Watterson High School girls volleyball coach Chuck Gleich said his team was eager to redeem itself after going 2-3 during a challenging stretch of matches Sept. 1 through Sept. 6.
The Eagles had to wait more than a week for an opportunity to do so after their match scheduled for Sept. 8 at Huron was canceled and their CCL match scheduled for Sept. 13 at Hartley was postponed to Oct. 11.
Watterson returned to action Sept. 15 in the Newark Invitational. The Eagles won the eight-team event, defeating Fisher Catholic 25-7, 25-10, Gahanna 25-20, 25-19 and Newark 25-22, 25-19.
"We hadn't played in a while and the girls were hungry to get back out there, especially after the way we got handled by Dublin Coffman (a 25-17, 25-16, 25-13 loss on Sept. 5) in our last match against a competitive team," Gleich said. "After we had taken some lumps from good teams the week before, we felt like we needed to make a statement against some quality opponents, and that's exactly what we did."
Against Fisher Catholic, Lauren Frilling had seven kills, Caroline Canute, Kaitlyn Rabe and Mary Patton each had four kills, Allison Merkle was 6-for-6 serving with an ace and Molly McEwan had three blocks.
Against Gahanna, Frilling had seven kills, Canute and Rabe each had four kills, Merkle was 6-for-6 serving with an ace and McEwan had five blocks.
Against Newark, Frilling had 12 kills, Canute and Rabe each had seven kills, Patton had six kills and Merkle was 10-for-10 serving with four aces.
Frilling and Patton both were named to the all-tournament team.
"Newark has the returning Central District Player of the Year in Anni Thomasson, and there was a good battle between her and Lauren Frilling to see who could put the ball down more," Gleich said. "They're both great players, but we have a deeper team and our offense is more widely distributed, and I think that put us over the edge against Newark."
Watterson will play a key CCL match on Thursday, Sept. 20, at Ready. The teams split last season, with the Eagles winning 25-17, 14-25, 25-12, 25-19 at Ready and the Silver Knights winning 19-25, 15-25, 26-24, 25-23, 15-9 at Watterson.
Ready is led by senior setter Karley Kusan, who was second-team all-state in Division III a year ago.
"They're always a good opponent and we'll need to communicate and play well together, the way we did at Newark, to beat them," Gleich said.
Field hockey team off to strong start
The field hockey team was 8-0 overall and 6-0 in the Central Ohio Field Hockey League before playing Olentangy Liberty on Sept. 19.
Watterson beat Cincinnati St. Ursula Academy 1-0 on Sept. 15. The Eagles scored the lone goal shorthanded, as they had to play with one fewer player for five minutes because of a high-sticking penalty in the circle. Emily Engert scored off an assist from Stephanie Polletta.
Goalkeeper Bridget Wagy had five saves.
"St. Ursula Academy is probably the best team we've played so far this year, so that was big to win at their place," coach Janet Baird said. "I wanted to see how the girls would respond to some adversity, and I really like the way they responded in that situation with us having to play a man down."
Watterson beat Granville 2-0 in a COFHL contest on Sept. 13, as Engert and Katie Santanello scored and Wagy had six saves.
"Granville played a great game against us and we had to work hard to score against them," Baird said. "That was a big league win for us."
Watterson will play Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown and Shaker Heights in a doubleheader on Saturday, Sept. 22, at Thomas Worthington.
"That will be a great test for our team because they're both good programs and one of them is always in the state final four just about every year," Baird said. "We've still got a lot of things we need to improve on. We have to play better defense on corners and work on our passing game."
Baird has been pleased with how well Engert, Alessandra Margello and Leah Delp have manned the attack position. Through eight games, Engert had a team-high nine goals and three assists.
"Our attack has been strong, and Elizabeth Racher's leading our defense," Baird said. "This is Bridget Wagy's first year playing goalie for us, and she's come up big, too."
Football team looks to bounce back
The football team fell to 3-1 with a 21-14 loss to Cincinnati Winton Woods on Sept. 14. The Eagles will look to rebound on Friday, Sept. 21, when they play host to Cincinnati LaSalle, which improved to 3-1 with a 70-20 victory over Indianapolis Northwest on Sept. 14.
Watterson lost to the Lancers 28-3 last season. LaSalle is averaging 41.5 points.
Against Winton Woods, quarterback Andy Elberson was 6-for-17 passing for 108 yards with three interceptions and rushed for 59 yards and one score on 13 attempts. Ryan Urquhart had two catches for 39 yards and DeAndre Golden rushed for 48 yards and one touchdown on nine carries.
The Eagles had 238 total yards but were doomed by five turnovers.