The Dublin Coffman High School girls volleyball team's strong start has drawn attention.

The Dublin Coffman High School girls volleyball team's strong start has drawn attention.

The Shamrocks, who were 8-0 overall and 4-0 in the OCC-Central Division before playing Upper Arlington last Tuesday, have beaten some of the area's top teams. They defeated Hilliard Davidson 25-21, 25-23, 25-19 on Sept. 15 and beat Pickerington North 25-16, 25-17 and Hartley 25-12, 25-17 last Saturday.

Last week in the state polls, North and Davidson were seventh and 20th, respectively, in Division I and Hartley was first in Division II.

Based on its start, Coffman was ranked third in the Division I state poll last week behind Cincinnati Ursuline Academy and Toledo St. Ursula Academy and 12th in MaxPreps Xcellent 25 national poll last week.

Thus, coach Mary Anne Souder is hoping the Shamrocks live up to the hype when they compete Friday and Saturday in the Cincinnati Mother of Mercy Fall Classic.

"We've had a great start to our season and beaten some very good teams, but we still haven't been tested the way we'll be tested in this tournament," she said. "Every team that's been invited to this tournament is one of the best in Ohio or Kentucky, so the level of play is going to be ridiculous. I think it's possible that we can win the tournament, but we'll need to be on top of our game to have a shot at it."

On Friday, Coffman plays Park Hills (Ky.) Notre Dame Academy and Vandalia-Butler.

Based on how the Shamrocks fare Friday, they will be placed in the Gold, Silver or Bronze bracket and play two more opponents.

The other squads competing in the tournament are Mother of Mercy, Alexandria (Ky.) Campbell County, Cincinnati McAuley, Erlanger (Ky.) St. Henry, Louisville (Ky.) Holy Cross, Louisville (Ky.) Presentation, Newport (Ky.) Central Catholic, Rocky River Magnificat and Toledo Central Catholic.

In Division I state poll last week, Magnificat was sixth and Mother of Mercy was 13th.

A year ago, Coffman went 3-1 to win the Silver bracket of the event, defeating Holy Cross 25-18, 25-23, losing to Mother of Mercy 22-25, 25-18, 25-21, beating Central Catholic 25-17, 19-25, 25-23 and defeating Magnificat 22-25, 25-14, 25-17.

"It's always tough to tell how we'll match up with the Kentucky teams until we play them, but we were neck-and-neck with Magnificat and Mother of Mercy when we played them in the summer, so I know we can be competitive there," Souder said. "We won the Silver last year, so this year we want to step up and compete for the Gold. No matter how we do, playing this kind of competition should get us ready for the state tournament."

Leading Coffman in kills through six matches were Andrea Baylin (69), Alex Blair (61), Isolde Hannan (29) and Meredith Stranges (29). Leaders in aces were Lindsey Zitzke (17), Baylin (15) and Blair (15). Leading in blocks were Hannan (16), Blair (15) and Bailey Farthing (15). Baylin also had 90 serve-receives and 65 digs and Zitzke had 188 assists.

"Our hitting and blocking are strong, and our serving has been good, too," Souder said. "Baylin always delivers for us all-around, and Alex Blair is now contributing defensively in the back row and passing well, too. Lindsey Zitzke is a third-year setter, and she's become a real playmaker. We're pretty deep and our chemistry is outstanding."

Jerome was 2-8 overall and 1-5 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Westerville Central last Tuesday.

The Celtics travel to Westerville North today for a league match. They lost to the Warriors 25-21, 25-18, 17-25, 27-25 on Sept. 1.

"We have a lot of girls who are new to varsity who are still learning the speed of the game at this level, but I'm hoping we can learn from our early losses and build on that," coach Katherine Fogg said. "We came pretty close to beating (North) in the first round of conference play, so I'm hoping we've improved enough to surprise them the second time around. That would be a sign of great progress."

Senior outside hitter Ashley Hudock has been Jerome's most consistent player, but sophomore Amanda Torchio and freshman Shelby Russell have caught Fogg's attention with their play in the back row.

"Shelby's done well at picking up a tough role at libero, and Amanda's playing good defense in the back, too," Fogg said. "Hillary Mosher's doing a good job setting with what she has to work with, and Ashley's been our most consistently good player.

"The problem we've had is when our defense is on, our hitters are off. When our hitters are on, our defense is off. We've got to put it all together on the same night."

Scioto was 8-3 overall and 5-1 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Marysville last Tuesday.

"The seniors have stepped up big this year," coach Todd Huff said. "Nina Zalenski has made a big difference at middle and Kim Trask, Samantha Melchor and Amanda Weissling have really made a big difference in hitting and front-row play.

"Junior Maria Destadio continues to be a defensive stalwart in the back row and junior Mackenzie Dyson has stepped into the setter's role with tons of energy and smart setting tactics."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Coffman, Jerome and Scioto girls volleyball teams:

COFFMAN

Sept. 1 -- Defeated Reynoldsburg 25-16, 25-6, 25-9

Sept. 3 -- Def. Groveport 25-8, 25-9, 25-19

*Sept. 8 -- Def. Thomas Worthington 25-24, 25-26, 25-17

*Sept. 10 -- Def. Hilliard Darby 25-10, 25-15, 25-16

*Sept. 15 -- Def. Hilliard Davidson 25-21, 25-23, 25-19

*Sept. 17 -- Def. Worthington Kilbourne 25-10, 25-12, 25-12

Last Saturday -- Def. Pickerington North 25-16, 25-17; def. Hartley 25-12, 25-17

*Last Tuesday -- Played Upper Arlington

Today -- Home vs. Reynoldsburg

Saturday-Sunday -- At Cincinnati Mother of Mercy Fall Classic

Tuesday -- Home vs. Groveport

Of note: The Shamrocks were 8-0 overall and 4-0 in the OCC-Central before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Central match

JEROME

Aug. 31 -- Lost to Teays Valley 25-17, 25-23, 24-26, 25-15

*Sept. 1 -- Lost to Westerville North 25-21, 25-18, 17-25, 27-25

*Sept. 3 -- Lost to Olentangy Liberty 25-11, 25-20, 25-9

*Sept. 10 -- Lost to Olentangy 25-20, 25-21, 20-25, 25-22

*Sept. 15 -- Lost to Marysville 25-23, 25-21, 23-25, 25-22

*Sept. 17 -- Lost to Scioto 25-21, 25-12, 25-21

Last Saturday -- Lost to Gahanna 25-11, 25-21; Lost to Scioto 25-9, 25-14; Def. Groveport 25-18, 29-27

*Last Tuesday -- Played Westerville Central

*Today -- At Westerville North

*Tuesday -- Home vs. Olentangy Liberty

Of note: The Celtics were 2-8 overall and 1-5 in the OCC-Cardinal before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Cardinal match

SCIOTO

*Sept. 1 -- Def. Olentangy 25-21, 25-18, 25-11

*Sept. 3 -- Def. Westerville South 25-12, 25-17, 25-21

Sept. 5 -- Def. Bexley 25-10, 25-10, 25-20

*Sept 8 -- Def. Westerville North 25-21, 25-19, 25-13

*Sept. 10 -- Def. Westerville Central 22-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-17

Sept. 14 -- Lost to Gahanna 26-24, 25-20, 23-25, 25-19

*Sept. 15 -- Lost to Olentangy Liberty 25-15, 25-16, 25-20

*Sept. 17 -- Def. Jerome 25-21, 25-12, 25-21

Last Saturday -- Def. Jerome 25-9, 25-14; def. Chillicothe 25-20, 25-22; Lost to Ready 23-25, 25-13, 25-19

*Last Tuesday -- Played Marysville

*Today -- At Olentangy

*Tuesday -- Home vs. Westerville South

Of note: The Irish were 8-3 overall and 5-1 in the OCC-Cardinal before last Tuesday.

*OCC match