After finishing 6-10 last fall, the Olentangy Berlin girls tennis team has been making its mark in its second season.
The Bears were 11-4 overall after defeating Worthington Christian 4-1 on Sept. 16. Their losses came against some of the area's top programs in Columbus Academy (5-0 on Aug. 21), Dublin Jerome (5-0 on Aug. 28), New Albany (3-2 on Sept. 9) and Orange (4-1 on Sept. 10).
Berlin finished second (6-1) in the OCC-Cardinal Division behind Jerome (7-0) after concluding its league schedule by defeating Thomas Worthington 4-1 on Sept. 11. Last season, it tied Thomas for third (4-3) behind Jerome (7-0) and Dublin Scioto (6-1).
"I knew we could do well from what I had seen in the preseason," first-year coach Richard Hunt said. "We have had a lot of growth and that has helped us win some of our matches. The girls worked hard over the summer and have improved a lot.
"We played well against a couple of tough (league) teams in Dublin Scioto (on Aug. 15) and Hilliard Bradley (on Aug. 20). We beat both of them 3-2 and when we did that, I thought we would get second in the league."
Sophomore Ella Franz plays first singles and was 12-2 through 14 matches. Hunt said Franz has been an anchor for the lineup.
"Ella has been very strong," Hunt said. "It's huge because every school has at least one good player and that's at first singles. She usually is able to get that first win for us."
Junior Janna Harris plays second singles and senior Vidya Puttagunta is at third singles. Senior Maggie Torlone and junior Emma Reger compete at first doubles with senior Maddie Reger and junior Sydney Webb at second doubles.
"It's kind of been a mix for us," Hunt said. "Janna has really improved for us at second singles. She lost a match or two early on, but her confidence has really grown as the season has gone on. In most matches, we win at first and second singles and then look for that third win (to clinch the match)."
Boggess, Rinehart lead runners at OWU meet
Corey Rinehart and Meghan Boggess led the way for the boys and girls cross country teams in the Ohio Wesleyan Invitational on Sept. 14 at Liberty Park.
Rinehart finished fourth (16 minutes, 34.5 seconds) as the boys placed fifth (132 points) of 12 teams behind champion Liberty (28). Also scoring were Calvin Davies (31st, 17:26.6), Jacob Reitz (32nd, 17:28.0), Jack Dunlop (37th, 17:32.6) and Grant Schrieber (40th, 17:37.8).
Boggess was seventh (19:51.4) as the girls were third (70) of nine teams behind Liberty (43) and Lancaster (50). Katie Balthaser (ninth, 20:14.4), Ada Freeman (13th, 20:34.7), Rebecca Koppelman (19th, 20:54.4) and Grace Dahlke (22nd, 20:59.5) also scored.
Boys golfers place second in league
Bryce Reed earned OCC-Cardinal Player of the Year honors by 19 strokes as the boys golf team finished second (22-6) to Jerome (27-1).
Reed shot a 283 in the four-round league tournament for a 70.75 average. Jerome's Jake Yarborough was second with a 302 and a 75.5 average.
Leila Raines (77.75) was second-team all-league, Ethan Hegg (80.75) was third-team all-league and Brady Casto (81.33) was honorable mention.
In the final round Sept. 11 at Denison Golf Club, the Bears finished fourth (329) behind Jerome (299), Delaware (322) and Bradley (328). Reed shot a 76 and Raines had a 78.
Below are the coming schedules for the Berlin cross country, field hockey, boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 21 -- Dublin Jerome Invitational
*Sept. 25 -- Home vs. Dublin Scioto
Sept. 21 -- Howlett Invitational at Worthington Hills
Sept. 23 -- OCC Shootout at Little Turtle
Sept. 25 -- Orange at Bent Tree
Sept. 24 -- Big Walnut at Bent Tree
Sept. 19 -- Home vs. Watterson
*Sept. 24 -- At Hilliard Darby
Sept. 19 -- At Westerville Central
*Sept. 24 -- Home vs. Darby
Sept. 19 -- Home vs. Westerville Central
Sept. 24 -- Home vs. Gahanna
*Sept. 19 -- At Jerome. The Bears lost to the Celtics 25-23, 25-17, 25-20 on Aug. 22.
*Sept. 24 -- Home vs. Thomas Worthington. The Bears defeated the Cardinals 25-15, 25-7, 25-7 on Aug. 22.