Notebook: State tournament awaits tennis players from Olentangy schools

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group
Berlin freshman Mia Raines shot a 73 in the Division I district tournament Oct. 13 at New Albany Links to qualify for state Friday, Oct. 23, and Saturday, Oct. 24, at Ohio State’s Gray Course.

All four Olentangy high schools will be represented in the Division I state girls tennis tournament Friday, Oct. 23, and Saturday, Oct. 24, at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.

Liberty senior Dani Schoenly and Berlin junior Ella Franz will play singles. They will be joined by the Olentangy doubles team of senior Archita Sriram and sophomore Sydney Nickel and the Orange doubles tandem of senior Caroline Sproule and junior Tyler Reed.

All qualified from the district tournament held Oct. 15 and 17 at Reynoldsburg. The top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to state.

It will be the fourth trip to state for Schoenly, who won championships in doubles as a freshman and sophomore and qualified in singles last fall but lost in a quarterfinal. This time, she advanced from district by defeating Watterson’s Sara Goodlive 6-0, 6-1.

“It’s my senior year and I want to do well because it’s my last go-around in high school,” Schoenly said. “Each year is a little different so I’m still excited.”

Franz is the first player from Berlin to qualify for state. She defeated Dublin Coffman’s Pritika Ghosh-Choudhuri 6-1, 6-0 in her state-qualifying match.

“I’m so happy; I have tears in my eyes,” Franz said. “I worked hard to get here. To have been so close and finally know that I’m there is really exciting.”

Both doubles teams also will be making their first trips to state. Sriram and Nickel rallied to defeat Dublin Jerome’s Lydia Foster and Ella Oleson 0-6, 6-4, 6-3 to advance.

“This is my first year (going) and it’s also my last year (in high school tennis) so it’s a great way to end,” Sriram said. “My partner and I just took it one point by one point and made sure we got each shot over. We didn’t want to think too far ahead.”

Sproule and Reed defeated Pickerington Central’s Sammie Moore and Khandice Thomas 6-3, 6-0 to punch their ticket to state.

“We were nervous in the beginning because it was a really big match but then we got momentum and never looked back,” Sproule said. “I had chances before to go to state and didn’t make it, so I’m really excited.”

Also competing in singles were Liberty’s Kylie Wilson (1-1 at district) and Orange’s Karol Korotkin (0-1). Megan Haddow and Charvi Thumati were 0-1 in doubles for Liberty.

•The Orange boys golf team is headed to state for the first time since 2008 after it won the Division I district tournament Oct. 13 at Apple Valley with a 298.

The state tournament is Friday, Oct. 23, and Saturday, Oct. 24, at Ohio State’s Scarlet Course.

Three-time defending state champion Jerome shot 302 to earn the district’s other state berth, edging St. Charles (303) and Liberty (304).

“I know these kids are very excited about (qualifying for state),” Orange coach Jerrod Ross said. “It feels very, very good to finally get through to the state championship where we knew we should be.”

Jonathan Green shot 73 to lead the Pioneers, followed by Corbin Bentley (74), Luke Johnson (74), Nathan Brown (77) and Mitch Perdue (79).

Senior Grant Smeltzer led Liberty with a 74, with senior Andrew Blosser and junior Jack O’Donnell each shooting 76, junior Jack Snyder carding 78 and junior Ben Armbruster shooting 81.

Berlin senior Bryce Reed shot 73 to miss moving on individually by one stroke. Also competing for the Bears were seniors Ethan Hegg (80) and Caleb Haaser (82), junior Drew Mark (85) and sophomore Kyle Smetiouk (81).

—Jarrod Ulrey

•Unhappy with her first 11 holes during the Division I district girls golf tournament Oct. 13 at New Albany Links, Berlin freshman Mia Raines did enough over the final seven to add to a family legacy.

Raines shot a 73, including 34 on the back 9, to tie for third and earn an individual berth to state Friday, Oct. 23, and Saturday, Oct. 24, at Ohio State’s Gray Course.

“I had three birdies on the back 9 and that really got my momentum going,” said Raines, who was 4-over par through 11 holes. “This is pretty cool. I’m glad I can leave my own mark at state. I did feel a little pressure. Both my sisters went and I want to make my family proud, so I feel good accomplishing that.”

Both of Raines’ older sisters played at state. Kara, a 2017 Olentangy graduate who now plays at Youngstown State, was 22nd as a junior and Leila was seventh as a freshman at Olentangy in 2016 and state runner-up as a junior at Berlin.

Liberty (353) and Olentangy (363) finished sixth and seventh, respectively, at district behind champion New Albany (294).

Senior Gracie Baum led the Patriots with a 79, followed by junior Taya Buxton (83) and freshman Dakota Riley (93). Seniors Abigail Corbin and Juliana Renda each shot a 98.

Sophomore Olivia Drankwalter shot a 79 to lead the Braves, who were making their first district appearance as a team since 2016. 

Also scoring were senior Lauren Sommerfeld (83), freshman Kimmy Archer (95) and sophomore Claudia Novak (106).

“For Olivia to come here as a sophomore and shoot a round in the 70s, I couldn’t be more proud,” Olentangy coach Micah Conley said. “This was good for a young team to get a taste of what real competitive district golf is. It’s what we need to take into the offseason and know what kind of work we have to put in to compete here again.”

Orange senior Natalie Au, the Pioneers’ only qualifier, shot an 87.

—Dave Purpura

•The Olentangy girls soccer and girls volleyball teams both closed out undefeated OCC-Cardinal Division championships last week.

The soccer team finished 5-0 in the league with a 1-0 home win over Marysville on Oct. 13. Kylee Beinecke scored and Katie Scott made six saves as the Braves improved to 12-2-1.

The volleyball team swept host Jerome in three games Oct. 13 to finish a 9-0 league season. Olentangy was 12-6 overall before playing host to Gahanna or Westerville South in the second round of the Division I district tournament Oct. 21.

The Braves’ 10th scheduled league match, against Marysville on Oct. 12, was canceled.

—Dave Purpura

Olentangy boys golf coach Joel Glassburn stepped down Oct. 11 after 17 seasons leading the Braves and 20 overall with the program, hoping to devote more time to his family and two children’s budding soccer careers.

Daughter Rileigh is a junior at Berlin, and son Jake will be a freshman there next year.

“It was a tough decision, but ultimately it’s about what’s best for me and my family. Twenty years is a long time,” Glassburn said. “Sometimes it’s easy to balance the schedule, and other times it’s a logistical nightmare. I just want to make sure I’m there for them.”

—Dave Purpura

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BERLIN BOYS GOLF

OCC-Cardinal standings: Dublin Jerome (19-0), Berlin (15-4), Thomas Worthington (9-6), Marysville (8-11), Olentangy and Hilliard Darby (both 2-17)

Seniors lost: Camen Cline, Caleb Hasser, Ethan Hegg and Bryce Reed

Key returnees: Brady Casto and Kyle Smetiouk

Postseason: Fourth (315) at sectional behind champion St. Charles (297); sixth (316) at district behind champion Orange (298)

LIBERTY BOYS GOLF

OCC-Central standings: Orange (18-2), Liberty (18-2), Dublin Coffman (11-9), Upper Arlington (8-12), Hilliard Davidson (5-15), Hilliard Bradley (0-20)

Seniors lost: Andrew Blosser and Grant Smeltzer

Key returnees: Ben Armbruster, Jack O’Donnell and Jack Snyder

Postseason: First at sectional (297); fourth (304) at district behind champion Orange (298)

LIBERTY GIRLS GOLF

OCC-Buckeye standings: Liberty (20-0), Olentangy (16-4), Westerville Central (11-9), Orange (8-12), Westerville South (5-15), Westerville North (0-20)

Seniors lost: Gracie Baun, Abigail Corbin and Juliana Renda

Key returnees: Taya Buxton and Dakota Riley

Postseason: Second (336) at district behind Dublin Coffman (331); sixth (353) at district behind champion New Albany (294)

OLENTANGY GIRLS GOLF

Senior lost: Lauren Sommerfeld

Key returnees: Kimmy Archer, Olivia Drankwalter, Claudia Novak and Elizabeth Wang

Postseason: Second (346) at sectional behind New Albany (286); seventh (363) at district behind champion New Albany (294)

ORANGE GIRLS GOLF

Seniors lost: Emma Burnett, Lauren Muffley, Megan Russell and Emma Wood

Key returnees: Natalie Au and Leila Bass

Postseason: 10th (473) at sectional behind champion New Albany (286)