The Olentangy Liberty High School girls volleyball team plans to make its presence felt at both the league and district levels again this fall.
Although the Patriots went 20-6 overall last season, they settled for a runner-up finish in the OCC-Buckeye Division at 8-2 and were Division I district runners-up.
Liberty opened by beating DeSales 26-28, 20-25, 25-23, 25-17, 15-10 on Aug. 21 and then defeated Gahanna 25-21, 20-25, 25-15, 25-20 on Aug. 24.
The win over DeSales avenged a 25-18, 25-17, 21-25, 25-11 loss to the Stallions in last year's district final, and Gahanna was a regional runner-up a year ago.
The Patriots were 6-0 before opening league play Sept. 5 at Orange, which won the OCC-Buckeye title at 9-1 last season.
"I like that they're hungry," 15th-year coach Jen Chapman said. "It's a fun group to be around and I feel like position-wise, we're pretty solid all the way around."
The top returnee is senior Maddie Fogg, who is in her fourth season at setter and was first-team all-league last season. Senior outside hitter Heather Littlejohn was second-team all-league.
Senior outside hitter Chloe Merritt is expected to miss the season with a knee injury.
The other senior is defensive specialist Cameryn Dyer.
Other key players are juniors Grace Clark (outside hitter), Abby Erickson (middle hitter), Camryn Jefferson (outside hitter), Taylor Karlo (middle hitter) and Maile Steckelberg (defensive specialist), sophomores Sydney Novy (defensive specialist) and Claranne Fechter (outside hitter/defensive specialist) and freshman Logan Flaugh (setter).
Field hockey team out
to build on state run
A trio of seniors and a pair of juniors are leading the field hockey team as it attempts to build on its first appearance in the state tournament.
The Patriots were 4-1 overall and 3-0 in the Central Ohio Field Hockey League-West after beating Orange 5-0 on Sept. 2 and before playing Dublin Jerome on Sept. 6. They opened league play with wins over Dublin Scioto (11-0 on Aug. 23) and Upper Arlington (2-1 on Aug. 30).
Liberty lost 10 players to graduation after finishing 14-4-1, including Ohio State freshman Mara Hunter (17 goals, 3 assists) and Ohio University freshman Claire Buckey (9 goals, 9 assists).
"The program is bigger than any one class," sixth-year coach Marianne Flannery said. "We expect to be on the field in the (district) final again this year."
The top returnees are seniors Grace Buckey (mid-fielder/forward), Sophia Englehart (defender/midfielder) and Mollie McCormack (midfielder) and juniors Addie Druckenbroad (forward) and Sienna Sakich (defender). McCormack had 17 goals and four assists and Grace Buckey had 15 goals last season.
Sophomore Allie Darraugh and freshman Anna Bean are at goalkeeper.
Others on the team include seniors Claire Coker (defender) and Sydnie Walters (defender), juniors Lexi Cantrell (forward), Haley Eckart (forward), Lauren Mace (defender), Maddie Rader (midfielder) and Lauren Warner (defender) and sophomores Anna Benton (midfielder), Faith DiMantova (defender) and Dani Worrell (forward).
Golf teams battling
for league titles
The boys and girls golf teams both are in contention to win OCC-Buckeye championships heading into the fourth and final round of their respective league tournaments.
The boys shot 295 on Aug. 30 to finish first in the third round at Apple Valley as Trey Rath and Cole Corder tied for second (72), followed by Jacob Hickman (74), Grant Smeltzer (77) and Josh Steyer (77). The Patriots lead the league at 15-0 heading into the final round Wednesday, Sept. 13, at Darby Creek.
The girls shot 312 to finish second behind Orange (287) in the third round Aug. 29 at Cooks Creek as Kavya Manocha, Priyasha Kota and Makenna Brown each shot 76 and Sarah Latzke shot 84. The Patriots are 18-2 in the league to trail Orange (19-1) heading into the final round Tuesday, Sept. 12, at Westchester.
Aug. 19 -- at Cincinnati Ursuline
*Aug. 23 -- vs. Dublin Scioto
Aug. 26 -- vs. New Albany
*Aug. 30 -- vs. Upper Arlington
*Sept. 2 -- vs. Olentangy Orange
*Sept. 6 -- vs. Dublin Jerome
Sept. 9 -- at Worthington Kilbourne
Sept. 14 -- at Columbus Academy
Sept. 16 -- at Kettering Fairmont
Sept. 20 -- vs. Watterson
*Sept. 25 -- at Olentangy
*Sept. 27 -- at Thomas Worthington
Oct. 3 -- vs. Lancaster
*Oct. 9 -- at Dublin Coffman
Oct. 11 -- vs. Hilliard Lynx
Oct. 13 -- vs. Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame
Aug. 21 -- at DeSales
Aug. 22 -- vs. Marysville
Aug. 24 -- at Gahanna
Aug. 28 -- vs. Centerburg
Aug. 29 -- vs. Hilliard Davidson
Aug. 31 -- at Newark
*Sept. 5 -- at Orange
*Sept. 7 -- vs. Westerville South
*Sept. 12 -- at Westerville North
*Sept. 14 -- vs. Westerville Central
Sept. 16 -- Worthington Kilbourne Invitational
*Sept. 19 -- at Olentangy
Sept. 21 -- vs. Upper Arlington
*Sept. 26 -- vs. Orange
*Sept. 28 -- at Westerville South
*Oct. 3 -- vs. Westerville North
Oct. 4 -- vs. Pickerington Central
*Oct. 5 -- at Westerville Central
*Oct. 10 -- vs. Olentangy
Oct. 12 -- vs. Pickerington North
Below are the coming schedules for the Liberty cross country, boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls tennis teams:
Sept. 9 -- McGowan Invitational at Watkins Memorial
Sept. 9 -- St. Charles Invitational at Brookside
Sept. 13 -- OCC-Buckeye at Darby Creek
Sept. 11 -- Olentangy, Pickerington North and Watterson at Airport
Sept. 12 -- OCC-Buckeye at Westchester
Sept. 8 -- Home vs. Mason
*Sept. 12 -- At Olentangy Orange
Sept. 9 -- Home vs. Centerville
*Sept. 12 -- Home vs. Orange
*Sept. 7 -- Home vs. Westerville Central
*Sept. 13 -- At Olentangy