For the second consecutive season, the Dublin Coffman High School girls volleyball team won a Division I district title.
The top-seeded Shamrocks dispatched eighth-seeded Newark 25-8, 25-20, 25-20 on Saturday and advanced to a regional semifinal Thursday at Hilliard Davidson against Pickerington North or Olentangy.
"It's nice to be a high seed, but you have to deal with the mental aspect of everyone wanting to beat you," outside hitter Andrea Baylin said. "Not everyone knew about Coffman volleyball last year. This year, we learned you have to come out ready because everyone wants to beat you."
Coffman, which improved to 25-1, took a 16-3 lead in the first game with a little intimidation and strong serving.
"When we step out on the court our height is an intimidating factor," said Coffman coach Mary Anne Souder said, whose team has six players 6-foot or taller on its 12-player rostel. "We actually missed eight serves. But when we serve it's either an ace or an error. We go for an ace every time. We put our best servers up front and we don't just go for getting it in bounds. We practice that every day."
"We knew Coffman was strong and they would bang on us," Newarkc coach RuthSunkle said. "We played relatively well against them, but we didn't have any offense after our serve-receive. We couldn't get into a rhythm and played defense all game."
Newark took an 18-13 lead in the second game, forcing Coffman to take a timeout. From there, the Shamrocks outscored the Wildcats 12-2 to win the game.
"We were a little over confident that second game," Baylin said. "We didn't fall apart because our defense was our strong suit. We didn't let much drop."
Newark was without middle hitter Kelsey Gray, who suffered a sprained ankle in a district semifinal victory over Westerville North. Gray averaged 31 kills this season.
"We knew what we had to do because we had to lay without her most of the North game," said Sunkle, whose team finished 18-7. "Kelsey has a lot of touches during a match.
"My kids played great and they did everything we asked them to."
Baylin led Coffman with nine kills followed by Lauren Bell with eight, Lindsey Zitzke had 27 assists and Casey Johanns had 25.