For most of the third game of its Division III district semifinal last Wednesday at Hilliard Bradley, it looked like the Ready High School girls volleyball team would be forced to rally against second-seeded and 19-time district champion Newark Catholic.

For most of the third game of its Division III district semifinal last Wednesday at Hilliard Bradley, it looked like the Ready High School girls volleyball team would be forced to rally against second-seeded and 19-time district champion Newark Catholic.

The Silver Knights then began chipping away from what had been a 14-9 deficit, finally tying it at 20 and eventually rallying to take a 2-1 lead in the match.

With the momentum on its side, fifth-seeded Ready put away the Green Wave in the fourth game, winning 25-16, 21-25, 25-22, 25-18 to advance to its third consecutive district final.

The Silver Knights met top-seeded Heath last Saturday at Bradley for the district title, with the winner advancing to a regional semifinal Thursday at Findlay Liberty-Benton.

"This was a big night for us," coach Mike Kusan said. "(Newark Catholic is) the sixth-ranked team in the state, and we love to play a team that loves to hit."

Ready's rally in the third game wouldn't have come without the serving or hitting of senior Erin Sekinger, an Ohio State-recruit who had a pair of serving aces as well as another serve that was unreturnable to score three of her team's points. The serving of sophomore Carly Culbertson also was key to the third-game win, which was completed with a kill by Sekinger.

Ready built a 15-8 lead in the fourth game before the Green Wave cut it to 22-18. Junior Katie Weilbacher then served the final three points for the match.

The Silver Knights beat Amanda-Clearcreek 22-25, 25-20, 23-25, 25-18, 15-13 to win the 2008 district final as the fourth seed and lost to Versailles 25-20, 20-25, 11-25, 25-18, 15-12 in a regional semifinal.

Last season, Ready was seeded second but fell to fifth-seeded Elgin 25-19, 28-26, 19-25, 25-20 in a district final.

Kusan said his team began executing better in the third game to take the momentum back from the Green Wave. "Our girls hit their serving zones and our serve-receive was solid all night, which put us in good position to get good swings. We just had the girls step up."

•The girls cross country team made it back to the regional meet for the second time in three seasons after it finished third Oct. 23 at Watkins Memorial in Division II district 1.

Junior Jessica Wright led the way with a 10th-place finish (20 minutes, 37.71 seconds), followed by juniors Abby Schofield (11th, 20:41.31), Michelle Kaiser (20:55.2), Elli Moehrman (21st, 21:17.61) and Nikki Brown (28th, 21:51.55), freshman Alli Schroeder (34th, 22:08.16) and senior Colleen Colvin (40th, 22:31.12).

The regional meet was Saturday. The top four teams and individuals not on qualifying teams who finish in the top 16 advance to the state meet Saturday at Scioto Downs.

Last season, Kaiser finished 15th and Brown was 38th at the regional while competing as individuals. Kaiser became the third girl in program history to advance to state, where she took 69th.

•The girls soccer team's season ended Oct. 23 in the third round of the Division II tournament when Bexley's Sam Urell scored with 59 seconds remaining on a penalty kick.

The top-seeded and defending state-champion Lions played Ready to a 1-all tie on Aug. 31.

"It was pretty unfortunate to have it end on a penalty kick," coach Elise Berry said. "It doesn't feel like Bexley beat us. It's a little disheartening, but hopefully everyone will be coming back because I think Ready has a great up-and-coming team for next year."

Ready finished 7-9-2 overall and went 2-2 in the CCL to

finish behind co-champions Watterson and DeSales (3-0-1) and ahead of Columbus School for Girls (0-3-1) and Hartley (0-3-1).

The Silver Knights had no seniors.

Juniors Ciara Carr and Lauren Graessle and sophomore Donovan Capehart both made first-team all-CCL and junior Taylor Cutteridge and sophomore Brooke Ringel each were second-team all-league. Carr and Graessle were second-team all-district and Capehart made special mention.

Carr finished with 11 goals and five assists, Capehart had nine goals and six assists and Graessle finished with 106 saves.

"It's tough when you're at a small school because they all play other sports and we don't do a lot until July," said Berry, who completed her third season. "But the sky's the limit for this program. It's really more about getting the maturity to win games."

•The boys soccer team's season also ended Oct. 23.

After beating Granville Christian 5-0 on Oct. 20 in the first round of the Division III tournament, the Silver Knights lost to third-seeded Bloom-Carroll 1-0 in a second-round game to finish 6-8-2.

"We played pretty well against the No. 3 team in the district," first-year coach Sam Sunseri said. "We just gave up an unfortunate goal in the 20th minute."

Ready went 0-4 in the CCL to finish behind co-champion DeSales and Hartley (3-0-1) as well as St. Charles (2-2) and Watterson (1-3).

The Silver Knights will lose Bill Marting, Robert Reed, Steve Rysavy and Joel Thomas to graduation. Reed and Rysavy both made first-team all-CCL and Thomas were second team. Reed made second-team all-district.

The top returnees should include juniors Zachary Wiser (second-team all-league), Josh Colley, Matt Feldkamp, Paul Ley, Joey Waldo and John Wright and sophomore Daniel Perry.

"We were pretty competitive this year," said Sunseri, whose team went 5-12 a year ago. "They didn't know how to compete last year. Once they understood their role, it was nice that everybody worked together."


At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Ready boys and girls cross country, football and girls volleyball teams:

CROSS COUNTRY

Oct. 23 - Boys: Did not score at Division III district meet at Watkins Memorial that was won by Liberty Union (67); Girls: Finished third (84) in Division II, District 1 meet at Watkins Memorial behind Granville (36) and London (84) to advance to regional Last Saturday - Girls: Competed in Division II regional at Pickerington North. The top four teams and individuals not on qualifying teams who finished in the top 16 advanced to state Saturday at Scioto Downs.

FOOTBALL

Oct. 22 - Lost to Columbus Crusaders 35-14 *Last Friday - Played Hartley

Of note: The Silver Knights were 4-5 before last Friday.

VOLLEYBALL

Oct. 21 - Defeated Columbus Academy 25-4, 25-9, 25-13 in first round of Division III tournament at Olentangy Liberty Oct. 23 - Def. Madison Plains 25-13, 25-11, 25-18 in second round of tournament at Licking Heights Last Wednesday - Def. Newark-Catholic 25-16, 21-25, 25-22, 25-18 in district semifinal Last Saturday - Played Heath in district final. Winner plays Thursday (7:30 p.m.) at Findlay Liberty-Benton vs. Huron or Castalia Margaretta in regional semifinal. Winner plays Saturday (2 p.m.) at Liberty-Benton vs. Rockford Parkway, Lima Central Catholic, Kansas Lakota or Genoa Area in regional final.

Of note: The Silver Knights were 18-7 before last Saturday.

*CCL contest