Coach Scott Ebright wants the players on the Grandview Heights High School girls volleyball team to be thinking on their feet.
Ebright, who coached the Bobcats from 1988-91 before coaching boys and girls volleyball at Thomas Worthington, has returned for a second stint at Grandview. He replaced Karla Fairbanks, who led the program for four seasons.
"The players were coached well on fundamentals. ... They're fundamentally sound," Ebright said. "I want them to approach the game in a different way, and play a more thoughtful game."
Grandview finished 6-12 overall last year, losing to North Union 23-25, 10-25, 25-17, 25-18, 15-7 in the first round of the Division III district tournament. The Bobcats tied Fisher Catholic for fifth in the MSL-Cardinal Division at 5-9, behind champion Licking Heights (14-0).
Grandview now competes in the MSL-Ohio with Bexley, Columbus Academy, London, Madison Plains, West Jefferson, Whitehall and Worthington Christian.
"I like the unity and focus of the team," said Grace VanFossen, a senior outside hitter who was second-team all-league last season. "We talk to each other, and the more you talk on the court, the better you will be in all parts of the game."
The Bobcats have two seniors on their nine-player roster in Maddie Bills (opposite/middle hitter) and VanFossen. Juniors are Emma Bulla (libero), Mary Guida (middle/outside hitter), Morgan Taylor (defensive specialist/setter/outside hitter) and Allison Voelker (middle hitter).
"We have really good chemistry," said Bulla, whose team opened Aug. 24 with losses to Central Crossing (20-25, 25-14, 25-17) and host Centerburg (25-16, 25-23). "We're all so close and know each other's tendencies. We know who can hit the ball better, who can pass the ball better, who can serve the ball better ... and that helps you out on the court."
Sophomore setter Libby Jump was honorable mention all-league last season. Also on the roster are sophomore Mya Bode (outside/opposite hitter) and freshman Dareth Douglass (opposite/middle hitter), who is the team's tallest player at 5-foot-11.
"We want to bring an up-tempo style of play with new concepts and new responsibilities," said Ebright, whose team opens MSL-Ohio play Thursday, Aug. 29, at Madison Plains. "We're doing things a little differently with a different view of the game. We want to try to keep other teams off-balance."
Football team to see opening night Stars
The football team opens Friday, Aug. 30, at home against Centennial.
"(The Stars) are an athletic group and they do a good job of coaching them up," coach Jason Peters said. "We just have to be focused and worry about the things that we can control."
Senior Nick Schopis is back at quarterback, one of four returning starters on offense along with senior tight end Tim Murphy, senior running back Phil Readey and junior running back Joe Pinney.
Schopis was 105-for-222 passing last season for 1,271 yards with nine touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He also is the top returning rusher with 291 yards and four touchdowns on 66 carries.
Pinney and Readey both were part of the Bobcats' backfield rotation last fall. Pinney ran for 182 yards and one touchdown on 35 carries and Readey added 89 yards and one score in 21 attempts.
"We have had several of the younger kids step up and figure out what they are supposed to do," said Peters, whose team went 5-5 a year ago. "One of the fun things is when you see the kids starting to figure things out and putting themselves in a position to succeed."
Centennial returns seven starters on offense from a team that finished 1-9 last season. They are junior quarterback Jeremy Johnson, junior fullback Darsean Watts, senior running back Dazmin Smith, senior tight end Jirequez Fair-Harris, senior guard Kenny Lambert and senior twins Nick Martin (T) and Noah Martin (C).
Last season, the Bobcats opened with a 42-20 win at Centennial as Schopis rushed for two touchdowns and threw for one. Grandview had 233 yards rushing on 38 carries and totaled 297 yards while limiting Centennial to 30 yards rushing in 31 attempts and 179 total yards.
Girls soccer team has yet to allow goal
The girls soccer team won its first four games and has yet to be scored upon as it prepares for its MSL-Ohio opener Thursday, Aug. 29, at home against Worthington Christian.
The Bobcats defeated Liberty Union 3-0 on Aug. 20 as sophomore forward Kira Thomas scored twice and junior forward Morgan Ettrich scored once. Sophomore goalkeeper Izzy Esber had one save.
Junior midfielder Emily Burns and sophomore midfielder Maria Murphy both scored twice as Grandview beat Amanda-Clearcreek 9-0 on Aug. 22. Senior defender Laura Satterthwaite, Ettrich, Thomas, freshman midfielder Maria Claypool and freshman midfielder Molly Smith all scored one goal and Esber had six saves.
On Aug. 24, the Bobcats defeated Chillicothe Zane Trace 2-0. Burns and Ettrich both scored and Esber made five saves.
Boys soccer team wins first three games
The boys soccer team defeated Fairbanks 9-1 on Aug. 20 and Hartley 1-0 on Aug. 22 to improve to 3-0 before playing Watterson on Aug. 27.
Senior midfielder Sam Claypool, junior forward Colin Jourdan and junior forward Ryan McHugh all had two goals against Fairbanks. Senior defender Alex York, junior midfielder Ike Dunaway and freshman midfielder Zyg Stafa all scored once and senior goalie Josh Keller had nine saves.
Claypool scored against Hartley and Keller had three saves.
Tennis team wins MSL-Ohio opener
The girls tennis team improved to 3-2 after defeating London 5-0 in its MSL-Ohio opener Aug. 22.
Seniors Kiley Kinnard and Ellie MacLeod and junior Emily Lolli won singles matches. The doubles teams of seniors Sierra Dobbs-Brown and Cathleen Gleason and seniors Brooke Berning and Hannah Jones also won.
The Bobcats defeated Jonathan Alder 3-1 on Aug. 21. Kinnard, MacLeod and Lolli won in singles competition.
Kinnard, MacLeod and Lolli set the tone with singles victories in a 4-1 win over Ready on Aug. 20. Dobbs-Brown and Gleason won at first doubles.
Golf team defeats Madison Plains
The boys golf team improved to 3-4 in the MSL-Ohio after defeating Madison Plains 166-192 on Aug. 22 at Locust Hills.
Senior Ben McCullough had a 39, followed by senior A.J. Pinyerd (41), sophomore Jake Bush (42), senior Keenan Burson (44) and sophomore John Sides (44).