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.

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek

Schedules

FIELD HOCKEY

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

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

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

*League contest

Below are the coming schedules for the Liberty cross country, boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls tennis teams:

CROSS COUNTRY

Sept. 9 -- McGowan Invitational at Watkins Memorial

BOYS GOLF

Sept. 9 -- St. Charles Invitational at Brookside

Sept. 13 -- OCC-Buckeye at Darby Creek

GIRLS GOLF

Sept. 11 -- Olentangy, Pickerington North and Watterson at Airport

Sept. 12 -- OCC-Buckeye at Westchester

BOYS SOCCER

Sept. 8 -- Home vs. Mason

*Sept. 12 -- At Olentangy Orange

GIRLS SOCCER

Sept. 9 -- Home vs. Centerville

*Sept. 12 -- Home vs. Orange

GIRLS TENNIS

*Sept. 7 -- Home vs. Westerville Central

*Sept. 13 -- At Olentangy

*League contest