abbie Skowron (.333) and junior second baseman Jackie Drago (.304). Junior pitcher Allison Reed was 6-8 with a 5.23 ERA, 38 strikeouts and 42 walks in 93.2 innings.

New Albany loses one senior in first baseman Karly Medich.

Baseball season,Talpas' tenure end

The baseball team went 1-1 in the Division I district tournament, defeating 35th-seeded Groveport 3-2 in a first-round game May 13 before losing 11-1 in five innings at eighth-seeded Liberty on May 15.

New Albany, which was seeded 25th, finished 12-15 overall.

The loss also marked the end of coach Bob Talpas' head-coaching career after 26 seasons with the Eagles. Assistant coach Justin Grieger will take over for Talpas, who also is a health and physical education teacher at the high school. He coached the Eagles from 1979-91 and again since 2001, guiding New Albany to the Division III state championship in 2004.