The Columbus Academy girls tennis team capped another strong season by competing in the Division II individual and team state tournaments.
Sophomore Sydni Ratliff reached her second consecutive singles final, losing to Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown's Nicole Gillinov 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 on Oct. 20 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
Ratliff lost to Gillinov 6-2, 6-4 in last season's state final.
"It's always a good experience to get to the finals at state. It's such a huge accomplishment," Ratliff said. "Even though it didn't go my way, I'm super proud of myself for fighting and competing even when the calls weren't great. I'm really happy to get there."
Sophomore Lauren Motta and freshman Carmen Merkel went 1-1 at state in doubles, defeating Youngstown Ursuline's Vy Hoang and Lexie Tsudis 6-1, 6-2 before losing to Hathaway Brown's Isabella Daverio and Rebecca Wolf 6-2, 6-2.
Academy then competed in its second consecutive Ohio Tennis Coaches Association state team tournament Oct. 21 at Reynoldsburg, defeating Dayton Oakwood 3-1 in the third-place match after losing to Hathaway Brown 3-0 in a semifinal.
Winners against Oakwood were Ratliff 6-0, 6-0 at first singles, Merkel 6-1, 6-1 at second singles and senior Himaja Reddy and junior Alex Graham 7-6 (7-2), 6-2 at first doubles.
"Hathaway (Brown) is such a good team," coach Tom Haddow said. "We knew we'd have our hands full and we were ready for the second match."
Hathaway Brown, which defeated Academy 3-0 in the final last season, defended its title with a 3-0 win over Toledo Central Catholic.
"It's definitely a goal to get to the (state team tournament)," Haddow said. "I'm happy. We beat a lot of Division I schools. I'm pretty happy with that."
Academy, which finished 15-1 overall, earned a spot at state with a 5-0 win over Wellington in a district final Oct. 9. The win also gave the Vikings the MSL-Ohio Division title at 5-0 as Wellington settled for second at 4-1.
Academy will just lose three players to graduation in Reddy, Maddie Tuckerman and Haylee White.
Sophomore Maddy Rosenberg also is eligible to return.
Football team to play Grandview
Needing a win and help to make the postseason, the football team visits Grandview on Friday, Oct. 26, for the regular-season finale.
The Vikings are 5-4 overall and 2-2 in the MSL-Ohio and were projected to be 10th in Division V, Region 19 this week. The top eight teams qualify for the postseason.
"Obviously, this is a must-win game for us," coach Robin Miller said. "It's a playoff game. We gave ourselves a chance. I don't care about all the other stuff (such as) who we need help from. It's out of our hands, so we're just focused on taking care of business and hopefully we can prepare well and give ourselves a chance to play (in) Week 11."
After three consecutive losses, Academy won its second game in a row by defeating Liberty Union 47-7 on Oct. 19. Brady Hess passed for 283 yards and three touchdowns, and Dorrian Moultrie had six catches for 170 yards and two scores.
Grandview is 7-2 overall and 2-2 in the MSL-Ohio. The Bobcats, who were projected to be eighth in Division VI, Region 23 this week, defeated Logan Elm 41-29 on Oct. 19 as Kyle Casey passed for 98 yards and rushed for 50, and Luke Lachey had 84 yards receiving and two scores.
Cross country teams to compete at regional
The boys and girls cross country teams will push for Division III state berths when they compete in the regional meet Saturday, Oct. 27, at Pickerington North.
The top five teams and top 20 individuals will advance to state Nov. 3 at National Trail Raceway.
The boys finished second (75) in the district 2 race Oct. 20 at Hilliard Darby behind Fredericktown (33). Liam McCann was sixth (17 minutes, 24.6 seconds), followed by Charlie Sabgir (10th, 17:31.6), Luke Nester (14th, 17:36.4), Jake Huddleston (20th, 18:08.1), Charlie Yaw (26th, 18:23.9), Alex O'Connor (32nd, 18:46) and Calvin Wade (34th, 18:56.4).
The girls finished fourth (112) in district 2 behind champion Centerburg (37) as Annalise Grammel was second (20:03.2), followed by Regan Cornelius (seventh, 20:17.6), Tuckerman (31st, 22:33.8), Ryan Milbourne (38th, 23:04.5), Madeline Proctor (47th, 23:53.2) and Janet Li (61st, 25:12.4).
At district, the top four teams and top 16 individuals advanced to regional.
Boys soccer team reaches district semi
The second-seeded boys soccer team was 11-5-1 before playing seventh-seeded Olentangy Berlin in a Division II district semifinal Oct. 24.
The winner plays third-seeded Bexley or fifth-seeded Granville in a district final Saturday, Oct. 27, at a neutral site to be determined. Academy defeated Bexley 2-1 on Sept. 26 and lost to Granville 1-0 on Oct. 13.
The district champion plays Cincinnati Indian Hill, Cincinnati McNicholas, Kettering Alter or Bellbrook in a regional semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 31, at London. The regional final is Nov. 3.
After a first-round bye, the Vikings defeated 11th-seeded Buckeye Valley 6-0 in the second round Oct. 20. David Barren and Tyler Schlonsky each scored two goals and Colin Sullivan and Elias Marquez had one apiece.
Girls soccer team competes in semifinal
The fourth-seeded girls soccer team was 8-4-4 before playing second-seeded Grandview in a Division III district semifinal Oct. 24.
The winner plays top-seeded Worthington Christian or third-seeded Wellington in a district final Saturday, Oct. 27, at a neutral site. Academy lost to Worthington Christian 2-1 on Sept. 5 and tied Wellington at 1 on Sept. 15.
The district champion plays Zanesville Rosecrans, Cadiz Harrison Central, Berlin Hiland or Richmond Edison in a regional semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 30, at Lakewood. Academy lost to Rosecrans 3-2 on Aug. 29.
The regional final is Nov. 3.
The Vikings defeated 13th-seeded Tree of Life 5-1 in the first round Oct. 16 and sixth-seeded Johnstown 3-1 in the second round Oct. 18.
Katie Schiano scored two goals against Tree of Life. Schiano, Olivia Archibald and Sarah Neltner scored against Johnstown.
Field hockey team reaches semifinal
The top-seeded field hockey team was 17-0 before playing ninth-seeded Bexley in a district semifinal Oct. 23.
The winner plays fourth-seeded Watterson or sixth-seeded Olentangy Orange in a district final Saturday, Oct. 27, at Olentangy Liberty, and that winner plays Cincinnati Ursuline, Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame, Cincinnati St. Ursula or Kettering Fairmont in a state semifinal Nov. 2.
Academy defeated 18th-seeded Berlin 12-0 in the first round Oct. 17 as Avie Smith scored three goals.
Girls volleyball team enjoys best season
The girls volleyball team's season was highlighted by a pair of achievements.
The Vikings finished 15-7 overall for the most wins in program history. They also went 7-1 in the MSL-Ohio to win their first league title, which they shared with Bexley.
The 13th-seeded Vikings lost at fifth-seeded Fredericktown 25-16, 25-13, 26-24 in the first round of the Division III district tournament Oct. 16.
Seniors Kayla Podgurski (outside hitter/setter) and Camille Reeves (middle hitter) were first-team all-league, junior Sophia Freytag (outside hitter/middle hitter) was second-team all-league and junior Mabry Nichols (middle hitter) was honorable mention all-league.
Freytag led Academy in kills with 125, followed by Reeves and Podgurski with 108 apiece. Junior setter Noelle Boltz led in assists (247), Podgurski led in aces (60) and Reeves led in blocks (46).
Others eligible to return are juniors Sasha Ahern (outside hitter), Sarah Edwards (outside hitter), Abigail Freytag (outside hitter/setter), Mackenzie Smith (setter) and Carolyn Zhang (defensive specialist) and sophomore Lily Plaugher (outside hitter).
"I pulled the (five) seniors aside and told them what a real pleasure it was to coach them," coach John Kelley said. "It was the best individual class that I've ever coached. Those are going to be some big holes to fill next year."