Comets seek to ease up-and-down stretch
The Central Crossing High School girls volleyball team has been streaky thus far.
The Comets won their first seven matches, including a 25-23, 21-25, 25-13, 25-19 victory over Bexley on Aug. 22, but lost their next six, including a 25-22, 25-23, 25-21 loss to Marysville on Sept. 12.
"Our team has been up and down so far this season, (with) stretches of really strong play and some stretches where we have struggled," coach Julie Evans said. "We were hit hard by a few key injuries at the start of league play but have everyone back at full strength now. The girls continue to work hard and are competing very well.
"Our best match of the season was the four-game win at Bexley, a really strong effort on the road by our girls. We have competed well in the league but have just come up short on a few occasions."
Central Crossing was 7-7 overall after losing to Westerville North 25-15, 25-14, 25-8 on Sept. 16 and was 0-6 in the OCC-Central Division before facing Westland on Sept. 17.
"(Middle hitter) Rose LeVally has provided a strong presence for us at the net, while Molly Stenger has been solid defensively as our libero and (setter) Ally Gruen has been playing well all-around," Evans said.
Greyhounds start strong in OCC play
Grove City opened with a 25-19, 25-17, 25-7 loss to DeSales on Aug. 24, but bounced back to win its next seven matches.
The Greyhounds were 8-2 overall and 6-0 in the OCC-Ohio before playing Pickerington North on Sept. 17.
Grove City went 2-1 in the Worthington Kilbourne Invitational on Sept. 14, defeating Dublin Jerome 29-27, 25-21 and losing to Mount Vernon 25-23, 18-25, 25-21 before beating Kilbourne 25-20, 25-19 in the consolation final.
The Greyhounds won two league matches last week, beating Gahanna 25-16, 24-26, 25-18, 25-23 on Sept. 10 and Lancaster 25-21, 25-16, 22-25, 18-25, 16-14 on Sept. 12.
"The team has steadily improved and our chemistry is getting a lot better as the players are getting more comfortable with each other," coach Alan Pham said. "We still have a long way to go, but it's good to see the progression up to this point.
"Our biggest match so far is the win at Gahanna. As usual, it was a close match, but we (were) able to pull together as a team."
Through seven matches, outside hitters Amanda Radich and Rae-Kelly Hamilton had 90 and 55 kills, respectively, libero Haven Kulp had 96 digs, setter Andrea Miller had 213 assists, middle hitter Sarah Mitcham had 19 blocks and 18 aces and defensive specialist Haley Litman had 19 aces.
"The outside hitters have really stepped up and provided the firepower that we need, specifically Amanda Radich," Pham said. "She's been a hammer all season long and I expect her to only get better as she continues to learn to round out her game. Andrea Miller has done an absolutely great job of setting for us, and she's definitely taken her game to the next level. Haven Kulp's passing and defensive prowess have really been significant to put us in position to run a proper offense.
"(Middle hitter/outside hitter) Gina Conti is worth a mention as well. She's been a phenomenal wild card for us. I can put her anywhere on that net and know she'll excel at it."