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Published by The Chronicle, 2019-03-22 09:57:44

Spring Sports Preview 2019

Published on March 22, 2019.

Spring Sports Preview March 22, 2019

Team Roster Boys’ Tennis

Niraj Komatineni Senior

Akshay Joshi Freshman

Vignesh Gogineni Freshman
Anish Gangavaram Freshman
Pranav Viswanathan Senior
Aneesh Zutshi

Samuel King Sophomore

Arnav Divekar Senior

Eric Tang Sophomore

Daiton Steedly Senior

Team Schedule Photo by Tanner Pearson
Senior singles player Niraj Katineni, a Brown University commit, returns to lead the Comet tennis team this season.
April 2nd- Vs Oak Hills
April 4th - Vs Lakota West Komatineni will be counted on to
April 5th - Vs Massillon Jackson lead young Comet tennis team
April 6th - @ New Albany
April 6th - @ Upper Arlington Cody Allgor | Staff Writer tennis,” Reid said. “It’s a different type of atmosphere,
April 9th - @ Lakota East
April 11th - Vs Hamilton playing at a team environment then it is at individual
April 16th - @ Sycamore
April 17th - Vs Indian Hill Young. That’s the word that describes this year’s tournaments. We were really good at that last year and
April 18th - @ Princeton
April 20th - @ St. X Kentucky Mason Men’s Tennis Team. I’m hoping that we come together and get really good
April 23rd - Vs Colerain
April 24th - @ Middletown After winning the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association at it this year.”
April 25th & 27th - Coaches’ Classic
April 30th - @ Fairfield (OTCA) state title and going undefeated last year, the Senior Aneesh Zutshi, who figures to play a critical
May 4th & 6th - GMC
May 8th & 11th - Sectionals team lost multiple key seniors - including Shashank role at first doubles this year, believes that this team
May 16th & 18th - Districts
May 24th & 25th - State Singuri, Vishnu Srinath, and Pavan Vattyam. Fortunate- can match last year’s undefeated mark but that it

ly, many talented freshmen joined the program this should not be their focus.

year with the goal of continuing the winning tradition “I think we can go undefeated again, but we can’t be

Mason tennis has established and bringing home an- too caught up in, ‘oh, last year we went undefeated,’”

other state championship. Zutshi said. “If we ever

One of those fresh- “I think we can go undefeated struggle in a match we
men, Vignesh Gogineni, have to keep our heads up
who will play singles this again, but we can’t be too
and realize that we can’t be

season, knows that it will caught up in, oh last year we expected to play our best
be a challenge to replace went undefeated” every day, but can still put
such a talented Senior out our best effort and find

class but he feels the different ways to win,” Zut-

younger players are ready to do what it takes to get shi said. “If we do that and we’re always there for each

the team back to state. other, especially the freshman that haven’t necessarily

“I think we can win state,” Gogineni said. “Definitely played the big matches, we’ll have a really good shot

got to let the seniors do what they can do and also us of going undefeated again.”

freshman, we have to build upon what they have to do Senior Niraj Komatineni, a Brown University com-

and support them in any way we can.” mit who will be playing as the top player for this team,

While many of these freshmen are used to success explained that this young team works hard and should

from competing in individual tournaments, Head not be underestimated.

Coach Mike Reid knows he has to teach his younger “The fact that we are young and still really high

players how individual play will impact the team’s in the preseason rankings means that we have a lot

results. Reid said the players have to learn the impor- of talent on this team and it’s really exciting,” Kom-

tance of the change for the freshman from individual atineni said. “I think some teams might underestimate

play to playing with a team. us when we might have two or three freshmen in the

“It’s all about our freshmen, how quickly they starting line up, but I wouldn’t doubt these kids. They

develop and getting good at playing high school team work hard and they are here to play.”

March 22, 2019 Spring Sports Preview

Baseball Team Roster

Senior Dade Hensley will be counted on as a member of a deep line-up of pitchers. Photo by Tanner Pearson Seniors

Comets will rely on experienced lineup Kenyon Abbott
Tyler Bockerstette
Anna Kinasewitz | Staff Writer honors a year ago. Back are Greater said. “The chemistry on the team is Jack Buckley
The Mason Comets baseball team Miami Conference player of the year really strong. The boys don’t really Chris Burke
is determined to continue their win- slugger J.P. Sponseller, an Elon Uni- look at each other as ‘classes,’ they’re Ryan Evans
ning ways in 2019. versity commit, catcher and Univer- teammates, so it really doesn’t matter Dade Hensley
After winning a league, district, sity of Cincinnati commit Joe Powell, what grade they are. Our older guys Mason Hollocaway
and regional championship in a sea- Harting (U.C.), Marietta commit embrace our younger guys, and our Evan Kemp
son that concluded in the state final Mason Holloway, and U.C. commit younger guys are confident that they Nick Niehoff
four, there is not much room for Evan Kemp. are a valuable part of the squad.” Joe Powell
improvement. However, University JP Sponseller
of Cincinnati commit Cole Harting Junior Harrison Johnson is another The Comets face another tough Sam Stewart
said while the team has lost some returnee who earned league honors schedule in 2019. The GMC is always Jacob Weekley
key players from last year’s squad, last season. The Ohio University com- one of the most challenging leagues Wyatt Weekley
their goals remain the same. mit heads into the season with goals in the state, but a non conference
“Some goals we have are to win set for himself and the team after his slate that includes LaSalle, Olen- Juniors
the league and make another run impressive contributions from the tangy Orange, Springboro, Center-
in the tournament,” Harting said. “I plate during his sophomore year. ville and a trip to Tennessee to face Collin Brown
think we have strengths in all aspects three of the state’s top programs will Cole Harting
of the game. We will hit the ball “Personal goals of mine include force Bly’s team to play at a high Harrison Johnson
very well and we have dudes on the building off of my performance last level if they want to meet or exceed AJ Kraus
mound that can dominate.” year, helping the team any way I last year’s wins total. Liam McFadden-Ackman
The Comets finished 26-6 a season can, and taking on whatever role the Chase Popplewell
ago, concluding their season with a coaches want me to,” Johnson said. “Playing a tough schedule is Nick Powell
1-0 heartbreaker to Anthony Wayne “Team goals are always the same, we something we want to do every Jack Steibel
in the state semi final. Gone from want to bring a state championship year,” Bly said. “It prepares us for Ty Sloan
that team are the likes of Red Sox back to Mason and work hard and the tournament, first and foremost.
draft pick Nick Northcut, Ohio build relationships with our team- And competition breeds competition. Sophomores
State recruit Will Pfennig, and all- mates.” We’re trying to put our guys in posi-
conference players Rollie Sheriff and tion to play against the best and try Max Johnson
Evan Haas. But the Comets are not Even though the Comets return to improve our game as best we can.” Jaxon Orlando
spending time worrying about the four of the team’s top five hitters Ben Stuart
players who have departed; instead, from a year ago, they must take The seniors playing their final
sophomore and Indiana University care of business on the mound. Bly season of high school baseball want Team Schedule
commit Max Johnson said their focus knows the always difficult GMC is to continue the tradition of win-
is on the returning players and a host won with pitching. This season Bly ning that has been established - and March 23 - Vs Strongsville @ Prasco Park
of talented newcomers. said he’ll be counting on Evan Kemp, advance as far as they can in the March 25 - @ Oak Hills
“We lost a lot of pitching last year, Dade Hensley (Indian Hill Com- postseason. March 27- Vs Oak Hills
so we’ll have to have some guys step munity College commit), Kenyon March 29 - @ Noblesville, IN
up and fill some roles in the rota- Abbott, and AJ Kraus. “We want to be playing our best March 29 - @ Riverdale, TN
tion,” Johnson said. “The same goes baseball at the end,” Bly said. “We March 30 - @ Seigal
with defense; everyone is going to Depth on the pitching staff is talk about writing the next chapter of April 1 - @ Middletown
have to step up their game.” critical: other pitchers Bly believes Mason Baseball every year. The team April 3 - Vs Princeton
The Comets have several return- will contribute this season include that we have this year, this is their April 4 - Vs Middletown
ing players who garnered league seniors Chris Burke, Nick Niehoff, chapter. We talk to our seniors about April 5 - @ Princeton
Tyler Bockerstette, juniors Chase putting their numbers on banners. April 8 - Vs Colerain
Popplewell, Jack Steibel, Nick Powell, We don’t say, ‘We’ve got to do this or April 10 - @ Colerain
Collin Brown, Teddy Tolliver, and accomplish that.’ We’re just trying to April 11 - Vs LaSalle
sophomore Ben Stuart. put the number ‘19 on more than one April 12 - @ Lakota East
banner on that wall.” April 15 - Vs Lakota East
“It’s a good mix of players,” Bly April 17 - Vs Hamilton
April 18 - @ Hamilton
April 20 - Vs Kings
April 22 - @ Fairfield
April 24 - Vs Fairfield
April 26 - Vs Lakota West
April 29 - @ Lakota West
May 1 - @ Sycamore
May 3 - Vs Sycamore
May 4 - @ Olentangy Orange
May 7 - @Springboro
May 9 - Vs Centerville @ Wright State

Spring Sports Preview March 22, 2019


Team Roster

Paige Loveless Senior Photo by Tanner Pearson
Sydney Carter Sophomore Senior Paige Loveless is one of five seniors committed to play in college and expected to lead the Comets this season.
Carsyn Snead
Meghan Burke Junior Strong senior leadership drives
Tori O’Brien Junior
Katie Debord Junior Comets towards another GMC title
Lindsay Breuer Senior
Ali Weekley Freshman
Lani Hensley Senior
Holland Tolliver Junior
Lindsey Sutton Senior
Val Allen Junior
Grace Rieger Freshman

Team Schedule

March 25th - @ Lakota East Abby Miller | Staff Writer game day. We can’t be going into practice taking an offday.
March 27th - Vs Oak Hills
March 29th - Vs Whitmer I think that everyone knows their role on the team, so they
March 30th - Vs Anthony Wayne
April 1st - Vs Princeton The Mason softball program is no stranger to success. know who can help out in which way.”
April 3rd - @ Colerain
April 4th - @ Lakota West Over the past three seasons the Comets have compiled This year, all five seniors on the team are committed to
April 5th - Clinton Massie @ Lebanon
April 7th - Lebanon @ the Reds a record of 72-12 (52-2 in the Greater Miami Conference play softball in college, and hope to lead the team in their
April 8th - @ Middletown
April 10th - Vs Sycamore (GMC)), won three GMC championships and three district last season representing the green and white. According to
April 11th - Vs Hamilton
April 12th - Vs Fairfield titles. head coach Liann Muff, leadership from these seniors is one
April 15th - Vs Lakota East
April 17th - @ Oak Hills Senior shortstop and University of Dayton signee Ali of the many major keys to having a successful season this
April 22nd - @ Princeton
April 24th - Vs Colerain Weekley has been a key part of the Comets success and year.
April 25th - Vs Lakota West
April 26th & 27th - @ Wendy’s Spring Classic looks to continue the Comets’ winning ways into the 2019 “They’ve really bonded well through their preseason
April 29th - Vs Middletown
May 1st - @ Sycamore season. workouts,” Muff said. “They’re on teams during those
May 2nd - @ Hamilton
May 3rd - @ Fairfield “We’ve come up with a new model of never settling and workouts and they compete against one another so there’s
May 4th - @ Gahanna Lincoln Showcase
so if we don’t do some- a lot of great team chemistry, and

thing right, we should do “We are focusing on every play, great leadership emerges during our
it again to fix it,” Weekley preseason because of that.”
said. “We have gotten this every pitch, to make sure that The Comets will look to replicate

new mentality of, ‘will we are doing the reps so we can the offensive firepower they produced
this win state?’. So, we are in 2018; a season in which they hit .455
focusing on every play, hopefully win state.” as a team, and stole 86 bases.

every pitch, to make sure Thirty-one of those stolen bases

that we are doing the reps so we can hopefully win state.” came from Indiana University commit Tori O’Brien. A big

Weekley and the rest of the Comets have their eyes set part of the Comets offense will be based on getting on base

on winning the GMC for the 6th consecutive year, and with bunts or ‘slap’ hits featuring O’Brien, North Carolina

competing for the ultimate title of state champion this year. verbal commit Carsyn Snead as well sophomore Sydney

The Comets will rely on senior John Carroll signee Katie Carter. Muff knows in order to replicate their past success,

DeBord to play her role in the pitching circle. In her career, the Comets must focus on the little things.

DeBord has a record of 19-1 with 88 strikeouts in 116 innings. “Since we started practicing, our focus has been on at-

DeBord knows the commitment it will take this season to tention to detail,” Muff said. “We’re making sure we are

achieve the team’s goals, and hopes to leave her mark in keeping the highest standards no matter what we’re doing -

her senior season. whether we’re doing drills in practice, we’re having live bat-

“We have to make sure we stay focused in practice,” ting practice, or we’re scrimmaging. We want our standards

DeBord said. “We need to treat every practice like it’s a to be the highest.”

March 22, 2019 Spring Sports Preview

Girls’ Track and Field

Photo by Mia Sweitzer Key Returning Athletes
Junior Haleigh Eckert looks to reach new heights in the Pole Vault to qualify for state after finishing one spot away last season. Sprints

Track and field looks to reclaim GMC Jenna Burns
Aliyah El-Naggar
Rahul Parikh | Sports Editor indoor state championships this season, junior Maddie Ul- Brittney Keys
lom is poised for another great year, competing in multiple Nimi Oyelese
For the Mason Girls track and field team, It’s redemption events. McKenzie Snyder
season. Faith Tang
Ullom said that this year, she is focused heavily on both Alexia Thomas
Last year, Princeton dethroned the Comets as Greater the 400 and 800 meter runs, and has specific goals to mea- Erin Breuer
Miami Conference (GMC) champions by half a point, after sure her success in both.
the Mason girls had held the title for 10 consecutive seasons. Field
This season, the team will rely on experience and consisten- “I’ve been close to the school record in the 400 meter, and
cy in their quest to reclaim the GMC championship. I want to get that this year,” Ullom said. “For the 800, getting Hannah Chenault
podium at state is a big goal that I have, and I think I can get Haleigh Eckert
Seniors Jenna Burns (400M), Alexia Thomas (110M it done if I keep working hard.” Nadia Steinbicker
Hurdles, 300M Hurdles), Lilly Hallum (800M, 1600M) and
Mackenzie Snyder (400M) will lead the team in their final This year’s distance team will feature junior Faith Min and Distance
season, along with Juniors Regan Morton (100M, 200M), senior Lilly Hallum, who finished first and second, respec-
Faith Min (800M,1600M), Maddie Ullom (400M, 800M), and tively, in the conference meet in the 800 meter run. Coach Kiera Doran
Sophomore Nimi Oyelese (100M, 200M). Affatato said that with these two top runners returning, Erica Fennimore
among others, the distance team should continue their domi- Lilly Hallum
Head coach Tony Affatato knows that this squad certainly nance and lead the charge in individual events and relays. Brooke Harvey
has the talent and experience necessary to be successful in Aria Hawkins
the conference and hopefully a strong finish at the state “Having both of them back as well as a boatload of other Allyson Kouche
meet in June. talented distance runners this year will be huge. They will Emma Kruse
help us big time to earn points and in relays as well, ” Af- Faith Min
Affatato said that in order for this team to reach their po- fatato said. Ava Stover
tential and get back on top of the league, they need to focus
on pushing themselves in every aspect of the sport, and be Senior Alexia Thomas will be a key returning hurdler Team Schedule
more than prepared when the postseason rolls around. for the Comets, as she finished in the top five of last year’s
conference meet in the 110M and 300M hurdles. Affatato April 4th - Moeller Invitational
“Last year was tough; losing by half a point in the GMC said that Thomas’s continued success and guidance for the
meet is going to be really tough anywhere you go, ” Affatato younger hurdles will be crucial for the Comets to win. April 6th - GMC vs GWOC Track Invitational
said. “This season, we have to work extra hard in practice and
in meets in order to put ourselves in a good position when “Alexia has worked really hard through the winter and April 12th - Waynesville Invitational
championship season comes around in May and June.” I’m very excited to see what she can do this year, ” Affatato
said. “She’s always learning from Coach Doyle and taking his April 17th - Elder Invitational
Leading sprints (100-400 Meter) for the Comets this season expertise to her advantage, and has done a great job taking
will be juniors Regan Morton and Maddie Ullom, sophomore the younger runners under her wing as well.” April 25th - Wayne Warriors Invitational
Nimi Oyelese, and senior Jenna Burns. Morton, who didn’t
compete last year due to injury, said attention to detail in As for the field events, junior Pole Vaulter Haleigh Eckert April 30th - Kings Invitational
practice for the sprinters will be critical for better results this will be a star, after finishing 2nd in the conference tourna-
year. ment in the event last season. May 3rd - Mason Invitational

“We have days set aside where we work on mechanical After finishing one spot away from qualifying to the state May 8th - GMC Championship
things like handoffs and block starts,” Morton said. “If you tournament last season, Eckert said she hopes to improve on
don’t excel in those things it makes it really hard to succeed her heights from last season and compete at states this time May 15th - District Prelims
in sprinting events, so it’s super important to be very atten- around.
tive to the mechanics in practice. May 17th - District finals
“This year I would really like to compete at state because
After finishing on the GMC first team for the 400 meter last year I got fifth in the regional tournament and they only May 22nd - Regional prelims
dash and placing fifth in the conference meet in the 200 took the top four,” Eckert said. “Improving my technique
meter dash last year, not to mention a third place finish at and height is something I'll be working on to get me there May 24th - Regional finals
this year.”
June 1st - State Finals

Spring Sports Preview March 22, 2019

Boys’ Track and Field

Key Returning Athletes

Sprints Photo by Mia Sweitzer
Kahari Land-Brandon practices hurdling during a practice preceding the team’s first meet at Moeller.
Akari Porter
Jaymon Penn Comets depth, leadership to propel ‘19 team
Josh Wright
Casey Perkins Rahul Parikh | Sports Editor Uematsu, and Aaron Goetz led the long distance team
Ethan Stover The Mason Boys’ track and field team is looking to (1600 and 3200 meter run) to a productive season. With
Austin Boeres leap new hurdles this year. them gone, Johan Meyer, Micah Champagne, and
Nick French With the likes of seniors Akari Porter (200M, 400M), Austin Cooper figure to lead the longer distance squad -
Jordan Evans Jaymon Penn (100M, 200M), Josh Wright (100M, 200M), and they certainly have their work cut out for them.
De Jesus Camarena Barrera junior Nick French (110M Hurdles, 300M hurdles), re-
Kahari Land Brandon turning for the track team, and junior Keegan Mullins Dobson said the distance runners are bound to
Jeremy Wright leading the field events in high jump, the program has replace them this season have shown promise early on,
their eyes set on a 12th straight Greater Miami Confer- and he has confidence they will be able to step right up
Field ence (GMC) championship, and a better postseason into a bigger role.
finish, after placing 38th at state last season.
Cage Tatman Head Coach Chip Dobson said the unique advantage “Obviously losing those runners is huge, they were
Keegan Mullins of this year’s team will be the depth of the distance fantastic and will be hard to replace,” Dobson said. “But
Chris Zhang team, the talent of the sprinting squad, and overall these guys we have right now are really working hard
Josh Schimpf camaraderie and leadership within the team. and committed so far; they have a bright year ahead of
Mark Green “This year we have a very deep distance team with them.”
Ethan Lane lots of capable runners,” Dobson said. “Combining
that with the starpower we have in sprinting and other Junior Nick French is the leader of the hurdling
Distance events, this year’s team is really something to look events for this years squad, and had a successful season
forward to.” last year finishing in the top five of the Greater Miami
Johan Meyer For this year’s sprinting team, (typically 100M-400M Conference (GMC) in the 110, and 300 Meter hurdles.
Micah Champagne races) Akari Porter will be the head of the pack of an
Jagger Vetter extremely experienced squad. Porter said that with a French is also a member of the 4x200M relay along-
Austin Cooper majority of the top sprinters being returning seniors, side Porter, Wright, and Penn. This relay team has rep-
Braedon Killion (Penn, Wright) the Comets should see a major improve- resented some of the Comet’s best finishes. They placed
Jack Troy ment this season with the combination of experience second at the indoor state championships already this
Rajan Singh and youth. season, and are looking to break the Sprint Medley
Brendan Pitcher “With our returning seniors we definitely have a good Relay (SMR) record this season.
Isaiah Kelly backbone for the team,” Porter said. ”If we improve the
little things and work with our newer guys who are also Porter said that for this relay to make history this
Team Schedule very talented, we will easily improve all of our times.” year, they need to continue working on technique and
For Porter specifically, he’ll be looking to break steadily improve throughout the season.
April 4th - Moeller Invitational records this season. Last season, Porter came .6 seconds
away from a school record in the 400 Meter with a 48.40. “When we place second in the indoor state meet, we
April 6th - GMC vs GWOC Track Invitational The same mark earned Porter an impressive 5th place had some problems with handoffs,” Porter said. “We
finish at state, making him Mason’s highest placing definitely thought we had a chance at first if we clean
April 12th - Waynesville Invitational athlete at the competition. that up, which should also improve our time in chasing
Porter said that he is extremely confident in his abil- the SMR record.”
April 17th - Elder Invitational ity to break the record and make history this season,
and will do whatever it takes to do so. For the field events, juniors Keegan Mullins and Josh
April 25th - Wayne Warriors Invitational “I’m very confident in my chances to get that record Schimpf will star the team in high jump, while Schimpf
this year,” Porter said. “As long as I push myself, do the will also compete in the long jump. Junior Cage Tat-
April 30th - Kings Invitational right things in practice, and take care of my body, I man will pole vault for the Comets, while fellow junior
shouldn’t have any problem,” Chris Zhang figures to lead the team in the triple jump.
May 3rd - Mason Invitational Last season, then Seniors Abel Nijakowski, Michael
Mullins said in order for the field events to improve
May 8th - GMC Championship this year, they will need to push themselves through-
out the year and concentrate on correcting mistakes in
May 15th - District Prelims practice.

May 17th - District finals “We definitely have some talented athletes this sea-
son,” Mullins said. “But in order for us to win another
May 22nd - Regional prelims GMC title we have to put in the extra work and stay
May 24th - Regional finals

June 1st - State Finals

March 22, 2019 Spring Sports Preview

Boys’ Lacrosse

Team Roster
Photo by Tanner Pearson Sam LoPiccolo
Xander Wells
Junior Ethan Millheim practices shooting as the team prepares to open their season. Thomas Garvin
Ryan Peischl
Comets focused on claiming first GMC title Nate Martin
Michael McCalmont
Matthew Smith | Staff Writer just show up for the games. After last year’s playoff loss Charlie Wade
to Moeller, the team feels like they’ve put in the offseason Chase Flora
work in order to make the 2019 season as successful as Chris Barnes
This time, it’s official. possible. David Roux
This season, Men’s Lacrosse will officially be a Greater The Comets have a new coach in former Mt. St. Joseph Dawson Allen
Miami Conference (GMC) sport. University head coach Jeff Bumiller. Bumiller said that Ethan Millheim
The team will be lead by Senior attack Xander Wells, a lot of dedication during the the fall and winter has Blake Aaron
Mason’s all-time goals scored leader, as well as defender prepared the team for the challenges they might face this Brendan Malloy
Luke Volpenhein and attack Carson Croy, both potential season. Brett Wexelblatt
college lacrosse players. The team will need contributions “The guys have done a great job all school year to Carson Croy
from everyone, though, including goalie Sam LoPiccolo make sure they are hitting the weight room and really Charley Sipe
and midfielder Carson Block, who already scored a game pushing themselves in there,” Bumiller said. “They’re Gabe Brumley
winning goal to start the season. always competitive with each other, and a big thing we’ve Luke Langfels
John Huggins
Luke Volpenhein
Matt Minick
Ben Cimini
Brayden Kough
Brendan Ross
Alex Draginoff
Ben Harpen
Carson Block

Volpenhein said that the team is thrilled and looking been saying to them is to be accountable. Always hold Team Schedule
forward to the first ever season of lacrosse being an of- yourself accountable and take pride in everything you
ficial GMC sport, although there will be some changes in do.”
the schedule. The players push themselves on
“Being an official the field in order to be successful,
GMC sport now is but what happens off the field can
something new for the “You can’t win a state champion- be just as important. Volpenhein March 23rd - Vs Olentangy
team,” Volpenhein said. said that a huge part of winning March 26th - Vs Lakota West
“In the past we’ve had a ship in your first game, and you can’t as a team comes from the bond April 1st - @ Sycamore
schedule where we play lose it either. Our goal is to go out between all of the players. April 3rd - Vs Fairfield
a lot of teams from other and just get better every week and April 6th - @ Worthington Kilbourne
cities and states, but this every game.” “We’ve have a really close April 8th - Vs Lakota East
group of guys in the locker room,” April 10th - @ Oak Hills
year the majority of our Volpenhein said. “We’re together April 11th - @ St. Xavier
schedule with be GMC on the field and in the locker April 17th - @ Lakota West
schools. It’ll be very a very room, but also we always hang out April 19th - @ Loveland
exciting and interesting twist on the season.” together and become closer off the field. I think that we April 24th - Vs Sycamore
Now that the season is underway, there are high expec- have a lot of team chemistry and it all starts with that.” April 29th - @ Fairfield
tations for this spring. The program will be looking for Pressure is something that comes with high hopes and May 1st - @ Lakota East
younger guys like Brett Wexelblatt and Thomas Garvin goals in any sport. To ease the potential jitters, Bumiller May 2nd - @ Moeller
to step up this year and make an impact. said that he has preached to his players to take it one May 6th - Vs Oak Hills
With plenty of players contributing, Wells said that game at a time.
the team expects to be competing with the best, but also “There is always expectations, but I think pressure is
enjoying it while it lasts. something people put on themselves,” Bumiller said.
“We have the talent to compete with anyone,” Wells “I’ve been telling the players to break everything down
said. “We’re looking to compete for a GMC title, and after into smaller goals to prevent that. You can’t win a state
that make a run at regionals and the final four. We want championship in your first game, and you can’t lose it
to have a great season, and have fun while doing it.” either. Our goal is to go out and just get better every week
In order to be successful, the team knows they can’t and every game.”

Spring Sports Preview March 22, 2019

Team Roster Girls’ Lacrosse

Madisen Bangs SSSSSSSSFFoooooooorrppppppppSSSSSSSJJJJJJJeehhhhhhhhssoooooooouuuuuuueeeeeeehhmmmmmmmmnnnnnnnnnnnnnnmmooooooooiiiiiiiiiiiiiiooooooooooooooaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrnneeeeeeee
Julia Block
Riley Brannock
Lilly Burke
Megan Carroll
Bri Cobb
Mary Ann Colangelo
Samantha Connors
Kate Cooper
Brighton Ecoffey
Megan Elko
Erika Eller
Sara Grove
Sophie Hoffman
Tess Krugh
Zoe Krugh
Ellie Lefton
Cate Millard
Sydney Minick
Sophia Neuhaus
Bianca Soper
Lauren Statzer
Lauren Stone
Amanda Wells

Team Schedule Photo by Tanner Pearson
Junior Riley Brannock and the Comets look to take control of the GMC in the inaugural conference season.

March 29th - @ Alpharetta (GA) Seniors to play key role in Comet Lax success
March 30th - @ Northview (GA)
April 2nd - Vs Sycamore Matthew Smith | Staff Writer the most out of a talented team. Sophomore midfielder
April 4th - @ Fairfield It’s go time for the Mason Girls Lacrosse team. Kate Cooper said that the older girls on the team have
April 11th - Vs Oak Hills A one point loss in last year’s state tournament is in done an excellent job of leading the team, as well as
April 16th - Vs Lakota West the rear view mirror and now the team has set their involving the younger girls.
April 18th - @ Loveland sights on a new challenge, including coming out on
April 23rd - @ Indian Hill top of their inaugural season in the Greater Miami “We have a lot of seniors this year, and they all have
April 25th - @ Sycamore Conference. been great for the team,” Cooper said. “Not only are
April 27th - @ Springboro Lacrosse is an official GMC sanctioned sport, and they great players for the team, but the leadership
April 29th - @ Mount Notre Dame with an established program, the Comets hope to flex they provide is great. Last year and this year, I’ve really
April 30th - Vs Fairfield their muscle on the conference scene. The team has bonded and grown close to them, and I’m just like
May 2nd - Vs Lakota East a lot of returning talent and will be lead by senior anyone else on the team.”
May 4th - Vs Olentangy defenders Madisen Bangs and Megan Elko. On offense,
May 9th - Vs Summit Country Day they will be led by Ellie Lefton and Julia Block at at- Seniors will be a critical piece of the puzzle this
tack. season, but so will younger players. Junior attack Cate
With a new season comes new goals, and Block said Millard will need to be a huge contributor and big time
that the team has high expectations for the 2019 season scorer this season, and rising star sophomore Sammy
with the added motivations of standing atop the GMC. Connors will look to provide a spark at midfield. Mil-
“Now that we are a GMC sport, winning the confer- lard said that it will be important for all the girls to
ence is a big goal,” Block said. “But a big thing we want find their place on the team, for this year and next.
to do is win regionals and go as far as we can at state.
The team is really excited for the season because we all “It’s important for all the younger girls to figure out
know we can have that much success.” what their role will be for this season,” Millard said.
The Comets believe that developing culture is what “We have plenty of girls who will be able to contribute
separates the good from the elite. Head coach Jim to the team and we’ll need everyone. Not many of our
Davis said that teaching his girls to always have each players are seniors, either, so learning where everyone
other’s back is key for the bonds between his girls and fits on the team will help us a lot for next season as
to reach their full potential. well.”
“Culture is a big part of our program,” Davis said.
“Everyone in the program is equal and valuable, and As the season creeps along, all eyes will begin to
we tell our girls to look out for each other and make turn towards the state tournament and pressure on the
each other look good. No matter how it happens or players will reach its peak. Block said that although
how it plays out, always look out for your teammates.” the players are always nervous when the tournament
Leadership from the seniors will be vital to show comes, it isn’t unwelcome.
responsibility and understanding of the program to get
“When the playoffs start and the regular season
ends, that’s when there is the most pressure,” Block
said. “We feel a little stressed, but I don’t think that it’s
a bad thing. The team plays well like that, and every-
one is excited to see how far we can go in the bracket.”

March 22, 2019 Spring Sports Preview

Boys’ Volleyball Team Roster

Evan Beyke Senior
Nikola Bommarito Senior
Mitchell Butler Senior
Ryan Doerrer Senior
Alex Mulvin Senior
Jack Cooper Junior
Spencer Knight Junior
Justin Rose Junior
Damian Sauer Junior
Nathaniel Thomas Junior
Grant Stradley Junior

Photo by Tanner Pearson Team Schedule
(From left to right) Seniors Nikola Bommarito and Evan Beyke return for one last season ready to reach their season goals.
April 6th - Vs West Clermont, CJ
Comets Volleyball to rely on experience in ‘19 April 9th - @ Colerain
April 10th - Vs Badin
back from a disappointing 9-15 season in 2011 to an out- April 11th - Vs Lakota West
standing 20-4 record. April 12th - Vs Milford, LaSalle
Indranshu Das | Staff Writer “I think this season without doubt could be right there April 16th - Vs Hamilton
April 18th - @ Fairfield
Experience matters. [with the 2012 season],” Melnick said. April 22nd - Vs Hamilton
With critical returning players and a good year under Melnick also reiterated the importance of experience. April 23rd - Vs Sycamore
their belt, the Mason Boys Volleyball team looks to reach Melnick said that with a team of players who know what April 25th - Vs Oak Hills
the summit and bring home a Greater Miami Conference it takes to compete at this level, they have a better chance April 27th - @ Loveland
championship this year. of accomplishing their goals. April 30th - Vs Lakota East
Seniors outside hitter Evan Beyke and defensive spe- “We got a seasoned team returning this year, with a May 1st - @ Middletown
cialist Ryan Doerrer look to make their last year count lot of guys having 3 years of experience playing at the May 6th - Vs Monroe
and achieve what this program has been striving for the varsity level,” Melnick said. May 9th - Vs Kettering Fairmont
past 11 years: a conference title. Last season starred Jacob LaSala, Alex Amaya, and May 11th - Vs Walnut Hills, Northmont
Beyke believes this team can achieve history in 2019. Brayden DeWitt, each of them bringing something May 16th - @ Carroll
“I feel like we have a good lineup set and we have a special to the squad: leadership, camaraderie, and mental
really good chance of winning GMCs this year,” Beyke toughness. With them gone, junior Damian Sauer, sopho-
said.“The players are more Brysen King, and
really motivated this sea- freshman Anthony Fago
son to really get there, to look to shoulder the expec-
the top.” “We have got a seasoned team tations of having a

Up and coming pro- returning this year, with a lot of guys memorable season.
grams such as the Mason Melnick discusses how
Boys Volleyball team in team sports such as
thrive off leadership having 3 years of experience playing volleyball, talent is a small

from seasoned veterans. at the varsity level. ” factor in how well a school
Captain Evan Beyke be- performs season to season.
lieves the past two years Hard work, dedication, and
have really helped him most importantly communi-
motivate the younger players on the team. cation are all key ingredients to a team’s success.
“The older guys have definitely pushed me. I feel Melnick said his tough preseason practices have
much more motivated and driven to push this program pushed his players to new limits by frequently running
into new levels,” Beyke said. “I intend to bring the inter-squad competitions that will pay off later in the
younger guys up to a certain level just as the upperclass- year.
men had worked to bring me up and be able to face this “We’ve really ramped up our practices this year – a
situation as I am now. I wouldn’t have gotten first team lot of guys getting challenging opportunities,” Melnick
all-conference last year without their support.” said. “Everyday the guys are ready to roll and are looking
Head coach Paul Melnick believes this team can rep- forward to not just getting the spot but truly earning it
licate the run they had back in 2012, when they bounced through their hard work.”

March 22, 2019 Spring Sports Preview Page 10

The Chronicle/ Spring Sports Preview Staff

Riley Johansen Lay-out & Design Leader Matthew Smith Staff Writer Andrea Hefferan Online Editor

Rahul Parikh Sports Editor Abby Miller Staff Writer Indranshu Das Staff Writer

Anna Kinasewitz Staff Writer Cody Allgor Staff Writer Mia Sweitzer Staff Photographer

Tanner Pearson Staff Photographer

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