The Olentangy Liberty High School girls bowling team enjoyed its most successful season a year ago. It was 16-2 mark and advanced to the district tournament for the first time.

The Olentangy Liberty High School girls bowling team enjoyed its most successful season a year ago. It was 16-2 mark and advanced to the district tournament for the first time.

With all of her top bowlers back and the addition of at least one high scorer in junior Julie Lechner, coach Linda Ridolfo expects her squad to equal what it accomplished last season.

The Patriots are off to a 3-0 start. They defeated Watterson 1,851-1,317 on Dec. 10, Hilliard Bradley 1,767-1,255 on Dec. 15 and Big Walnut 1,898-1,580 on Dec. 17.

"Last year was our best season, so I'm hoping we'll match what we did and get back to where we were," Ridolfo said.

Competing for Liberty are senior Emma Goetz, juniors Cassie Gammon, Lechner, Riya Shah and Jenna Shiner, and sophomores Andrea Cardinali and Amy Spanfill.

Liberty finished fourth (3,168) in the 18-team sectional at Rainbow Lanes last year behind champion Westerville Central (3,819).

But the Patriots finished 12th (3,088) in the 16-team district at HP Lanes and only the top two squads, Westerville Central (3,758) and Westerville South (3,666), advanced to state.

"Our goals are to finish in the top three at sectional and to compete at district," Ridolfo said.

Liberty's boys team is off to a 2-1 start. It beat Watterson 2,093-1,624 on Dec. 10, defeated Hilliard Bradley 2,203-1,804 on Dec. 15 and lost to Big Walnut 2,212-2,019 on Dec. 17.

Three letterwinners have returned in seniors Evan Deacon, Daniel Roth and Jim Swanek. Senior Sam Ventura, and juniors Connor Mullen and Michael Poielski round out the lineup.

Last season, the Patriots went 11-8 and finished fourth (3,878) in the sectional at Rainbow Lanes behind champion Pickerington North (4,054).

Liberty then finished 12th (4,016) in the 22-team district at HP Lanes and only the top three squads, Marysville (4,324), Westerville South (4,226) and Westerville North (4,195) advanced to state.

"If our boys improve enough to make it back to district, that would be a very good accomplishment," Ridolfo said.

Olentangy's boys team, which finished 6-6 last season, lost to Delaware 2,169-2,071 last Friday to drop to 2-3 heading into a match last Monday against Cardington.

Leading the Braves are seniors Grant Harris, Chris Japiske, John Lindsey and Miles Stabl, and junior Kyle Oleksiw.

Rounding out the lineup are freshmen Jake Galant, Drew Hall, Nick Leonard and Tommy Schwartz.

"We aren't doing as well as we want right now, but our team has four returning seniors, and a junior who has advanced to district before, so we should do better than we have in years past," coach Jim Meta said.

Last season, Olentangy finished 10th (3,336) in the sectional at Rainbow Lanes. Only the top eight teams from that sectional advanced to district. Delaware (3,677) earned the eighth and final qualifying position.

But Oleksiw rolled a 582 to qualify for district as an individual, before rolling a 502 to finish 105th at district. Only the top three individuals advanced to state.

"Our seniors have been together for four years and our kids' averages are climbing," Meta said. "One of our goals is to make it past sectional, and I think the potential is there for us to do that."

Olentangy's girls squad, which finished 3-9 last season, lost to Delaware 1,800-1,658 last Friday to drop to 1-4 heading into a match last Monday against Cardington.

Competing for the Braves are senior Kayla Gerfen, juniors Elizabeth Bice, Devin DeVore, Emily Kaelin, Shayna Murphy and Shannon Smith, and sophomores Khyl Bachinski and Biz Brehm.

"We're replacing four girls from last year's team, so our girls team is still a work in progress," Meta said. "Biz Brehm has been averaging somewhere between 190 to 195 in practice, so we're excited about her potential."

Last season, Olentangy finished eighth (2,677) in the sectional at Rainbow Lanes and only the top six squads from that sectional advanced to district. Highland (2,798) earned the sixth and final qualifying spot.

"If we can get all the kinks worked out, we could do well in the tournaments," Meta said.

Orange's girls team, which went 6-9 last season, opened on Dec. 10 with a 1,464-1,215 win over Northland.

The Pioneers are led by seniors Darian Clever, Marissa Lantz and Sierra Roof, juniors Shelby Collinsworth and Kaitlin Milburn and sophomore Rachel Bartram.

"We have three really experienced bowlers (Bartram, Milburn and Roof) who have bowled most of their lives, so we're hoping to see a lot of improvement," coach Donna Milburn said.

Last season, Orange finished ninth (2,668) in the sectional at Rainbow Lanes, as Milburn (493) and Roof (473) qualified to district as individuals.

At district, Milburn finished 18th (517) and Roof wasn't able to compete for undisclosed reasons.

"We're hoping to get our whole team through to district, because our girls are bowling better than they were at this point last year," coach Milburn said.

The boys team, which went 0-15 last season, opened with a 1,703-1,455 loss to Northland.

Competing for the Pioneers are seniors Paul Burke, Alec Dickman and Bradley Meigs, junior Brien Vincent, sophomore Jonathan Ricci and freshmen Garrett Moore, Nick Sansone and Daniel VandeWater.

Last season, Orange finished last (2,617) in the 20-team sectional at Rainbow Lanes.

"Our boys are having a lot of fun and we'd like to see them win a match this season," coach Milburn said.