Perfection is a little more special this year for Graeme Green.
Perfection is a little more special this year for Graeme Green.
The New Albany High School junior boys tennis player will participate in his third Division I state tournament Friday, May 27, and Saturday, May 28, at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason. But for the first time, Green will stand alone as a singles qualifier.
He finished fourth in the district tournament that concluded May 22 at Upper Arlington, going 2-2 and losing to St. Charles' Sam Sullivan 6-2, 6-0 in the third-place match.
"There's a little different (kind of) pride," Green said. "I kind of made this more about myself."
Green will be joined at state by freshman teammates Robert Cash and Nathan Jose, who did not drop a set in winning the district doubles title, defeating Olentangy Orange's Jordan Phelps and Jonathan Zhuravel 6-3, 6-2 in the final.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to state.
Green qualified with a 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) win over Colten Clark of Lancaster on May 19 at Hilliard Davidson.
"We were going point-for-point but I hit good shots and got to the net and finished at the net," Green said. "I am serving much better this season and that has helped me win a lot of points and a lot of games. As long as I can win the games on my serve, I am pretty confident."
Green advanced to state in doubles each of the past two years with 2015 graduate Nick Blair. They went 1-1 last year and 0-1 in 2014.
"(Green's) career is unfolding, and right now, he has to be one of the most successful Eagles we have seen," coach Marc Thomas said. "He played well, and he did what he needed to do. He is mentally tough. When all of those things come together, you will have some success."
Cash and Jose mostly played singles during the regular season but at sectional became a doubles team for the first time since winning the 14-year-old doubles title in the USTA National Championships on Jan. 1 in Tucson, Ariz.
They qualified for state by defeating Gahanna's Colin Jordan and Chris Kusovski 6-0, 6-0 on May 19.
"From the beginning, we both knew we wanted to play together. It's just natural," Jose said. "Our games suit each other well. I like to play aggressively and he likes to finish at the net, so (Cash) is really finesse. Together, that really helps each other."
Cash and Jose won their first two matches at district by shutouts and beat UA's Jack Hughes and Eric Hunter 6-2, 6-2 in a semifinal
"It's different since you are representing your school," Cash said. "Otherwise, it's just you and your teammate."
Also competing but failing to advance were Noah Fox and Harrison Lippy, who went 1-1 in doubles and lost to St. Charles Jack Dabek and Evan Yakubov 6-2, 6-4 in a qualifying match; and Ben Yan, who was 0-1 in singles, losing to Olentangy's Stu Brdicka 6-0, 6-0.
New Albany entered the week hoping the state tournament did not end its season.
The Eagles visited Upper Arlington for an Ohio Tennis Coaches Association Division I district final May 24. The winner advanced to the OTCA state tournament Sunday, May 29, at Reynoldsburg.
"(Making the OTCA state tournament) would be a very special achievement," Thomas said.Frye leads track teams at district
Max Frye of the boys track and field team qualified for the Division I regional meet in three events, winning two, to lead the Eagles in the district 4 meet that concluded May 21 at Westerville South.
Frye won the 110-meter hurdles in 14.92 seconds, just ahead of teammate Eric Klopfenstein in second (14.99), and the 300 hurdles in a school-record 38.81 to lead New Albany to 39 points and seventh place behind champion Lancaster (129) as 15 teams scored.
Frye also was third in the high jump (5 feet, 10 inches) as the top four finishers in each event advanced to regional May 25 and Friday, May 27, at Pickerington North.
In the district 2 meet that concluded May 21 at Hilliard Darby, Donissa Edmonds helped the 400 relay to first place (49.73) and was second in the 100 (12.33) to lead the girls team to 23 points and 10th place behind champion Olentangy Liberty (76.5) as 17 teams scored.
Jalyn Austin, Grace Lowe and Emily Sayre also were on the 400 relay.
Edmonds was fifth in the 200, missing a regional berth by .01 of a second.
At regional, the top four finishers in each event advance to the state meet June 3 and 4 at Ohio State.Brendle, White lead boys lacrosse team
Michael Brendle and Andre White combined for 21 goals in the boys lacrosse team's first two Division I Central Region tournament games, both of which were lopsided wins.
Brendle scored six goals and White have five in the fourth-seeded Eagles' 17-5 win over visiting and 13th-seeded Gahanna in a first-round game May 18, and each scored five goals in a 19-2 rout of visiting and fifth-seeded Pickerington North in the second round May 20.
New Albany was 12-7 before visiting top-seeded UA in a regional semifinal May 25.
The winner will play host to second-seeded Dublin Coffman or third-seeded Dublin Jerome in the regional final Saturday, May 28. The regional champion will play Cincinnati Moeller, Cincinnati St. Xavier, Loveland or Mason in a state semifinal Wednesday, June 1, at Liberty, and that winner will advance to the state final June 4.
Of those teams, the Eagles lost to Coffman 13-9 on April 30 and Jerome 16-7 on April 2.Girls lacrosse team routs tourney foes
The girls lacrosse team rolled through the first two rounds of the Division I South/Central Region tournament, defeating visiting and 29th-seeded Fairfield 19-0 on May 16 and beating visiting and 18th-seeded Hilliard Bradley 19-6 on May 19.
Blythe Ferguson paced the third-seeded Eagles against Fairfield with three goals, and Molly Berend and Liza Hernandez each scored four against Bradley. Goalkeeper Catherine Ryan made one save in each game.
New Albany was 17-3 before playing host to sixth-seeded Pickerington Central in a regional semifinal May 22. The winner will visit top-seeded Cincinnati Sycamore or seventh-seeded Loveland for a regional final Thursday, May 26, and the regional champion will advance to a state semifinal June 3 at Worthington Kilbourne.Softball coach pleased with rookie season
The softball team's season came to an end May 16 in a marathon, as the 12th-seeded Eagles fell to sixth-seeded Watkins Memorial 1-0 in eight innings in a Division I district semifinal at Pickerington Central.
Jayden Johnson's RBI single in the bottom of the eighth scored the game's only run as New Albany finished 19-9 overall. The Eagles were held to one hit, struck out 14 times and left the bases loaded in the sixth inning.
New Albany senior pitcher Sydney Warinner, a Louisville recruit, struck out five and walked one in eight innings.
Stephanie Andrick, who was in her first season coaching the varsity team after eight seasons as junior varsity coach, said her expectations were fulfilled.
"I knew that I was coming into a situation where I was going to be working with players who were accustomed to working hard and setting high expectations for themselves, and that they would have high expectations for me as well," Andrick said. "I could not have asked for a better team in my inaugural year as a varsity coach."
Junior shortstop Sierra Parkinson led the Eagles in batting average (.542), hits (45), RBI (24) and runs (34) and tied Alexis Reed for the team lead in home runs with three. Parkinson is a North Carolina commit.
Junior utility player Julianne Kalec batted .333 with 28 hits, and senior third baseman Kylie Wickiser batted .329 with 27 hits.
Wickiser will play hockey and softball at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin.
New Albany went 10-4 in the OCC-Capital to tie Mount Vernon for second behind Delaware (14-0) and ahead of Olentangy (7-7), Big Walnut (6-8), Orange (6-8), Kilbourne (2-12) and Franklin Heights (1-13).
The Eagles took a bye in the first round of the district tournament and defeated visiting and 27th-seeded Westerville South 6-1 in the second round May 11.