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Published: Thursday, 9/29/2005

Sidelines: ND, Vaez are heavy favorites in CL tennis

Vaez Vaez

It won t be difficult to pick a favorite for the City League girls tennis tournament this season.

Two-time defending championship Notre Dame, led by defending state Division I singles champion Neela Vaez, has not lost a single match all season long in league competition. Even when coach Bob Krueger has subbed in for his regular seven-player lineup, the Eagles have won by scores of 5-0 in all 11 CL duals.

The tournament begins at 9 a.m. today at Jermain Park and adjacent Ottawa Park, with all the finals and consolation finals set for 9 a.m. Saturday at Jermain.

Vaez, a senior gunning for her third straight CL title at No. 1 singles, is 17-0 overall, 11-0 in the CL, and has also won the eight-team invitational tournament titles at Pickerington North and Lexington.

Sophomores Tara Majdalani and Meredith Morse are also unbeaten overall in duals at No. 2 and No. 3 singles, respectively. The No. 1 doubles team of sisters Radhika Mehta, a senior, and Madhuri Mehta, a sophomore, is 9-0 in CL action and 12-2 overall. The No. 2 team of senior Alex Fournier and sophomore Heather Jorgensen are 10-0 in CL play and 13-1 overall.

We re playing the best tennis we ve ever played since I ve been here, Krueger said. The girls are at the top of their games. That [team tourney] win at Lexington was our biggest in five years.

Waite nearly went through its first two City League games with back-to-back scoreless ties in regulation play.

The Indians (2-3, 1-1 CL) went to overtime tied 0-0 against visiting Scott in a hard-hitting affair before the Bulldogs won 6-0.

Last Friday at Bowsher was another 0-0 deadlock until Waite defensive end Michael White blocked a punt and returned it 48 yards for a touchdown with 3:25 remaining in regulation. The point-after kick made it 7-0 and was the difference, as Bowsher scored a TD with about a minute to play, only to miss its PAT try in a 7-6 loss.

The single-game rushing record at Lake has been broken three times in the last five years.

The most recent history-making effort was posted by senior Dan Tarver last Friday. Tarver rushed for an incredible 327 yards on 20 carries and scored six touchdowns in a 42-7 win over Lakota. Tarver, who averaged 16.4 yards per carry, had TD runs of 67 and 81 yards.

Tarver broke the record set in 2003 by Wes Blank, who rushed for 305 yards. Blank broke the mark established by Scott Conley (301) in 2001.

Kurt Johnson had held the record for 23 years before it was surpassed three time this decade. Johnson ran for 296 yards in one game in 1978.

Fairview took a big step towards the Green Meadows Conference crown with its 42-35 win at Edgerton, improving to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the GMC.

It wasn t easy, as the Apaches committed 13 penalties and also lost three fumbles in watching Edgerton bounce back from a 21-point first-quarter deficit to tie the game at 35-35 entering the fourth quarter.

But perhaps the most impressive hurdle Fairview cleared was the loss of sophomore quarterback Ryan Radcliff, who broke his collarbone in the third quarter of the previous week s win over Antwerp. Senior Kirk Jesse, who began the year as a wide receiver, threw for 353 yards and three touchdowns against the Bulldogs while running for 75 yards and three more scores.

That trumped the 417-yard, three-touchdown performance by Edgerton quarterback Justin Kurtz.

Findlay coach Cliff Hite knew the Trojans would have their hands full in the first five games of the season before Greater Buckeye Conference games began.

The schedule included St. John s, Dublin Coffman, Upper Arlington, Cincinnati Moeller and Worthington Kilbourne.

Findlay opens conference play tomorrow against Lima Senior with a 4-1 record, including an impressive 44-43 overtime win over Worthington Kilbourne.

Wideouts Ryan Sottoway and Zack Kraus are one of the area s top receiving tandems.

Sottoway and Kraus have combined for 64 receptions. Sottoway has made 35 catches for 479 yards. Kraus has 29 catches for 309 yards.

Findlay quarterback Chris Schneider has thrown for 1,170 yards, completing 95 of 144 attempts including 10 touchdowns.

It was incorrectly reported which Skilliter brother scored for Genoa in a 27-13 loss last Friday to Elmwood.

Freshman Blair Skilliter had the touchdown on a 67-yard run. His brother, Blake, a senior, did not play because of a shoulder injury but is expected to be back in action tomorrow against Woodmore.

Clay will be host the 29th annual Eagle Invitational Saturday with more than 50 teams at Pearson Park.

There are four varsity races: Division I boys and D-II and III boys, Division I and D-II and III girls.

The first varsity race will begin at 10 a.m. with the D-II and III girls and the other races to follow at approximately 35 minute intervals.

The fifth annual Bedford hall of fame banquet will be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 8 at Memories Banquet Hall, 7332 Lewis Ave. in Temperance.

Six members will be inducted including Robert Boehme (1951, football, basketball, baseball); Dennis Brighton (1974, two-time state wrestling champion); Gary Duhaime (coach of 1982 girls cross country state champion; also coached boys cross country, basketball and tennis), Lewis Horn (coach of track and football); Elizabeth Renius (1965, basketball, volleyball) and Gene Stock (1964, baseball and football, community service).

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