Grandview Heights Roundup: 'Vocal' Lindsey Bertani shores up defense for girls soccer team

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group
Senior Lindsey Bertani switched from being a center-midfielder to a defensive center-back, and that helped spark the Grandview Heights girls soccer team's run to a Division III district final Oct. 31 against Columbus Academy.

The days of “fancy soccer” are over for Lindsey Bertani.

The Grandview Heights senior switched from being a center-midfielder to a defensive center-back for the girls soccer team, and while her transition wasn’t as simple as moving back 10 or 15 yards on the field, it helped the Bobcats reach their fourth consecutive district final and sixth in seven seasons.

“It’s a lot less of pretty, fancy soccer, that’s for sure,” said Bertani, whose top-seeded team was 13-2-3 before playing sixth-seeded Columbus Academy in a Division III district final Oct. 31. “It’s not pretty in terms of offensive soccer, but defensively you have to be really controlled and have a laid-back mindset. If you get too amped up, you’ll just let the ball go right past you.

“I think it’s about becoming more relaxed and still staying focused. You have to be ready on your feet when the ball comes back there. Some games, it doesn’t, and you’re just standing there. Some teams just can’t get past our midfield line. You have to be ready for anything when it comes back there.”

Entering the contest against the Vikings, Grandview had not allowed a postseason goal. After a first-round bye, the Bobcats defeated 10th-seeded Amanda-Clearcreek 7-0 on Oct. 24 and fourth-seeded Fairbanks 2-0 on Oct. 27 in a district semifinal.

“I always have been a vocal player, and probably the reason I was put back there was because of my voice,” Bertani said. “As a center-mid, you’re always running so it’s harder (to be vocal). But as a center-back you have a better view of the whole field and you need to be talking constantly to the team.

“You really control and tell your team what to do as a center-back. You’re the communication. There are a lot of things I do and say to control a team and without that communication it would be hard for us to be so united.”

Coach Bre Dominach said Bertani was an easy choice to replace four-year starter Hallie Georskey at center-back.

“Lindsey is a natural fit back there and her natural vocal nature has made the back line solid,” Dominach said. “She’s a great director on the field. She sees the plays develop and vocalizes that on the field.

“She had worked so hard in center-mid, but she was willing to make that personal sacrifice to move to the back. That showed great maturity and leadership. She and Carlie (Orr) never stop talking to their teammates, and they’ve helped synchronize the play in the back.”

Bertani also is a standout in the classroom, where she has a 4.38 GPA. She does not plan to play soccer in college, focusing her time on studies in English or journalism to perhaps become a secondary-school teacher. She would like to attend the University of Tennessee after living in Knoxville for eight years.

The Grandview-Academy winner advanced to a regional semifinal Nov. 3 against Berlin Hiland or Zanesville Rosecrans. The regional championship game is Saturday, Nov. 7, and the winner advances to a state semifinal Tuesday, Nov. 11.

“Now that we’re in the tournament season we have to play as hard as we can because any game basically could be the last game of my life,” Bertani said. “We were scared for a second because we didn’t even know if we even were going to have a season (because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic). That makes this something special.

“I will be forever grateful that we got to finish out my senior year. We had to fight it out and that makes it even more special really. We had to really work hard for this.”

Boys soccer team

reaches district final

The second-seeded boys soccer team won its first two postseason contests by wide margins to set up a showdown with top-seeded Worthington Christian on Oct. 31 in a Division III district final.

Grandview was 11-3-4 before facing the Warriors and looking to capture its seventh consecutive district championship.

The Bobcats held both opponents scoreless in their first two tournament games. They opened by defeating 12th-seeded Ready 13-0 on Oct. 26 as Will DeVere, Connor Hayes, Kai Iisaka and Henry Murphy all scored twice.

Adam Bechtel and Iisaka both scored two goals in a 9-0 win over ninth-seeded Fisher Catholic on Oct. 28 in a district semifinal.

The district champion played Hiland or Zanesville West Muskingum on Nov. 4 in a regional semifinal. The regional final is Saturday, Nov. 7, and the state semifinal is Wednesday, Nov. 11.

Senior middle blocker Rachel Hartman led the Bobcats girls volleyball team with 39 blocks. Grandview finished 14-9, losing 25-22, 25-14, 25-14 to Fairbanks on Oct. 24 in the second round of the Division III district tournament.

Yochem leads honors

for volleyball team

Senior outside hitter Hannah Yochem shared MSL-Ohio Division Player of the Year honors with Worthington Christian’s Liv Fenstermaker and also was first-team all-district for the girls volleyball team.

The eighth-seeded Bobcats finished 14-9 overall, losing 25-22, 25-14, 25-14 to 10th-seeded Fairbanks on Oct. 24 in the second round of the Division III district tournament. 

They tied Buckeye Valley for third (7-5) in the league behind Worthington Christian (12-0) and Bexley (9-2).

Yochem led Grandview in kills (329) and digs (210) and also had 45 aces and 12 blocks.

Junior setter Taylor Sanzo (second-team all-district, first-team all-league) had a team-leading 604 assists to go with 128 digs and 57 aces.

Freshman defensive specialist/libero Addi Henn (second-team all-league) led with 64 aces and had 165 digs, and senior middle blocker Rachel Hartman led with 39 blocks. Sophomore middle blocker Chai Dobbs-Euans (honorable mention all-league) had 153 kills and 27 blocks, and junior defensive specialist/libero Sam Schaefer had 118 digs and 40 aces.

Three other freshmen — middle blocker/outside hitter Taryn Lynaugh (60 kills), opposite hitter Kendall Longbrake (57 digs, 50 aces) and outside hitter Lainey Mott — also started for the Bobcats.

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GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Record: 14-9 overall

MSL-Ohio standings: Worthington Christian (12-0), Bexley (9-2), Buckeye Valley and Grandview (both 7-5), Columbus School for Girls (3-8), Columbus Academy (1-8), Whitehall (0-11)

Seniors lost: Rachel Hartman and Hannah Yochem

Key returnees: Chai Dobbs-Euans, Addi Henn, Kendall Longbrake, Taryn Lynaugh, Lainey Mott, Taylor Sanzo and Sam Schaefer

Postseason: Lost to Fairbanks 25-22, 25-14, 25-14 in first round of Division III district tournament