Shyla Aggarwal Captures OHSAA State Singles Championship
Mason Sports Information Director, Dan Hilen, press release and photo:
Shyla Aggarwal - Mason Comet - OHSAA State Singles Champion
Junior Shyla Aggarwal capped off a tennis season "like no other" on Saturday winning an OHSAA Individual State Championship. Aggarwal's win captures Mason Girls Tennis first-ever title for their school's storied program.
Aggarwal handily won her semifinals match earlier in the day, beating North Canton Hoover's Tess Bucher, 6-1, 6-1. Then it was on to a rematch of last year's D1 state semi-finals.
Last year, Aggarwal fell 4-6, 6-2, 5-7 to the eventual state champion and was the 2020 state runner-up. She made sure the outcome was different in 2021.
Aggarwal faced Whitehouse Anthony Wayne junior Lilly Black in the Ohio High School Athletic Association's Division I state championship match and won the state title in "come-from-behind" fashion 6-7(7), 6-3, 6-2. Shyla capped off a perfect season with a 26-0 overall singles record.
Congratulations to Shyla and all our Mason Girls on their outstanding 2021 accomplishments!
Mason Girls Tennis Wins 5th Straight OTCA State Title
Mason SID, Dan Hilen, Press Release and Photo:
Mason Comet Girls Tennis - OTCA State Champions
The Mason Girls Tennis Dynasty continued Sunday at Upper Arlington. Mason won their 5th straight OTCA State Title in a "miracle" come-back achievement. The Comets rallied from a 2-0 deficit to outlast Magnificat HS and bring another state title home to Comet Country.
The Comets are the first girl's team to win multiple consecutive titles since Upper Arlington won 6 straight from 1998-2003. This one though proved not to be so easy.
The Comets faced Toledo Notre Dame in the semifinals and cruised to a 3-0 win. Winning their matches were Harshita Uppuganti at #2 singles, Rashi Loni at #3 singles, and the doubles team of Danielle Reid and Danielle Lebedev at #2 doubles. Shyla Aggarwal, playing #1 singles, was leading 6-0, 5-0, and the #1 doubles team of Anna Tonkal and Risha Chada were up 6-2, 4-0 when the match was clinched.
In the other semifinal, Magnificat defeated Upper Arlington 3-0, setting up a rematch between the #1 ranked Comets and the #2 ranked Blue Streaks of Magnificat. Mason had won an early-season matchup in a nearly four-hour marathon match, beating the Streaks 3-2.
When the lineups were exchanged, there were no surprises. Mason put Shyla Aggarwal at #1 Singles. Aggarwal had just won the OHSAA singles title the day before. Aggarwal faced Audrey Smitek, who had finished third in the OHSAA doubles championship with her sister Natalie. Natalie was in the #2 singles position for the Mags. The younger Smitek would face off against the Comets’ Harshita Uppuganti. At the #3 singles position, Mason had Rashi Loni, while the Mags had freshman, Anna Mancino. The two had played in an early-season match with Loni winning a three-and-a-half-hour battle.
At one doubles, the Comets had Anna Tonkal and Risha Chada. The duo had finished fourth in the state on Saturday in the OHSAA tournament. Their opponents, Koprulu and Moritz had finished second in the state, taking out Tonkal and Chada in a three-setter in the semifinals. Finally, the Comets had Danielle Reid and Danielle Lebedev at two doubles facing the same Magnificat team of Stoehr and Ospelt that they had beaten in three sets in the early season match.
On paper, the match looked dead even.
The Mags got the first point of the day at #2 doubles with Stoehr and Ospelt avenging their prior loss 6-4, 6-3. Tonkal and Chada won the first set in a tiebreaker. But the Blue Streaks were dominating the singles matches. All three first sets went to Magnificat. Aggarwal lost the first 6-4, Uppuganti lost the first 6-0, and Loni lost the first 6-4.
The second point of the day also went to Magnificat. Uppuganti battled mightily against Natalie Smitek, but lost the second set tiebreaker.
With Magnificat leading 2-0 and needing only one more match to sweep the Comets, things got even grimmer. Tonkal and Chada were trailing 4-1 in the second. And Shyla was down 4-1 in the second, and looking like her incredible run to the singles championship the previous day, had left her too exhausted to stage one more heroic comeback. Rashi was fighting hard to try to win the second set and get her match to a super breaker. Super tiebreakers (first to ten points, win by two) were used for this match instead of a third set due to the time constraints of playing indoors.
But then things started to turn for the Comets. Chada and Tonkal stormed back from the 4-1 deficit and won their match 7-6, 7-5. 2-1 Mags. The Comets had a pulse again. Aggarwal, playing with relentless determination, found another gear, and clawed her way back into the match with the elder Smitek. Aggarwal erased the 4-1 deficit and won the second set 6-4 and forced the match to a super tiebreaker. Smitek jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the deciding super-breaker and Comets, were again, on the ropes. But Aggarwal stormed back and won the next nine points to seal the victory and tie the match at 2-2.
Just as Aggarwal was about to even the match, Loni won her second set 7-5, forcing another super-breaker, this one to decide the State Championship. Loni raced out to an 8-4 lead in the breaker. The Comet bench gang was going wild, led by Junior temporary, co-captain, Riya Zutshi. Then 9-5 Loni. Comets are a point from the championship. Zutshi and the gang were louder than ever. But Mancino had other plans, as the Magnificat freshman kept bombing winners until she got the breaker back to even at nine all. From there the two traded points until the gutsy Loni finally won two points in a row for a 14-12 super breaker win, and the OTCA championship.
GMC Football Teams Enter Into OHSAA Playoffs
All GMC varsity football squads are entering into the OHSAA playoffs this Friday. Below is the link that provides the first look into the early brackets:
Lakota East's Joe Wilson Wins State Golf Title
It was a special weekend for the Lakota East Boys Golf program and senior standout Joe Wilson IV. Wilson led his team to a 5th place finish at the OHSAA State Championships and individually made the Lakota District history books claiming a Division 1 State Title. Wilson joins Korey Ward (Lakota West) as the third Lakota District boys golf athlete to win medalist honors at the OHSAA State Championships. Ward won titles in 2008 and 2009, also finishing 3rd overall in 2010. Joe Wilson's two-day total of 143 strokes earned him the title as the "best of the Best" in Columbus.
Joe Wilson - Lakota East OHSAA State Golf Champion 2021
GMC Congratulations on a job extremely well done!
Lakota West Wins Second Consecutive Football Title
Finishing the GMC season with an unblemished 8-0 record, the Lakota West Firebirds staked claim to their second consecutive Greater Miami Conference football championship. The Firebirds 9-1 regular season record earned them the third position in this region (Region 4) in the Harbin Points. In a hard fought contest to open the season, Lakota West's only loss came at the hands of a very talented St. Xavier Bomber squad.
In a tight title race right to the very last game of the season, Lakota East and Lakota West matched up with the potential of a co-championships or even potentially a tri-championship with the Princeton Vikings . In a game much closer than the score indicates, Lakota West ended all those possibilities with 34-7 victory over the visiting Thunderhawks.
Equally balanced on offense and defense, the Firebirds surrendered only 57 points through their entire conference schedule, while scoring 241.
2021 GMC Football Champions - Lakota West Firebirds
(photo compliments of Lakota West Athletic Department)