Columbus Academy Roundup: Vikings girls lacrosse squad ready to ‘turn the corner’

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Columbus Academy senior midfielder Charlotte Adams battles Hartley's Sydney Onega (left) during the Vikings' 14-10 win April 15. Adams had seven goals and one assist in Academy's first six games.

The Columbus Academy girls lacrosse team has gotten out to a slow start in Morgan Fee Maldovan’s first season as coach, but she’s confident the Vikings will improve in time for the postseason.

Academy was 1-4-1 overall before playing Buckeye Valley on April 22. The Vikings are 1-1 in the Central Independent League. 

“We’ve been going through some ups and downs,” said Fee Maldovan, who succeeded longtime coach Anne Horton. “We’re at a place where we can definitely turn the corner. The girls lost their season last year because of COVID-19 and coming into a brand-new (coaching) staff, there’s going to be tons of ups and downs. 

“If we can get these girls to respond to adversity, it’s going to be a pretty incredible rest of the season.” 

The Vikings beat Hartley 14-10 on April 15 and tied Chagrin Falls at 15 on April 10, and they were competitive in losses to Granville (12-9 on April 13), Bexley (14-13 on April 8) and Medina (16-10 on April 3). 

“The girls want to take in all the information,” Fee Maldovan said. “We have a ton of information to give them with so little time to give it to them. They’re like prying for the information, but we can only give them so much in so many rounds of practices. ... They’re receptive and they want to learn, but unfortunately, we don’t have the timing aspect that we would like to have.” 

Through six games, junior midfielder Evie Gee led Academy in scoring with 29 goals and five assists. She also had collected 21 ground balls and won 23 draws. 

Junior attacker/midfielder Avery Mitchell had 15 goals and three assists and led the Vikings in draws won with 30. 

Senior midfielder Charlotte Adams had seven goals and one assist. 

Fee Maldovan has been pleased with the play of senior goalie Ashley Reynolds, who had 61 saves and 19 ground balls. 

“She’s doing really well,” Fee Maldovan said. “I’m excited to see what the rest of the season holds for her.” 

Fee Maldovan said she also has been impressed with the play of senior defender/midfielder Suzy L’Hommedieu, junior attacker Sophia MacDonald and sophomore attacker Feesha Slootsky.

“We as a team are very lucky to have all of the experience and knowledge that our new coaches have,” L’Hommedieu said. “They’re all really passionate about lacrosse, the game and want to see us get better and grow. We are seeing a lot of that growth in our games.” 

Jacob Podgurski and the Vikings were 5-4 overall and 3-2 in the MSL-Ohio Division before playing Whitehall on April 23.

Baseball coach 

likes team’s progress 

Baseball coach Todd Dunkle hopes his team continues to improve in the second half of the season. 

The Vikings were 5-4 overall and 3-2 in the MSL-Ohio Division before playing Whitehall on April 23. 

“We’re starting to figure some stuff out, more so as a coaching staff of where to position guys for who we have and trying to keep them in a position that they’re most comfortable with,” said Dunkle, who has only 11 players available. “They’re starting to become more comfortable with each other and knowing what each other can do.” 

Academy beat Johnstown 6-4 on April 20 behind winning pitcher Brady Hess. Peter Tsung earned the save. 

“The team as a whole is playing well,” Dunkle said. “Brady is a phenomenal athlete. He’s hitting the ball well and he’s doing a nice job on the mound for us, but you expected that. It’s the younger kids like Luke Boltz, Carson James and Dylan Ritzenthaler who haven’t had any varsity experience and are doing a good job and getting acclimated to varsity baseball.” 

Finn Cassady, Tanner Compton, Keir Gorospe, Jonathan Hill, Jacob Podgurski and Scott Rogers also have contributed. 

Boys tennis team 

seeking strong finish 

Boys tennis coach Marc Wurtzman believes a challenging schedule will help his team prepare for the postseason. 

Academy was 5-5 overall and 2-1 in the MSL-Ohio before playing Whitehall on April 22. 

“We’re headed in the right direction,” Wurtzman said. “I kept 12 guys on the varsity and we’re still trying to figure out the right chemistry and all the singles and doubles (courts). The record doesn’t show it, but I’m pleased with the development. The next couple of weeks we can peak and make a pretty good run of at least reaching our potential.” 

Seniors Jack Madison and Arie Tuckerman have split time at first singles, with junior Ryan Panley at third singles. 

Panley was 8-0 in singles and 1-1 in doubles before playing Whitehall. 

“Ryan has been having a phenomenal year,” Wurtzman said.  

Juniors Jaswanth Vandrasi and Jake Stouffer are playing first doubles, with the remaining players competing for time at second doubles. 

Academy’s league loss came against Bexley, 3-2 on April 13. 

The Vikings will play West Jefferson in a Ohio Tennis Coaches Association team tournament Division II district semifinal May 6, with the winner playing Wellington or Bexley in district final on a date to be determined. 

Academy beat Wellington 3-2 in an MSL-Ohio match April 14. The Vikings also beat Grandview 5-0 on April 6 for their first league win. 

“Our ultimate goal each year is to get the players to reach their potential in that particular year, and get the team molded,” Wurtzman said. “We want to get the team chemistry as strong as we can. ... We want to win the OTCA district (title) and try to make the (state tournament). Everything is still ahead of us.”

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank