Ready High School girls volleyball coach Mike Kusan would be the first to admit that his personality on the court is different this season.

Ready High School girls volleyball coach Mike Kusan would be the first to admit that his personality on the court is different this season.

Over the summer, the defending Division III district-champion Silver Knights attended a camp at Ohio State that featured instruction by Buckeyes coach Geoff Carlston.

Considering that Erin Sekinger is a 6-foot-2 junior who has started since her freshman season and should have the eyes of recruiters over the next couple years, Kusan asked Carlston what he could do to help Sekinger become a better player.

"He noticed that she doesn't necessarily respond when she's getting screamed at," Kusan said. "He said, 'I'd do a complete 180 and start loading her up with compliments and that that's something that I should do across the board.' We have been taking a calmer approach and have just tried to become better volleyball players by watching more film."

The maturation process of Kusan as a coach since he took over in 2007 has been just one of the key factors in Ready's turnaround as a program since that time.

After losing nearly 60 percent of their matches during the previous eight seasons before Kusan took over, the Silver Knights went 14-9 two years ago and improved to 18-8 a season ago.

"We've got a good coach, and when he came here he turned the whole program around," Sekinger said. "He just pushed us because he knew what our potential was."

"He's not the yelling type but just pushes us by being positive," senior captain Taylor Riggs said. "We're definitely off to a good start because we've been passing really well. That's the big thing for us, and most of it has a lot to do with our conditioning. We're all in incredible shape."

Ready never has won a CCL championship but could put itself in position to do so if it wins today over visiting Watterson, which it lost to 27-25, 25-22, 25-21 on Sept. 15.

In addition to Sekinger and Riggs, contributions from junior Lindsey Kusan -- the coach's daughter -- and sophomores Sara Radich (outside hitter), Katie Weilbacher (setter) and Carleigh Green (libero) also have been key.

Entering last Tuesday, Ready and Hartley were tied for first in the CCL with one loss and Watterson had two.

A turning point for Ready might have come Sept. 19 when it won the Dublin Scioto Tournament, which featured mostly Division I schools.

"We're peaking at the right time," coach Kusan said. "I thought we played very well the first time we played Watterson. One of our goals is to be undefeated at home, and that will obviously be the biggest match we have left at home. If we can handle a Division I team like them, I like our chances of getting out of the district again."

•The girls soccer team appears on its way to a winning season.

Ready won three in a row after opening with a 1-2-2 record that included losses to DeSales (3-0 on Sept. 3) and Watterson (6-0 on Sept. 8).

While senior Jessie Eramo has led the way offensively, a group of young players that includes sophomores Ciara Carr, Taylor Cutteridge and Lauren Graessle and freshmen Donavon Capehart and Hailey Cartt also have been key contributors.

"I just think we're overall a more complete team than we were last year," coach Elise Berry said. "We've been able to get a lot more things accomplished. Having DeSales and Watterson early was tough, but it's good to get them out of the way and I think they know now that they can compete with those teams. It was 1-0 for about 75 minutes of the DeSales game."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Ready girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:

TENNIS

*Sept. 15 -- Lost to Worthington Christian 5-0 Sept. 16 -- Def. Briggs 4-1 *Sept. 22 -- Lost to Hartley 5-0 Sept. 23 -- Def. Grandview 4-1 Last Saturday -- Wellington Cup postponed. No makeup has been announced. Last Monday -- Lost to Village Academy 5-0 *Last Tuesday -- Played Watterson Last Wednesday -- Played Canal Winchester Monday -- At Village Academy Tuesday -- Home vs. Fisher Catholic Wednesday -- At Jonathan Alder

Of note: The Silver Knights were 6-8 overall and 0-5 in the CCL before last Tuesday.

VOLLEYBALL

*Sept. 15 -- Lost to Watterson 27-25, 25-22, 25-21 *Sept. 17 -- Def. Worthington Christian 25-5, 25-13, 25-14 Sept. 19 -- Finished first at Dublin Scioto Tournament, beating Northland (25-10, 25-19), the host Irish (23-25, 25-13, 25-19) and Beavercreek (21-25, 25-15, 27-25) *Sept. 22 -- Def. Hartley 26-24, 25-23, 25-23 *Sept. 24 -- Def. DeSales 25-10, 25-21, 22-25, 25-18 Last Saturday -- Def. West Jefferson 25-23, 25-8, 25-22 *Last Tuesday -- Played CSG *Today -- Home vs. Watterson Saturday -- Home vs. Danville *Tuesday -- At Worthington Christian

Of note: The Silver Knights were 13-2 overall and 5-1 in the CCL before last Tuesday.

*CCL contest

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Ready boys and girls cross country, football, boys golf and boys and girls soccer teams:

CROSS COUNTRY

Sept. 19 -- Boys: Finished sixth (134) in 11-team Section 2 race of Central Ohio Invitational at Three Creeks Metro Park behind champion Circleville (39); Girls: Finished third (104) in 10-team Section 2 race of Central Ohio Invitational behind DeSales (49) and Big Walnut (61) Last Saturday -- Boys: Finished eighth (203) in All-Ohio Catholic Invitational behind champion Covington (Ky.) Catholic (50). Andrew Mantell was seventh (17:20); Girls: Finished sixth (159) in All-Ohio Catholic Invitational behind Dayton Carroll (47). Niki Brown was seventh (20:31) and Michelle Kaiser took eighth (20:31.5). Saturday -- At Erin Nance Fall Classic at London Country Club

FOOTBALL

Last Friday -- Defeated Covington (Ky.) Holy Cross 38-13 at Hilliard Bradley Friday -- At Bradley vs. Pittsburgh United Military Academy Of note: The Silver Knights are 4-0. GOLF *Sept. 15 -- Defeated Hartley 165-182 at Phoenix Sept. 16 -- Def. Centennial 162-209 at Phoenix *Sept. 17 -- Lost to St. Charles 153-168 at High Lands Sept. 23 -- Lost to Jonathan Alder 163-168 at Phoenix Last Tuesday -- Played in Division III sectional tournament at Darby Creek. The top two teams and top two individuals advance to the district tournament Tuesday at Cumberland Trail. Allison Lichwa competed in the Division II girls sectional tournament at Foxfire, where the top four individuals advance to the district tournament Oct. 8 at Upper Landsdowne Golf Club in Ashville.

BOYS SOCCER

*Sept. 15 -- Lost to Worthington Christian 9-0 Sept. 19 -- Lost to Briggs 3-1 *Sept. 22 -- Lost to St. Charles 4-0 Sept. 24 -- Lost to Tree of Life 5-1 Last Saturday -- Def. Delaware Christian 2-1 *Last Tuesday -- Played Hartley Saturday -- At Whetstone Monday -- At Ohio School for the Deaf vs. Horizon Science Academy

Of note: The Silver Knights were 3-8 overall and 0-3 in the CCL before last Tuesday.

GIRLS SOCCER

*Sept. 15 -- Def. Columbus School for Girls 4-1 Sept. 17 -- Def. Fairbanks 6-1 *Sept. 23 -- Def. Hartley 2-1 Last Saturday -- Def. Wellington 3-2 *Last Tuesday -- Played Worthington Christian Saturday -- Home vs. Briggs Tuesday -- At Jonathan Alder

Of note: The Silver Knights were 5-2-2 overall and 2-2 in the CCL before last Tuesday.

*CCL contest