Columbus Academy girls tennis coach Tom Haddow always constructs a challenging schedule to prepare his team for the Division II postseason.
Despite playing several Division I programs, the Vikings were 12-0 overall before facing Wellington on Oct. 2 in a key MSL-Ohio Division match that also was a Division II district final in the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association team tournament.
Academy defeated Division I Olentangy Liberty 4-1 on Sept. 26 at home.
"It's a big win. It's a step in the right direction," Haddow said. "They came together and everyone stepped up. ... We're getting there."
The Vikings and Wellington both were 4-0 in the league entering their match. The winner advanced to the OTCA state tournament Oct. 21 at Reynoldsburg.
The Vikings last won a state team title in 2008. Last season, they lost to Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown 3-0 in the final.
Academy again has been led by sophomore first-singles player Sydni Ratliff, who is looking to return to the individual state tournament Oct. 19 and 20 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason. Last season, she finished second.
Against Liberty, Ratliff trailed Maddie Atway 3-0 in the first set before rallying for a 7-5, 6-3 win. Last season, Atway teamed with Dani Schoenly to win the Division I state doubles title.
"(Ratliff) needed that," Haddow said. "She hasn't had one that close. She's not used to that ball coming back as much, but now she will. She has to see that."
Other winners for Academy were Alex Graham 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 at third singles, Lauren Motta and Carmen Merkel 6-3, 7-5 at first doubles and Maddie Tuckerman and Haylee White 6-0, 6-1 at second doubles.
Against other Division I programs, Academy defeated Olentangy Orange 3-2 on Aug. 27, Dublin Coffman 4-1 on Sept. 12 and Dublin Jerome 3-2 on Sept. 13.
The Vikings compete in a sectional tournament Thursday, Oct. 4, and Saturday, Oct. 6, at home. The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to district Oct. 11 at Columbus School for Girls and Oct. 13 at Reynoldsburg.
Field hockey team shuts out Thomas
The field hockey team continued its impressive season by defeating Thomas Worthington 4-0 on Sept. 26 in a rematch of last season's state final, which was won by the Cardinals 1-0 for their third consecutive title.
Carolyn Bowman, Jenny L'Hommedieu, Mercedes Crestanello and Charlotte Adams scored in the rematch, and goalkeeper Alex Phelps made four saves.
The Vikings were 12-0 overall and 5-0 in the Central Ohio Field Hockey League-East before playing Watterson on Oct. 2.
Academy allowed its first goal of the season in a 10-1 win over Columbus School for Girls on Sept. 17.
Boys golf team wins sectional title
The boys golf team began defense of its Division II state title by winning an 11-team sectional Sept. 25 at Oakhaven.
The Vikings finished first (314) ahead of Hartley (322) and Marion Pleasant (327) as the top three teams advanced to district Oct. 3 at Denison Golf Club.
Ali Khan was third of 55 golfers with a 76, followed by Griffin Mitchell (tied for sixth, 78), Kahmar Byers and Matthew Cammeyer (tied for 10th, 80) and Russell Ahmed (21st, 86).
At district, the team champion and the top individual not on that team advanced to state Oct. 12 and 13 at Ohio State's Scarlet Course.
Academy captured its eighth state championship last season.
Boys soccer team edges Bexley
The boys soccer team continued its recent strong play by defeating Bexley 2-1 on Sept. 26 at home.
Undefeated in their previous eight games, the Vikings were 9-2-1 overall and 2-0-1 in the MSL-Ohio before playing Grandview on Oct. 3.
Tyler Schlonsky and Jacob Beck scored and goalie Gunner Geiger had three saves against Bexley.
Football team to play Ready
The football team will look to rebound from a 42-27 loss to visiting London on Sept. 28 when it plays Ready on Friday, Oct. 5, at Fortress Obetz.
The Vikings are 3-3 overall and 1-2 in the MSL-Ohio, while Ready is 2-4.
The game could have postseason implications in Division V, Region 19, as the Vikings were projected to be 11th and Ready was projected to be 12th this week. The top eight teams qualify for the playoffs.
Academy defeated Ready 31-0 last season.
The Vikings led London 20-9 in the second quarter before the Red Raiders rallied to improve to 6-0 overall and 2-0 in the MSL-Ohio.
Brady Hess completed 13 of 25 passes for 197 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
K.J. Price rushed for 337 yards and four touchdowns on 32 carries to lead London, which outgained Academy 501-245.
Ready lost at Amanda-Clearcreek 17-14 on Sept. 28 as Jack Foley rushed for 160 yards and one touchdown.
Below are the coming schedules for the Columbus Academy cross country, field hockey, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 6 -- Les Eisenhart Invitational at Thomas Worthington
Oct. 4 -- At Olentangy Orange
*Oct. 8 -- At Bexley
*Oct. 10 -- Home vs. New Albany
Oct. 6 -- At Watkins Memorial
*Oct. 4 -- Home vs. Whitehall
Oct. 8 -- Home vs. Johnstown
Oct. 10 -- Home vs. Columbus School for Girls
*Oct. 4 -- At Bexley. The Vikings defeated the Lions 25-17, 26-24, 25-23 on Aug. 21.
Oct. 6 -- At Watterson with Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown
Oct. 9 -- Home vs. Grandview. The Vikings defeated the Bobcats 25-18, 25-12, 17-25, 25-16 on Sept. 13.