Members of the Olentangy Orange High School girls golf team were jubilant in the parking lot at Westchester, singing, dancing and laughing after earning their second consecutive league championship.
The Pioneers shot a 290 on Sept. 12 to finish first in the fourth and final round of the OCC-Buckeye Division tournament, easily outdistancing Liberty (305), Westerville Central (354), Olentangy (371), Westerville North (451) and Westerville South (464).
The dominating performance clinched the league title for the reigning Division I state champions. Orange (19-1) finished ahead of Liberty (17-3), Central (12-8), Olentangy (8-12), North (4-16) and South (0-20).
"As you can probably tell, we have a lot of fun," said junior Natalia Sompolvorachai, a move-in from West Chester Lakota West who shot 75 at Westchester.
"We get along great and we bond every time we get together. We laugh a lot and everyone on the team is happy. It's great to win the league because we've earned it. Everyone has been playing so well."
Junior Riley Dean has led the way. She was medalist at Westchester with a 68 and finished with an average of 69.75 in the four rounds to earn league Player of the Year honors.
In the other three rounds, Dean was medalist with a 69 on Aug. 9 at Mentel Memorial and a 71 on Aug. 15 at Royal American before shooting a 71 on Aug. 29 at Cooks Creek, where junior teammate Ashley Au was medalist with a 70.
"My ball-striking has been better and I'm hitting more greens," Dean said. "It's great to win (the league title) again because we're playing well and we have some really good players."
Last season, Orange tied Dublin Jerome for the OCC-Cardinal championship at 26-2. With the Pioneers now in the OCC-Buckeye, the Celtics won the OCC-Cardinal at 24-0.
"The girls have done a great job and they were able to win back-to-back titles for the first time in the program's history," coach Cari DeAngelis said. "Last year, we were co-champions, so getting it outright this season is even better."
Senior Alyssa Kim shot 72 at Westchester. Au had a 75 and senior Emily Fisher added a 79 for her first 18-hole round under 80.
Au (73.0 average) and Sompolvorachai (74.0) joined Dean as first-team all-league.
"Riley just had a great round and four great rounds for us," DeAngelis said. "Ashley and Natalia had great rounds and Alyssa came out and shot par (72) despite being sick. Then Emily came out and had her lowest round ever, which is good to see going into the postseason."
The Pioneers are the district's top seed and will compete in a sectional tournament Oct. 3 at Royal American. The top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advance to district Oct. 10 at Cooks Creek.
Last season, Orange shot 324 to win a sectional championship at Royal American as Au was medalist with a 72. It then edged runner-up Jerome 327-330 to win district at The Links at Groveport.
In the state tournament at Ohio State's Gray Course, Orange and Medina Highland each shot 311 and the Pioneers won the title by having the better fifth-player score.
"If we get to state, we know we have the ability to win," Dean said. "We need to play our game and not stress out too much."
Boys golfers finish
fourth in league
The boys golf team finished fourth (10-10) in the OCC-Buckeye behind Liberty (20-0), Olentangy (14-6) and Central (12-8) and ahead of North (4-16) and South (0-20).
In the fourth and final round of league play Sept. 13 at Darby Creek, the Pioneers were fourth (318) behind Liberty (302), Olentangy (305) and Central (316) and ahead of North (391) and South (397).
Nate English (75) and Alex Cabungcal (76) led Orange, followed by Connor Cummins (83), Jonathan Green (84) and Nathan Brown (86).
English led the Pioneers with a 77.5 league average and Green averaged 78.5. Liberty's Cole Corder was Player of the Year with an average of 72.0.
The Pioneers will play in a Division I sectional Oct. 3 at Turnberry. The top four teams and top four individuals not on qualifying teams advance to district Oct. 10 at Apple Valley.
Field hockey team
looking for offense
The field hockey team has scored just seven goals in nine games and was 3-5-1 overall and 1-3-1 in the Central Ohio Field Hockey League-West after defeating Dublin Coffman 2-0 on Sept. 18.
Hannah Lower and Kendall Baehr both scored against the Shamrocks.
Hannah Brown scored both goals in a 2-1 win over Bexley on Sept. 6, and Devyn Fischer scored as Orange tied Jerome at 1 on Sept. 13 in league play.
Goalkeeper Tatum Gibson had 32 saves.
Below are the coming schedules for the Orange cross country, field hockey, boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 23 -- Saturday Night Lights at Centerville
Sept. 23 -- Home vs. McMurray (Pa.) Peters Township
*Sept. 25 -- Home vs. Dublin Scioto
*Sept. 27 -- At Upper Arlington
Sept. 21 -- Grove City at The Lakes
Sept. 23 -- Wedgewood Showcase
Sept. 25 -- OCC Shootout at Moundbuilders
Sept. 21 -- Olentangy Liberty and Olentangy at Scioto Reserve
Sept. 26 -- Watterson at Safari
Sept. 21 -- Home vs. St. Charles
*Sept. 26 -- Home vs. Westerville South
Sept. 21 -- At Canal Winchester
Sept. 23 -- Home vs. Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit
*Sept. 26 -- At South
Sept. 21 -- Home vs. Upper Arlington B
Sept. 26 -- At Pickerington North
Sept. 27 -- Home vs. Thomas Worthington
Sept. 23-24 -- NEO Power Tournament at Mentor
*Sept. 26 -- At Liberty. The Pioneers defeated the Patriots 25-15, 25-19, 25-22 on Sept. 5.