The Columbus Academy girls volleyball team is looking to end its nine seniors' final prep season on a high note.
The first goal is to compete for the MSL-Ohio Division title, and the Vikings were 10-7 overall and 5-2 in the league before playing Bexley on Sept. 24.
"We're doing really well," senior outside hitter Sophia Freytag said. "Especially having so many seniors, it's a lot to balance out everybody's playing time. But we're bonding really well, better than we have in the past."
Academy and Bexley were tied for second in the league behind Worthington Christian (7-0) entering the week.
The Vikings close the regular season by playing host to the Warriors on Oct. 10. Academy lost to Worthington Christian 25-21, 24-26, 25-20, 25-19 on Sept. 17.
"Worthington Christian is going to be really tough to catch," coach John Kelley said. "We have to beat them in our last match of the season and somebody else has to beat them before that for us to get at least a share of the league title again."
Last season, the Vikings shared the MSL-Ohio title with Bexley at 7-1. It was their first league championship.
Academy also would like to make a run in the Division III district tournament, which begins Oct. 15.
"Most of our team is seniors this year, so we're going to have a big push to make it (at least) past that first round," senior middle hitter Mabry Nichols said.
The Vikings lost a key player during a tri-match against Madison Christian and Northridge on Sept. 21, as senior outside hitter Sarah Edwards suffered a knee injury. Kelley said the severity would be determined this week.
Through 14 matches, Edwards had 54 digs, 49 kills and 12 aces.
Academy has been boosted by junior Lily Plaugher, who transferred from Granville last year but had to miss the second half of the 2018 season because of Ohio High School Athletic Association rules.
"Lily makes a huge difference," Kelley said. "She's clearly our workhorse. Lily is a very consistent force and has saved our bacon on a number of occasions."
Plaugher led the Vikings in kills (155) and digs (112) and had 28 aces. Seniors Noelle Boltz (238) and Emma Smith (171) led in assists, and Nichols led in blocks (41).
"We've improved, especially with the way we handle things mentally when we're down," Nichols said. "We're doing a lot better at that this year than we were last year. We're more consistent."
Girls soccer team eyes league title
The girls soccer team entered the week in contention for the MSL-Ohio title.
The Vikings were 6-2-2 overall and 3-0 in the league before playing Columbus School for Girls on Sept. 25.
The Vikings and West Liberty-Salem played to a scoreless tie Sept. 21 as goalkeeper Sophie Spolter had three saves.
Emma Yakam scored two goals and Mary Kate Prall added one in a 3-0 win over Johnstown on Sept. 16. Spolter had four saves.
"I'm pleased with our play," coach Matt Thompson said. "We have a very tough schedule. We've been dealing with some injuries, but other players are stepping up in meaningful ways."
Field hockey team keeps rolling
The field hockey team was 10-0 overall before playing Thomas Worthington on Sept. 23 and 5-0 in the Central Ohio Field Hockey League-East before facing Hartley on Sept. 25.
The Vikings defeated New Albany 4-0 on Sept. 18 for their 31st consecutive win. Regan Cornelius scored two goals, Kiersten Thomassey and Carolyn Vaziri each scored one and goalie Alex Phelps had two saves.
Before playing Thomas, Academy had outscored opponents 53-0 this season.
Below are the coming schedules for the Academy cross country, field hockey, boys golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 28 -- Bear Den Dash at Olentangy Berlin
Oct. 2 -- Home vs. Newark Catholic
*Oct. 1 -- At Granville
Sept. 28 -- Dublin Jerome Honorary Invitational at Country Club at Muirfield Village
Oct. 2 -- Division II district tournament at Denison Golf Club. The top team and top individual not on qualifying team advance to state Oct. 11 and 12 at NorthStar.
Sept. 28 -- Home vs. Lancaster
Oct. 1 -- Home vs. Westland
*Sept. 28 -- At Bexley
*Oct. 2 -- Home vs. Worthington Christian
Oct. 2 -- Home vs. Jerome
*Oct. 1 -- At Columbus School for Girls. The Vikings defeated the Unicorns 25-19, 25-20, 25-17 on Sept. 5.
*Oct. 2 -- Home vs. Whitehall. The Vikings defeated the Rams 25-12, 25-17, 25-15 on Sept. 10.