A Start to a New Year: Soccer, Volleyball, Golf, Cross Country and Tennis Teams’ Progress

The cross-country team poses on the GDS field. Photo provided by Thomas Ogada ’24.

Women’s Soccer

After the varsity women’s soccer team secured the A division banner at the Independent School League (ISL) championships last year and was promoted to the AA division, it is looking to continue its rise in the rankings. 

Senior Lucy Holley noted that with the promotion, the level of difficulty will increase. “This year we’re going to have to work a little harder — a couple specific games will especially be tough,” Holley said. She cited the team’s upcoming game against Holton-Arms as a challenge. The game will take place on Sept. 27 at Holton-Arms.

In 2022, the Hoppers went undefeated in the division’s regular season, marking the first time in school history that the team has been undefeated in regular season division games and also won the division banner. 

The team lost 5–0 to Georgetown Visitation in the quarterfinals of the D.C. State Athletic Association (DCSAA) tournament at the end of the 2022 season. 

The team lost all three of last year’s senior captains, but Holley believes that it has a bright future ahead. “We’re really trying to work together as a team and just establish a sense of community,” Holley said.

So far this season, the team has played two preseason scrimmages and one regular season game against Flint Hill School. The regular season game was canceled at halftime due to lightning. The game was tied 0–0. The next game is at The Field School at 4:30 on September 12.

– Jeremiah Farr ’25

Men’s Soccer

The men’s varsity soccer team has played two preseason scrimmages and recently tied in a game against D.C. International (DCI) on September 8. The score was 1–1.

Senior and team co-captain Nico Greene said the team’s chemistry is better than last year. He added that the team has been working hard in preseason practices. “In the past, it has been a lot about our best players, and they’ve made the biggest impact,” Greene said. “But this year, we feel more cohesive.”

In the past few years, the men’s soccer team has seen a rise in participation, with the varsity team reaching the maximum number of 24 people this year and coaches being required to cut the juniors and seniors that didn’t make the team. Greene said it is good to see underclassmen coming into the program. Because of the rise in participation, Greene believes the team has “strong players in every position.”

Last year, the men’s varsity team lost against the Potomac School 2–4 in the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAC) semi-finals. Potomac went on to win the MAC championship against Maret.

“They’re going to be good this year,” Greene said of Potomac. But he added that a lot of schools in the MAC lost great seniors from last year.

“The playing field is pretty open for someone to step ahead and take the lead,” Greene said. “I think we can be that team.”

Senior Max Boughner said that this year, the team feels confident about winning the MAC.

Boughner said that one of the team’s goals is “to qualify for states and then see where we go from there.” He said that the team is talented enough to do well in the tournament.

The team’s next game will be against Potomac at GDS on September 12.

– Sabine Hletko Wood ’26


It is early in the 2023 women’s varsity volleyball season, and the team has not yet played any league games. However, the team showed tremendous talent during the pre-season.

The volleyball team is coming off its first DCSAA championship win in school history, with an 18–3 record in the ISL, landing it in first place in the ISL AA Division in the 2022 season.

On August 24, the team scrimmaged against Urbana High School, who won the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) title last year. GDS won 4 sets to 1. GDS also beat Model Secondary School for the Deaf on August 31 with a score of 3–0. 

Junior standout Jada Aksu said the team is especially close this year. “I think this season is particularly special because it is a newer group of girls,” she said. “From the few weeks we have had together, this is the closest I have been with the team, and it has been the most fun.”

Although the team lost a few of last year’s skilled seniors, including Isadora Evers, Deepa Bhargava and Katelyn Oliwa, the energy and intensity are still present.

“It is definitely very different without our seniors,” Asku said. “But I am very hopeful, and I know we have a very talented group of girls.”

During the pre-season, The Washington Post ranked the volleyball team sixth overall in the D.C. area, and the team is ranked fourth overall in USA Today’s mid-Atlantic sports rankings. Aksu and senior Clara Yu were recognized in last year’s AA Division All-League.

On September 12, the team will play Flint Hill in its first league game.

– Sloane Holder ’25


The GDS golf team has been preparing for its season to kick into swing, holding a two-week preseason and playing at a MAC preseason tournament designed to familiarize competitors with the tournament format.

10th Grade Dean and Associate Director of College Counseling Darius Pardner and Environmental Stewardship & Campus Commuting Manager Chris Oster have stepped into coaching positions after former coach Taylor Brown left the school after last year.

The team currently features two freshmen, two sophomores, two juniors and three seniors, according to online rosters.

Junior and starter Koen Yu sees promise in a new year with new head coaches. “I think everyone in the starting six has improved a lot,” he said.

Yu also commented on the relationships between team members. “We’ve all been closer because we have been getting better at golf,” he said.

Last year, the team placed fifth in the MAC championship, with current captain and senior Jordan Quint placing fifth in the individual standings.

The team was supposed to play its first match on Thursday, Sept. 7 against Sidwell Friends School, but the match was canceled due to extreme heat. The team’s next match is Wednesday, September 13 against Maret School at Falls Road Golf Course.

– Sam Wood ’26

Cross Country

After a strong 2022 GDS cross country season, the team is looking to pick up where it left off. Last year, the women’s varsity team took home the ISL championship banner, and the men’s varsity team placed second in the MAC.

The team’s first meet of the season took place on Saturday, August 9 at the Lake Forest Cross Country Festival in Delaware, with the girls’ varsity team finishing fourth out of 12 teams and the boys’ varsity finishing third out of 13 teams. GDS runners were told to run the meet at a workout pace rather than at their fastest speeds.

While the team lost last year’s senior captains Luke Cohen, Ethan Wolin, Daniel Otto-Manzano, Izzy Auerswald and Noor Ramzy, there is confidence among team members that new faces will be able to step up. 

Sophomore Oliver Wolin emphasized the great depth of this year’s team as one of its strongest points. “I think our strength is not just how fast our guys are, but how many fast people we have,” he said.

Wolin noted that the team was really focused on MAC, ISL and state championships as well as getting as many runners as possible to qualify for Nike Regionals, a selective race taking place at the end of the season in North Carolina.

This year’s men’s team will be led by senior captains Thomas Ogada and Navin Desai, and the women’s team will be led by senior captains Amelia Oscherwitz, Ellie Kessler and Geo Maur-Batsaki. GDS history teacher Anthony Belber will continue as the head coach.

Meets take place on Saturdays throughout the fall, culminating in the MAC, ISL and DCSAA championships at the end of the season. 

– Zach Lundman ’25


The GDS women’s tennis team is starting the season with 15–20 varsity players. Fifteen girls are confirmed to play for the varsity team, and five players are “wild cards,” meaning they have not yet made varsity but can continue to prove themselves to earn a spot on the varsity team.

The varsity coach for the team this season is Kelly Sykes, who was hired exclusively to coach, and the assistant coach is John Headly, who is a lower and middle school arts teacher. This will be Sykes’ first year coaching tennis at GDS.

The head coach for the junior-varsity team is Bill Rublee, and the assistant junior-varsity coach is Jodi Jackson, a high school PE teacher and department chair. The varsity players practice at courts belonging to George Washington University, while the junior-varsity players practice at American University.

“The season is going well so far,” Sophia Ades, a junior on varsity, said. “We haven’t had any matches yet, and it is very different from last year, but I am very excited about it.”

Ades said the junior-varsity team would have 12 players, but the exact number is unclear because of the wild cards.

“My goals for the season are to win matches,” Ades said. “I want to play singles this season, and I hope I can do that. I want us to make it farther in the tournament” than in previous years.

The varsity team’s first match of the season is scheduled for September 14 against Maret, and the JV team’s first match is on the same day against Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School. 

– Finley Meyer ’26