In his second season, Grove City Christian School volleyball coach Joe Bradford said his main focus still is changing the mentality of his team.

In his second season, Grove City Christian School volleyball coach Joe Bradford said his main focus still is changing the mentality of his team.

After a slow start, the Eagles have improved their play recently and were 2-7 overall and 1-4 in the MOCAL before their match against Delaware Christian last Tuesday.

Although his team was swept by defending MOCAL champ-ion Madison Christian on Sept. 14, Bradford saw some much-needed intensity from his players.

The Eagles bounced back to beat Fairfield Christian 18-25, 15-25, 25-21, 26-24, 15-13 on Sept. 16 for their first MOCAL win.

Grove City Christian has set its sights on a rematch with Tree of Life on Tuesday after another rally fell short in a 25-15, 25-15, 17-25, 23-25, 15-10 loss on Sept. 18.

"There's really no one in the league that we shouldn't compete with," Bradford said. "We have enough skill, and some of our younger players are starting to develop. Being in year two of the building process, maybe we're not moving as quickly as I had hoped trying to break the culture that was there in the past, and we're trying to create a sense of urgency of a killer instinct to get them revved up just a little bit more."

The Eagles will need that intensity when they compete against Division I teams Briggs, Central Crossing and Franklin Heights on Saturday at the Bruin Classic at Briggs.

"That will be a pretty good challenge for us because we're going to play against three Division I schools," Bradford said. "That's a pretty tall task for us. ... We're going to go out and go with the David versus Goliath mentality that day and see what we can come away with."

Through nine matches, senior setter Megan Keating led the team in assists with 131.

Senior Natalie Howard had a team-high 48 kills followed by junior Anna Mitcham with 37. Mitcham is a transfer from Grove City.

"Natalie and Anna have both been steadily coming along," Bradford said. "We use those two to solidify the left side of the court for us."

A year ago, the Eagles were 5-17 overall and 2-8 in the MOCAL, and the goal is to improve on both records.

"We've played very well at times," Bradford said. "A lack of consistency is really hurting us right now. We're having a lot of unforced errors where we're shooting ourselves in the foot a little bit."

•The football team is looking to build on its first win under head coach Kerry Owens.

The Eagles earned their first victory last Friday after opening the season with four loss by beating Cincinnati Horizon Science Academy 73-0.

Grove City Christian, who led 31-0 after one quarter, was led by Kevin Williams, who scored on touchdown runs of 22 and 5 yards and had an 8-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Ben Whitaker.

"This is not going to be our only win," Owens said. "We look to just start piling up wins. Obviously, it's one game at a time, but we look to win every week now."

The Eagles will return to action on Friday at Troy Christian.

Last season, Grove City Christian defeated Troy Christian 37-0 on its way to a berth in a Division VI state semifinal.

Two seasons ago, Troy Christian handed the Eagles their lone loss of the season 34-12.

Whitaker has completed 29 of 70 passes for 263 yards with three touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Zach Brewer has 11 catches for 176 yards and one touchdown, and Nate Holt has rushed for 207 yards and three touchdowns on 47 carries.


At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Grove City Christian cross country, golf and soccer teams:

CROSS COUNTRY

Last Saturday - Boys: Finished seventh (148 points) in the Bob Reall Invitational at Lancaster behind first-place Liberty Union (26). Sam Miller finished 13th (18 minutes, 23.2 seconds); Girls: Ran incomplete at Lancaster. Emily Harper finished 39th (25:14.2).

Saturday - Erin L. Nance Classic at London Country Club

GOLF

Sept. 21 - Finished third (188) at MOCAL Tournament at The Links at Groveport behind Fairfield Christian (151) and Tree of Life (167) and ahead of Madison Christian (219)

Last Tuesday - Competed in Division III sectional tournament at Pine Hill Golf Course in Carroll

SOCCER

Sept. 18 - Defeated Patriot Academy 10-0. Derek Vacha and Tyler Haughn both had three goals.

Sept. 21 - Tied West Jefferson at 0

Sept. 23 - Lost to Northside Christian 2-1

Last Monday - Game vs. Granville Christian was canceled. No makeup date has been announced.

*Last Tuesday - Played Delaware Christian

Monday - Home vs. Brookhaven

*Tuesday - Home vs. Tree of Life

Of note: The Eagles were 2-5-1 overall and 0-1 in the MOCAL before last Tuesday.

*MOCAL game