The Ready High School girls volleyball team isn’t overly concerned with its results early this season.

Of more importance to the Silver Knights is where they end up two months from now.

From 2007-12, Ready often played programs from Divisions I and II to prepare for the postseason, and the philosophy worked as it went 114-44 with two Division III state tournament appearances.

After going 12-12 last season, the Knights were 5-4 overall and 0-2 in the CCL before playing Hartley on Sept. 5. They won the Heath Invitational on Sept. 2, posting wins over Whitehall (25-19, 25-12), Springfield (25-10, 25-19) and Zanesville Maysville (25-9, 25-19).

“Last year we had the second-toughest schedule in Ohio, so we’re not afraid to play anybody,” said Kusan, who is in the second season of his second tenure leading the Knights.

Ready opened Aug. 19 by beating Westland 25-11, 25-9, losing to Hilliard Bradley 25-20, 19-25, 25-20 and beating host Licking Valley 25-18, 25-19.

Then on Aug. 23, the Knights fell to Sparta Highland 25-15, 25-10, 25-16 in a rematch of a contest they lost 21-25, 25-12, 25-11, 25-20 in a district semifinal a year ago. Highland has won three district titles in four seasons, including last fall.

On Aug. 29, Ready lost its CCL opener 25-11, 25-19, 25-20 at Watterson. It then lost to DeSales 25-12, 25-15, 25-9 on Aug. 31.

Back to lead the Knights is senior setter Jordan Kusan, who is one of the coach’s daughters. Another daughter, 2013 Ready graduate Karley Kusan, played for the University of Akron and has been assisting.

Senior Hannah Williams, a 6-foot outside hitter/right-side hitter, is one of the key players on offense along with seniors Brenna Forrest (middle hitter) and Jaide Lehnert (middle hitter) and junior outside hitter Lauren Whitt.

The other seniors are Bella Hoersten (outside hitter/defensive specialist), Bridget Hooker (defensive specialist), Natalie Sexton (defensive specialist) and Jessie Winslow (defensive specialist).

Freshman defensive specialist/right-side hitter Bella Illig is among those in the program with extensive club experience.

Also on the team are junior outside hitter/defensive specialist Alysia George and sophomore setter Bre Hejduk.

“Everyone has high expectations, but we know we’ve got a lot of work to do,” coach Kusan said. “We don’t have as much experience when it comes to club, so we’re hoping we can win some close, competitive matches. We’ve struggled a little with communication and simple stuff because the girls haven’t been through it enough. But I’m very optimistic.”

Football team
to face Trojans

The football team bounced back from an opening 31-0 loss to Columbus Academy on Aug. 25 by beating Lakewood 49-13 on Sept. 1.

On Friday, Sept. 8, the Knights visit Centerburg for the first meeting between the programs.

The Trojans lost to Lucas 37-7 on Sept. 1. In their 19-14 win Aug. 25 over Utica, senior Tyler Boales returned the opening kickoff 84 yards for a score and senior Seth Belt ran for touchdowns of 34 and 5 yards, with the latter coming with 3 minutes, 59 seconds left for the winning points.

In Ready’s opener, Academy running back Herman Moultrie rushed for 166 yards and two touchdowns and returned a fumble for a score. The Knights trailed 21-0 by halftime.

Boys soccer team
taking steps forward

With 18 players and nearly everyone back from last season, things have been going well for the boys soccer team.

After losing to Marion Pleasant 4-0 on Aug. 18, the Knights tied Delaware Christian at 3 on Aug. 26, lost to Harvest Prep 2-0 on Aug. 30 and fell to Liberty Union 4-0 on Sept. 2.

Ready went 5-9-2 last season.

“We lost two (players to graduation) at critical positions, but we didn’t lose a lot in terms of numbers,” second-year coach Cameron VanTilburg said. “We’re taking steps in the right direction. We’re really incredibly young in that 12 of our players are either freshmen or sophomores. The talent is good.”

Seniors Clay Cutteridge (sweeper), Alan Delgado (center midfielder), Jordan Gantz (center midfielder) and Aaron Moehrman (left back) and sophomore goalkeeper Bailey Garren are the top returnees. Cutteridge, Gantz and Moehrman all were second-team all-league last fall.

Garren was at forward last season but has taken over in goal to replace Harrison VanTilburg, the coach’s brother and a four-year starter who was first-team all-league and is now playing for Wittenberg.

The other senior is forward/goalie Braedon Bowers, and the only junior is forward Nick Drew.

Other sophomores on the team are Eli Bowles (right back), Kyle Caisaguano (stopper/center midfielder), German Garcia (defender), Jonas Happ (forward/outside midfielder), Luke Monovich (forward) and Jonathan Santiago (forward/midfielder).

Freshmen who are contributing include James Collaguazo (outside midfielder), Gabriel Houston (forward/midfielder), Alec Smetanko (outside midfielder/outside back) and Elias Wahl (outside midfielder).

Green looking to grow
cross country program

All five of the boys cross country team’s runners from a year ago have returned, and the squad has expanded to eight competitors.

There are five athletes on the girls team.

“We’ve got more boys out this year and we’ve been looking pretty good,” second-year coach Rich Green said. “We’re looking for a couple more girls because we’ve only got five, but we’re looking a lot stronger. This year, everybody has been responding well.”

Junior Evan Cordle is back as the boys team’s No. 1 runner after finishing 27th (18:43.69) in last year’s Division III, district 1 meet. The top 12 individuals advanced to regional.

The other returnees are junior Grant Cordle, Evan’s twin, as well as juniors Daniel Hamilton and Dominic Tokar and sophomore Fernando Arias.

Sophomore Hunter McBrayer is new to the team but was among the Knights’ top runners during the preseason. Also on the team are junior John Pyles and sophomore Cameron Jones.

Junior Brigitte Bowman is the top returning girl after finishing 76th (23:20.2) at district last season. Also returning are senior Olivia French and juniors Emily O’Connell and Abbey Wasto.

Junior LeeAnn Sapp rounds out the roster.

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek

Schedules

CROSS COUNTRY

Sept. 2 – Circleville Kiwanis Invitational

Sept. 9 – McGowan Invitational at Watkins Memorial

Sept. 23 – Ruth and Marion Gray Invitational at Madison Christian

Sept. 30 – Erin Nance Fall Distance Classic at London Country Club

Oct. 7 – Johnstown Invitational

Oct. 14 – CCL meet at Otterbein University

BOYS SOCCER

Aug. 18 – at Marion Pleasant

Aug. 26 – at Delaware Christian

Aug. 30 – at Harvest Prep

Sept. 2 – at Liberty Union

Sept. 5 – at Northside Christian

*Sept. 12 – at St. Charles

Sept. 14 – at Patriot Prep

Sept. 16 – vs. Grove City Christian

*Sept. 19 – vs. DeSales

Sept. 20 – vs. Village Academy

*Sept. 26 – at Hartley

*Oct. 3 – vs. Watterson

Oct. 7 – vs. Williamsport Westfall

Oct. 10 – at West Jefferson

Oct. 12 – at Tree of Life

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Aug. 19 – at Licking Valley with Westland and Hilliard Bradley

Aug. 23 – at Sparta Highland

*Aug. 29 – at Watterson

*Aug. 31 – at DeSales

Sept. 2 – Heath Invitational

*Sept. 5 – vs. Hartley

*Sept. 7 – vs. Columbus School for Girls

Sept. 12 – at Grandview

*Sept. 14 – vs. Watterson

*Sept. 19 – vs. DeSales

*Sept. 21 – at Hartley

Sept. 23 – at Frankfort Adena with Fairfield Union

*Sept. 26 – at Columbus School for Girls

Oct. 3 – vs. Utica

Oct. 9 – at Worthington Kilbourne

Oct. 11 – vs. Galion Northmor

Oct. 12 – at Grove City

*League contest

Below are the coming schedules for the Ready girls golf, girls soccer and girls tennis teams:

GIRLS GOLF

Sept. 7 – OCC B at Buck Ridge

Sept. 12 – Grandview at National Road

Sept. 13 – DeSales at National Road

GIRLS SOCCER

Sept. 7 – At Buckeye Valley

Sept. 9 – Home vs. Tree of Life

Sept. 12 – At West Jefferson

GIRLS TENNIS

Sept. 7 – At Grandview

*Sept. 12 – At Hartley

Sept. 13 – At Central Crossing

*League contest