Experience and depth might be the keys to success for the Grandview Heights High School girls soccer team.
The Bobcats return their top five scorers from last season, when they finished 13-2-3 overall and second (4-1-1) in the MSL-Ohio Division behind Worthington Christian (6-0).
"Hopefully our depth will be one of our strengths," said coach Mike Merna, who is in his 11th season. "We have a lot options at most positions. That depth has been tested in the preseason, since we've had a few too many injuries from the summer."
Sophomore midfielder Maria Claypool had 10 goals and one assist last season, and junior forward Kira Thomas (second-team all-league) had eight goals and six assists. Senior midfielder Emily Burns (8 goals, 2 assists), senior forward Morgan Ettrich (5 goals, 1 assist) and junior midfielder Maria Murphy (5 goals, 1 assist) are other scoring threats.
Despite having numerous scoring options, Merna said his team always is looking for offense.
"Too often, we've had problems scoring goals," he said. "In most games last year, we created enough chances but didn't finish enough of those opportunities. If that changes this year, we could be a good team."
Also expected to start are senior Megan McCauley (honorable mention all-league), junior Haley Rees (honorable mention all-league) and sophomore Molly Smith in the midfield, and senior Grace Palmer (first-team all-league) and sophomore Riley Henningsen on defense. Junior Izzy Esber (second-team all-league) is back at goalkeeper after allowing only five goals in 18 games with 14 shutouts last season.
Rounding out the roster are seniors Lily Amurgis (defender), Katie Flanagan (midfielder), Alexis Lower (defender) and Jessica Umbarger (forward), sophomore Lizzy Van Deusen (defender) and freshmen Anna Dobies (defender) and Maddy James (midfielder).
The Bobcats opened Aug. 16 with a 7-1 win over Chillicothe Zane Trace. Rees scored four times, Burns had two goals and Ettrich scored once.
Grandview opens league play Aug. 28 at Worthington Christian.
Boys soccer team returns 7 starters
The boys soccer team returns seven starters from a squad that finished 15-4 overall with a 1-0 loss to Worthington Christian in a Division III district final.
Grandview finished fourth (5-2) in the MSL-Ohio behind Bexley (5-0-2), Columbus Academy (5-1-1) and Worthington Christian (5-1-1).
Senior forward Ryan McHugh led the Bobcats with 20 goals and was first-team all-league. Senior midfielder Alex Haase also was first-team all-league and had two goals and six assists.
The other returning starters also are seniors in midfielder Willis Day, midfielder Ike Dunaway (5 goals, 5 assists; second-team all-league), defender Avery Hanscel, forward Colin Jourdan (11 goals, 5 assists; second-team all-league) and defender Tristen Rose.
"We have a lot of experience and veteran leadership," said Jim Kane, an assistant under 13th-year coach Brian Neidenthal. "One of the challenges will be integrating our talented underclassmen into the lineup."
Spencer Hawk (midfielder) and Jack Sterneker (defender) complete the nine-player senior class.
Replacing 2014 graduate Josh Keller (65 saves; honorable mention all-league) in goal are junior Micah Miller and sophomore Everett Stamm.
Rounding out the roster are junior Colin Elliott (defender), sophomores Kaleb Orr (midfielder), Atom Slaughter (midfielder) and Zyg Stafa (midfielder) and freshmen Dylan Gerdes (defender), Indigo London (midfielder), Wes Ryan (midfielder) and Johnny Volker (midfielder).
The Bobcats opened Aug. 18 with a 4-1 win over Westland. Dunaway scored three times and both Haase and McHugh had one goal. Miller had four saves.
Grandview begins league play Aug. 28 at home against Worthington Christian.
Girls volleyball team opens with victory
The girls volleyball team started off strong under first-year coach Bryan Bastuba, defeating Columbus School for Girls 25-14, 25-19, 20-25, 25-17 in its opener Aug. 16.
Last season, the Bobcats finished 7-14 overall and sixth (5-9) in the MSL-Ohio behind champion West Jefferson (14-0) under Ed Hine, who coached for one season.
"Our biggest asset is the way our players hustle," said Bastuba, who is in his first head coaching position.
"One of our team goals is to outwork our opponents and that's what we did (against CSG). We came out, worked hard and wanted it more."
Leading the returnees are senior libero Emma Bulla (honorable mention all-league) and junior setter/outside hitter Libby Jump (second-team all-league).
Also back are seniors Mary Guida (middle hitter), Morgan Taylor (setter) and Allison Voelker (middle/outside hitter), junior Julia Muccio (defensive specialist) and sophomore Dareth Douglass, a 6-foot-1 right-side hitter who is the team's tallest player.
New to varsity are sophomores Lexi Faubert (defensive specialist), Cassie Freeman (outside hitter) and Chloe Wernet (middle/outside hitter) and freshmen Jayla Coplan (defensive specialist) and Claire Osborne (right-side hitter/setter).
"We need to work on getting our hitters to the outside and making the offense spread out more," Bastuba said.
Against CSG, Douglass had 12 kills, Bulla had 13 digs and Taylor had 23 assists with one ace. Grandview opens league play Aug. 28 at Madison Plains.
Tennis team drops opener to Hartley
The girls tennis team was 2-1 overall after defeating Bloom-Carroll 3-2 on Aug. 18.
Grandview opens MSL-Ohio competition Thursday, Aug. 21, at London.
The Bobcats lost to Hartley 5-0 on Aug. 12, but defeated Delaware 3-2 on Aug. 14.
Elinor Kibbey won against the Pacers at first singles, with Emily Lolli winning at second singles and Molly Gilleland at third singles.
Spenser Jackson and Alex Joseph lost at first doubles and Sable Ryan and Maddie Taylor were defeated at second doubles.
Golf team defeats Fairfield Christian
The boys golf team opened MSL-Ohio dual matches Aug. 20 against London at London Country Club.
The Bobcats defeated Fairfield Christian 189-191 on Aug. 14 at Valley View.
Matt York led Grandview with a 43, followed by Jake Bush (47), Cameron Richards (49), Tom Damschroder (50), John Sides (50) and Luke McCollough (51).
Aug. 18 -- at Westland
Aug. 19 -- vs. Fairbanks
Aug. 23 -- at Hartley
Aug. 26 -- at Watterson
*Aug. 28 -- vs. Worthington Christian
*Sept. 4 -- at Madison Plains
*Sept. 11 -- vs. West Jefferson
Sept. 16 -- vs. Wellington
Sept. 18 -- vs. Westerville North
*Sept. 25 -- at Grove City Christian
Sept. 27 -- vs. Jonathan Alder
*Sept. 30 -- at Columbus Academy
*Oct. 2 -- vs. London
*Oct. 7 -- at Whitehall
*Oct. 9 -- at Bexley
Oct. 11 -- at Hilliard Darby
Aug. 16 -- vs. Chillicothe Zane Trace
Aug. 21 -- vs. Whetstone
Aug. 23 -- at Oak Harbor
*Aug. 28 -- at Worthington Christian
Sept. 2 -- vs. Hartley
Sept. 4 -- vs. Williamsport Westfall
Sept. 9 -- vs. Wellington
*Sept. 11 -- at West Jefferson
Sept. 16 -- at Circleville
Sept. 18 -- at Tree of Life
Sept. 20 -- vs. Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary
Sept. 23 -- at Columbus School for Girls
*Sept. 30 -- at Columbus Academy
*Oct. 2 -- at London
Oct. 4 -- at Cincinnati Mariemont
*Oct. 9 -- vs. Bexley
Aug. 16 -- vs. Columbus School for Girls
Aug. 21 -- at Harvest Prep
Aug. 26 -- vs. Hamilton Township
*Aug. 28 -- at Madison Plains
*Sept. 2 -- at London
*Sept. 4 -- vs. West Jefferson
Sept. 6 -- at Millersport
*Sept. 9 -- at Columbus Academy
*Sept. 11 -- vs. Worthington Christian
*Sept. 16 -- at Bexley
*Sept. 18 -- vs. Whitehall
*Sept. 23 -- vs. Madison Plains
*Sept. 25 -- vs. London
Sept. 27 -- Sherril Appelfeller Classic at Marion Elgin
*Sept. 30 -- at West Jefferson
*Oct. 2 -- vs. Columbus Academy
*Oct. 4 -- at Worthington Christian
*Oct. 7 -- vs. Bexley
*Oct. 9 -- at Whitehall