When the Whetstone High School girls volleyball team's nine seniors were on the junior varsity two years ago, most of them were key players as the Braves advanced to the City j.v. championship match.

When the Whetstone High School girls volleyball team's nine seniors were on the junior varsity two years ago, most of them were key players as the Braves advanced to the City j.v. championship match.

Leading the varsity to the final is the biggest goal for this season, and that means dethroning Centennial, which has won seven consecutive City League-North Division titles.

Whetstone, which last won the City in 1992, went 7-13 overall and 5-2 in the City-North to place third behind the Stars (7-0) and Mifflin (6-1).

"(Winning the City-North) is always our goal," said coach Errole Rembert, who has coached volleyball at Whetstone since 1978 and has led the program to five City championships. "These girls who are seniors went to the City championship when they were sophomores. They want to get there again."

Whetstone, which lost to Westerville South 25-8, 25-5, 25-6 in the first round of the Division I district tournament last year, is led by seniors Shannon Stuver (setter), Sarah O'Brien (middle hitter), Lauren Lipovsky (middle hitter) and Chelsy Damron (back row). The other seniors are Katie Di Pietro (outside hitter), Veronica Erion, Elizabeth Hyland (outside hitter) and Sarah Sycks (outside hitter/setter).

The juniors on the team are Katharine Pezzatta (setter/outside hitter), Jazmine Buss (outside hitter), Natalie Coleman (back row), Chelsea Sicilian (back row) and Kristen Dennison.

"The one thing I'll say about this team is that they've made a lot of improvements from day one," Rembert said. "There's been no arguing and we talk about our vision and mission every day. All of the kids have bought into it."

The girls soccer team has one of its most experienced teams for coach Phil Labuhn, who started the program 10 years ago.

Back are 11 players, including seniors Kirsten Puchovich and Tori Rafferty and junior Kasey Althouse. The other seniors are Atalia Council, Heather King and Maddie Tibbs.

Althouse and Rafferty will lead the offense at forward, and King, Puchovich and sophomores Katie Fuller and Sarah Patashinsky are at midfielder. Joining Council on defense are junior Daisy Vasilko, sophomore Lee Rhein-Murray and freshmen Zoe Leach, Brynne McCann and Ellie Rafferty. Tibbs is at goalkeeper, with Vasilko as the backup.

Also on the team are junior Beth Lewis and freshman Emily Moffat.

Among Whetstone's goals are to continue its streak of never losing to a City opponent. Beechcroft, Briggs, East and Northland also are expected to have teams this year, and the Braves beat the Bruins 8-0 on Aug. 21.

Whetstone went 5-9 last year, losing to Grove City 8-0 in the first round of the Division I district tournament.

"We want to focus harder this year on the games that we should be competitive in," Labuhn said. "We're a little deeper on defense this year, which has allowed us to move (Fuller) to one of the inside midfield spots and allowed us to keep Kasey and Tori up front."

The girls tennis team is looking for its third consecutive City championship after beating Briggs 4-1 for the title last year.

The Braves were 6-0 in the City-North, ahead of Centennial (5-1), Northland (4-2), Linden-McKinley (3-3), East (1-4), Brookhaven (0-4) and Beechcroft (0-5).

With singles-players Hannah Cohen, Laine Zalac and Christina Murphy among those who graduated, senior Kate Gordon has moved from first doubles to first singles. Senior Ellie Webb is at second singles and freshman Ciera Auddino is playing No. 3 singles.

Playing doubles are senior Katie Buckner, juniors Caroline Block-Wilkins and Melissa Tewart-Darwin and freshman Katie Dozer. Seniors Reily Ries and Lucie McMahon also are on the team.

"(Gordon) was one of my first-doubles players last year, so I think it's been a transition for her to play first singles," coach Sue Kiser said. "She's starting to get used to being on the singles court. Allie played some at third singles last year so she'll do fine. We're ready, and (winning the City again) is what we're looking forward to hopefully doing."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Whetstone boys and girls cross country, football, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:

CROSS COUNTRY

Last Saturday -- Boys: Finished third (83) in 17-team Tiger Division of Pickerington Classic at Pickerington North behind champion Magnolia Sandy Valley (55). Evan Schwartz was first (17:16.78); Girls: Finished last (473) in 19-team Tiger Division of Pickerington Classic behind champion Sandy Valley (96)

Saturday -- At Westerville Classic at Westerville North

FOOTBALL

Last Friday -- Defeated Briggs 41-6 in opener. Mike Haynes rushed for 185 yards and three touchdowns.

Friday -- Home vs. Central Crossing. Last year, Whetstone lost 12-10.

BOYS SOCCER

Aug. 19 -- Def. Teays Valley 1-0 in opener

Aug. 21 -- Def. Briggs 7-0

Last Tuesday -- Played Hartley

Today -- At Fisher Catholic

Tuesday -- Home vs. Grandview

GIRLS SOCCER

Aug. 19 -- Lost to Teays Valley 9-2 in opener

Aug. 21 -- Def. Briggs 8-0

Last Saturday -- Def. Westland 3-2

Today -- At Franklin Heights

TENNIS

Aug. 21 -- Lost to Marysville 4-1

*Tuesday -- At Beechcroft in City-North opener

*Today -- Home vs. East

Wednesday -- Home vs. Grove City

Of note: The Braves are 0-2.

VOLLEYBALL

Last Saturday -- Lost to Independence 25-21, 25-16; lost to Marion-Franklin 25-15, 22-25, 25-19; lost to Tree of Life 23-25, 25-17, 25-16

*Last Wednesday -- Played East

Saturday -- At Pickerington North

*City-North contest