With five seniors graduating, the Licking Heights High School girls volleyball team will have some spots to fill next season.

With five seniors graduating, the Licking Heights High School girls volleyball team will have some spots to fill next season.

Some of the replacements could come from a 13-player, eighth-grade team, coach Amanda Mosley said. That squad advanced to the MSL-Cardinal Division middle-school tournament final after winning it as seventh-graders.

"It's a big group, and a few of those girls might be able to step right in next year," Mosley said. "We'll see."

The Hornets completed their most successful season in three years under Mosley. They finished 13-7 overall and went 9-5 in the MSL-Cardinal to place fourth behind West Jefferson (13-1), Fisher Catholic (12-2) and Harvest Prep (10-4).

Licking Heights, which posted only one victory a year ago, won nine of 10 matches at one point. It closed the league schedule by earning a split with Harvest Prep following a 20-25, 25-18, 29-27, 17-25, 17-15 victory on Oct. 14.

The same fighting spirit was evident when the Hornets rallied before falling 27-25, 25-21, 16-25, 15-25, 15-8 to seventh-seeded Jonathan Alder in a Division II second-round on Oct. 23. The Hornets had a first-round bye.

"It's just taken us a couple of years to get our system in place," Mosley said. "Hopefully, next year we'll keep growing. We won't have to relearn so much."

Right-side hitter Kassi Flores and libero Brittney McKenna led the senior class. Flores was first-team all-league and second-team all-district. She will participate in the district all-star matches Nov. 14 at New Albany. McKenna earned honorable-mention all-league honors.

The top returnees include sophomore setter C.J. Wulf, junior middle hitters Elizabeth Daugherty and Michaela Green and junior outside hitter Grace Cole. Others to look for will be junior Misty Barnett and sophomores Kristin Abarra and Katie Kenney. Barnett, another setter, missed much of the season following shoulder surgery.

The other seniors are Sara Goff, Kiley Myers and Alex Sandy.

"They're going to be missed," Mosley said of the seniors. "They've played together for quite awhile now. They ran our summer camp. They organized sleepovers and other team bonding things. They did a lot to help us turn things around."

•The boys soccer team will lose five seniors after it finished 4-8-5 overall following a 9-0 loss to fourth-seeded DeSales in a Division II first-round tournament game on Oct. 21. They include sweeper Michael Wander, who made first-team all-league as the Hornets went 0-5-1 in the MSL-Cardinal, and midfielder Gage Ward, a second-team all-league selection.

"We're real happy with our season. They only had one win last year," said coach Missy Evans, who returned after a two-year absence. "Except for DeSales, we didn't lose any games by more than two goals. We were very competitive."

The midfield should remain strong with the return of junior Nick Evans and sophomore Caleb Smith, both of whom made honorable-mention all-league. So did junior forward Ilija Necovski, who was the team's leading scorer.

Other returnees will include junior goalkeeper Austin Grider and sophomore defender Matt Olagbenro. Also look for junior Julia Justice and sophomore Zac Phillips to return along with juniors Mohamed Fatah and Qadar Hassan. The roster was rounded out by sophomores Kory Kenny and Tesfu Reda and freshmen Amos Kallon and Khalid Adow.

The other seniors are Vlade Necovski, Johnny Salmeron and Abdi Abdirashid.

"We'll have some freshmen and sophomores coming up from our first (junior varsity) team, too," coach Evans said. "They went 7-2 in their first year so we're definitely excited about that. We're making headway."


BOYS SOCCER

•Record: 4-8-5, 0-5-1 (sixth) in MSL-Cardinal •Seniors lost: Abdi Abdirashid, Vlade Necovski, Johnny Salmeron, Michael Wander and Gage Ward •Key returnees: Nick Evans, Austin Grider, Ilija Necovski, Matt Olagbenro and Caleb Smith

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

•Record: 13-7, 9-5 (fourth) in MSL-Cardinal •Seniors lost: Kassi Flores, Sara Goff, Brittney McKenna, Kiley Myers and Alex Sandy •Key returnees: Grace Cole, Elizabeth Daugherty, Michaela Green and CJ Wulf


Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Licking Heights cross country and football teams:

CROSS COUNTRY

Oct. 23 - Boys: Finished fifth (115) at the eight-team Division II district 1 meet at Watkins Memorial, behind champion Granville (19). The Hornets were only two points from tying fourth-place Caledonia River Valley (113) for the final regional team berth as Centennial (second, 97) and Lakewood (third, 108) also advanced. Kory Kenney placed ninth overall (17:19) and Tysson Olverson was 12th (17:27) as both qualified for the regional as individuals; Girls: Finished eighth (195) at the 10-team Division II district 2 meet, behind champion Bexley (64) as Big Walnut (70), River Valley (93) and Columbus School for Girls (104) also advanced to the regional. Catie Campbell placed 21st overall (21:29), but the Hornets did not advance any individuals. Last Saturday - At the regional meet at Pickerington North. Individuals not on a boys qualifying team who finish in the top 16 advanced to the state meet Saturday at Scioto Downs.

FOOTBALL

*Oct. 22 - Lost to West Jefferson 28-14. The Hornets led 7-0 until a fumble late in the second half led to a tying touchdown. The Roughriders then scored on their first two possessions of the third quarter to take a 21-7 lead. A.J. Mitchell had the Hornets' first touchdown on a 4-yard run, and Ty Stallings' 26-yard touchdown reception from Darius Strickland early in the fourth quarter cut the deficit to 21-14. West Jefferson improved to 5-0 all-time against the Hornets. *Last Friday - Played Berne Union in the regular-season finale

Of note: The Hornets were 6-3 overall and 4-2 in the MSL-Cardinal before last Friday.

*MSL-Cardinal game