The Westerville Central High School girls volleyball team captured its first Division I district championship Oct. 27 when it beat Gahanna 25-18, 25-23, 25-20 at Big Walnut.
The Warhawks improved to 23-2 and will play Pickerington North at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, at Hilliard Davidson in a regional semifinal. Westerville Central beat Pickerington North 15-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-23 on Sept. 24.
Central, which lost to Gahanna 25-18, 25-17 on Aug. 25, used the passing of setter Megan Mills and the hitting of Adrienne Agee, Jayla McCrary and Haley Kindall to avenge the early-season loss.
The Lions finished 17-7. It marked their second district runner-up appearance under coach Scot Holmes, who is stepping down after six seasons.
“We’ve been through so much together,” Agee said. “All of it has only made us stronger.”
In the other district final, top-seeded Dublin Coffman beat fifth-seeded Hilliard Bradley 23-25, 25-16, 25-21.
It is the sixth consecutive district title for the Shamrocks.
The Shamrocks, ranked eighth in the state, improved to 22-3 and will play third-ranked Massillon Jackson (25-1) at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, in a regional semifinal at Davidson.
“This means a lot to me and I can’t tell you how much it means to the kids,” coach Mary Anne Souder said of winning the consecutive titles. “The kids have been working so hard, getting to the gym at 8 a.m. in the summer when it would have been easier to stay in bed. It’s really well-deserved because of the work they have put in.”
Bradley (21-5) reached a district final for the second time in the program’s four seasons.
“I think we came out with a lot of enthusiasm and we made good choices with the ball,” Bradley coach RyAnne Ufferman said. “We were attacking the ball and not waiting for the ball to come to us. We lost that after the first game, and we let Coffman take control. You can’t do that with a team like they have.”
In the other Division I district final, Top-seeded Dublin Coffman had to rally to defeat No. 5 Hilliard Bradley.
The Shamrocks won 23-25, 25-16, 25-16, 25-12 and will play Massillon Jackson in a regional semifinal at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, at Davidson.
The regional final is 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at Davidson.
Last year, Pickerington North defeated Coffman in a regional semifinal 22-26, 16-25, 25-14, 26-24, 15-12 before losing to Findlay 17-25, 25-23, 20-25, 26-24, 15-9 in the final. Findlay advanced by beating Watterson 25-17, 22-25, 25-22, 25-18.
In Division II, top-seeded DeSales and sixth-seeded Amanda-Clearcreek won district titles Oct. 27 at Worthington Christian Middle School.
The Stallions beat defending state champion and second-seeded Hartley 25-20, 25-22, 37-35 and will play a regional semifinal Fairfield Union at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, at Zanesville. Dover and New Philadelphia will play in the other semifinal. The final is 2 p.m. Saturday.
A year ago, the Stallions lost to Mansfield Madison 25-22, 25-22, 18-25, 26-24 in a regional final.
The Aces beat fourth-seeded Licking Valley 25-12, 25-22, 28-26 and will play Norwalk at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, at Ontario. Parma Padua Franciscan and Pemberville Eastwood will play in the other semifinal. The winners will play 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3.
In Division III, fifth-seeded Ready defeated toppled No. 6 Heath 25-20, 25-21, 25-14 in the district final at Pickerington North.
The Silver Knights open regional play at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, against Huron at Findlay. The winner will play Archbold or Coldwater in the final at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3.
In Division IV at Hilliard Darby, top-seeded Newark Catholic defeated No. 4 Harvest Prep 25-20, 25-20, 25-22, and second-seeded Shekinah Christian topped No. 5 Delaware Christian 25-12, 25-7, 25-8.
—From staff reports