Twenty-eight high school girls volleyball teams, including Pickerington Central and North, will compete Saturday, Oct. 12, in North's annual Tourney for the Cure to benefit breast cancer research.
All teams are guaranteed three matches in pool play.
Other participating teams are Albany Alexander, Athens, Beavercreek, Big Walnut, Bloom-Carroll, Buckeye Valley, Canal Winchester, Cleveland St. Joseph Academy, DeSales, Dublin Scioto, Fisher Catholic, Gahanna, Jonathan Alder, Lakewood, Lancaster, Liberty Union, Licking Heights, New Philadelphia Tuscarawas Central Catholic, Olentangy Liberty, Ready, Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown, Teays Valley, Thomas Worthington, Thornville Sheridan, Watterson and Westerville Central.
Canal Winchester is coached by former North coach Kris Kern, who led the Panthers to seven league championships and four district titles in seven seasons before leaving in May.
DeSales was a Division II state semifinalist last year and now is competing in Division I. Bloom-Carroll and Ready each participated in the Division III state tournament a year ago.
Central will play Athens, Buckeye Valley and Ready in its pool. North is in a pool with Scioto, Teays Valley and Tuscarawas Central Catholic.
Two league wins last week kept North in third place in the OCC-Ohio Division entering the week behind leader Grove City and second-place Lancaster.
Junior defensive specialist Olivia Goodin had four aces and 16 digs and sophomore setter Sydney Janes added five aces in a 25-14, 25-21, 25-18 win over Reynoldsburg on Oct. 1, and the Panthers swept Groveport 25-11, 25-11, 25-16 on Oct. 3 to improve to 9-8 overall and 9-3 in the league.
North played host to Gahanna on Oct. 8 and finishes league play Thursday, Oct. 10, at Grove City. The Greyhounds were 12-0 and Lancaster 11-1 in the OCC-Ohio entering the week.
Central fell to 4-12 overall and 2-10 in the OCC-Ohio with a 25-14, 30-28, 25-20 loss at Newark on Oct. 3. The Tigers also lost to Grove City 25-7, 25-16, 25-15 on Oct. 1.
Central, which played Groveport on Oct. 8, finishes its league schedule Thursday, Oct. 10, at Gahanna.
The Panthers earned the 17th seed in the 46-team Division I district tournament and play host to Independence in a first-round match at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 14. The winner visits 11th-seeded Olentangy Liberty at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, with the second-round winner advancing to a district semifinal Oct. 23 at Whitehall against Hilliard Darby, Marysville or Westerville North.
Central is seeded 34th and plays at Briggs in a first-round match at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 14. The winner visits top-seeded DeSales on Oct. 17.
Neither Central nor North played its first-round or potential second-round opponents during the regular season.
-- Dave Purpura