Zoey Weil would like to continue her ascension this season with the Centennial High School girls tennis team.
If her summer performances are an indication, Weil is on target for a big junior season.
Weil went 15-1 last fall for the Stars and placed third in singles in the Division I state tournament. This summer, she finished second in the USTA 16U national clay court doubles tournament.
"I had a pretty good summer with some good wins and some tough losses," Weil said. "It was a great experience, but I am looking forward to playing for a team again after all the individual competitions."
Weil's lone loss last season was 7-5, 6-2 to eventual state champion Molly Sandberg of Hudson in a state semifinal at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason. Sandberg, who has since graduated, beat Rocky River Magnificat's Anna Roggenburk 7-5, 6-2 in the final. Weil rebounded to beat Cincinnati Turpin's Caitlin Fisher 6-0, 6-1 in the third-place match.
"My goal is to get back to state and win it all," Weil said. "It won't be easy because I know there is great competition from the Cincinnati and Cleveland areas, as well as in the Central District. I think I have all the physical capabilities, but I want to make sure I stay sharp and focused on a more consistent basis. I have to piece it all together at the right time and take it one match at a time."
Weil won sectional and district titles for the Stars, who finished 10-1 overall and 4-1 in the City League-North Division to place second behind Whetstone (5-0).
Seniors Julia Zeid and Maria Karakay and junior Emma Young also have returned. Zeid and Karakay are expected to play second and third singles, respectively, when the season begins Aug. 28 at league-foe Northland.
"We lost six girls to graduation and with only four returning with much experience, we're going to be training a lot of the girls in doubles," 20th-year coach Barbara Stevenson said. "I think we'll eventually be a pretty strong team.
"The older girls are anxious to come back and the new girls are inspired. Right now, we have 10 girls, but we usually pick up four or five more once school starts. That happens all the time in the City League. In fact, sometimes we don't know if schools will have a full team until the first few days of school."
Among the graduation losses were Kayla Allen, Regina Cavin and Ella Neruda, who were in the postseason lineup.
"We lost some very good players, but I think we will come together and have a good season," Weil said. "We'd love to take down Whetstone because they won (the league title) again last year and because they're our rival. I think we have a shot at it."
New to varsity are junior Lanie Niehoff, sophomores Haijer Ahmed and Sophie Steinman and freshmen Champa Bista, Nicole Kaiser and Ana Neruda.
"We'd like to win the league and in order to do that you have to beat Whetstone, the defending champion," Stevenson said. "But the biggest thing for me is introducing the sport, the technique and strategy and making it fun so that these girls can hopefully continue to play throughout their lives. This is a pretty tight group of girls, too. That always makes it fun."
Boys golf team
has small roster
Juniors Myles Martinez and Chris Sfikas have returned for the boys golf team, which has just four players on the roster again this season.
Both competed in a Division I sectional at Turnberry last season, along with 2017 graduate Adam Slappy.
"My expectations for this year are for Myles and Chris to compete for first-team all-City," fifth-year coach Barry Baker said.
Senior Ethan Perry and sophomore Evan Massey complete the roster.
"Neither of those guys have experience," Baker said. "My goal for them is to become comfortable on the golf course and to be able to play a competitive round by the end of the season."
The Stars, who have no non-league matches scheduled, open Aug. 29 when they face West at Airport.
*Aug. 29 -- West at Airport
*Aug. 31 -- Briggs and Walnut Ridge at Mentel Memorial
*Sept. 5 -- Independence and Whetstone at Raymond Memorial
*Sept. 7 -- Mifflin and South at Mentel Memorial
*Sept. 12 -- League match at TBA
*Sept. 14 -- League match at TBA
*Sept. 19 -- League match at TBA
*Sept. 21 -- League match at TBA
Sept. 28 -- City League tournament at Airport
Note: The second round of league play is determined following the first round.
*Aug. 28 -- at Northland
Aug. 29 -- vs. Bloom-Carroll
*Aug. 30 -- vs. Linden-McKinley
Sept. 5 -- vs. Bloom-Carroll
Sept. 6 -- at Thomas Worthington
Sept. 7 -- vs. Village Academy
Sept. 11 -- vs. Thomas Worthington
Sept. 12 -- vs. Westerville South
*Sept. 13 -- vs. Whetstone
Sept. 14 -- at Upper Arlington B
*Sept. 18 -- vs. Mifflin
Sept. 19 -- vs. DeSales
Sept. 20 -- at Village Academy
Sept. 21 -- vs. Westerville South
Sept. 25, 27 -- City League coaches tournament at TBA
Below are the coming schedules for the Centennial boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Aug. 22 -- Home vs. Thomas Worthington
Aug. 21 -- Home vs. Licking Valley
*Aug. 25 -- At Mifflin
*Aug. 30 -- Home vs. Northland