The Columbus Academy girls tennis team hopes to have another busy weekend during a pair of state tournaments Oct. 18-20.
The Vikings earned their third consecutive berth to the OTCA Division II state team tournament with a 3-0 win over Wellington in a district final Oct. 1 at home. Academy will play at state Oct. 20 at Reynoldsburg.
"It's great to get there," coach Tom Haddow said. "The girls are starting to play better now and a lot of them are enjoying the team aspect now. We've had good kids. They work hard."
Six players now will look to earn individual berths to state when they compete in the Division II district tournament Thursday, Oct. 10, at Columbus School for Girls and Saturday, Oct. 12, at Reynoldsburg. The champions in singles and doubles advance to state Oct. 18 and 19 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
Junior Sydni Ratliff took a step toward a third consecutive state appearance by defeating teammate Alex Graham 6-0, 6-0 in the sectional singles final Oct. 5 at CSG.
In doubles, Naomi Chen and Anna Chang defeated Bexley's Ilsa Evans and Maxine Giller 6-2, 6-3 in the final. Lauren Motta and Carolyn Tsung also moved on by finishing fourth in doubles.
Also in singles, Emily Motta went 1-1.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to district.
Academy turned in a dominating performance in advancing to the state team tournament, sweeping the three singles matches against Wellington to capture the district title.
Ratliff defeated Lauren Okoye 6-0, 6-0 at first singles, Tsung defeated Kate Thompson 6-0, 6-0 at second singles and Graham defeated Cassidy Chenelle 6-0, 6-2 at third singles.
The Vikings, who went 14-5 in the regular season, also defeated Wellington 5-0 in an MSL-Ohio Division match Sept. 5.
"I'm pretty happy with our team," Tsung said. "Everyone is really fun. I love Alex as a captain. I think we have a really good chance to win state."
Academy last won a state team title in 2008. Last season, it defeated Dayton Oakwood 3-1 in the third-place match after losing to Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown 3-0 in a semifinal. In 2017, it lost to Hathaway Brown 3-0 in the final.
Boys golf team seeks state title
The boys golf team captured its third consecutive district championship Oct. 2 at Denison Golf Club and will play for its third Division II state title in a row Friday, Oct. 11, and Saturday, Oct. 12, at NorthStar.
"They've all been there," coach Craig Yakscoe said. "They were part of it the last two times, but they still have to go out and play."
Academy captured its ninth state championship last season, finishing with a two-day total of 625 to outdistance runner-up Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin (634). It was its third state title in five years.
The Vikings won their latest district title with a 308, finishing ahead of runner-up Johnstown (337) in a 14-team field. Kahmar Byers led Academy with a 76 and finished second to Northridge's Ross Teeter (73) for medalist honors.
Despite the comfortable win, Yakscoe and his players believe they can play better.
"We struggled a little bit," Yakscoe said. "They didn't have their best day, but Kahmar stepped up big time. He had a very nice day. We'll save our best for last."
Ali Khan and Griffin Mitchell each shot 77, Matthew Cammeyer shot 78 and Aditya Reddy shot 81.
"It's more important we made it out," Mitchell said. "Even though we all didn't play our best, it's good enough. We'll be back stronger."
Only the championship team and the top individual not on that team advanced from district to state.
"This is pretty nice, it's pretty special for these kids," Yakscoe said. "They're a great group of young men, not only on the course but off the course, too. They're super golfers. They work very hard. They're very dedicated to the game, to each other and the team, and it shows."
Girls golf team caps first season
The girls golf team concluded its first season with freshman Grace Luo tying for eighth (86) in the Division II district tournament Sept. 30 at Darby Creek.
"Grace played so well," coach Maggie Freytag said. "She was so poised and competitive. I told her to just go out and have fun and play her own game and she did just that."
The Vikings finished fourth (402) in a nine-team sectional Sept. 23 at Blacklick Woods as Newark Catholic (359), CSG (370) and Lakewood (388) advanced to district.
Luo (92) earned the third and final individual berth to district by beating London's Kayla Clinger on the second playoff hole.
Academy went 3-13 in the MSL-Ohio to tie for fourth behind champion CSG (16-0).
Also eligible to return are freshmen Eva Baker, Quinn Black, Morgan Crain, Eliza Freytag, Francis Lefkowitz-Pizzuti, Cami Seymore and Vaanika Jindal.
"I loved every minute of the season," coach Freytag said. "They had an incredible year and they should be really proud of themselves and for that they have accomplished this year. I can't wait to see what next year brings. They made history this year. It was a really neat thing to do."
Below are the coming schedules for the Columbus Academy cross country, field hockey, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 12 -- MSL-Ohio meet at Buckeye Valley
*Oct. 10 -- Home vs. Bexley
Oct. 11 -- Home vs. Ann Arbor (Mich.) Pioneer
Oct. 15 -- Home vs. 18th-seeded Olentangy Berlin in first round of district tournament. The Vikings are seeded first.
*Oct. 12 -- At Worthington Christian
Oct. 16 -- Home vs. 13th-seeded Caledonia River Valley or 14th-seeded Lakewood in second round of Division II district tournament. The Vikings are seeded first.
*Oct. 10 -- Home vs. Buckeye Valley
Oct. 19 -- Home vs. third-seeded Worthington Christian or 14th-seeded Madison Plains in second round of Division III district tournament. The Vikings are seeded second.
*Oct. 10 -- Home vs. Worthington Christian. The Vikings lost to the Warriors 25-21, 24-26, 25-20, 25-19 on Sept. 17.
Oct. 19 -- At 10th-seeded Africentric in second round of Division III district tournament. The Vikings are seeded 11th.