After seeing its OCC-Ohio Division title hopes come to an end, the Grove City High School boys soccer team responded with a strong effort in a 2-1 win over Westerville South on Oct. 12.

Coach Bryan Mulvany was hoping the Greyhounds could carry that momentum into the Division I district tournament.

Grove City played host to 16th-seeded Hilliard Bradley in the first round Oct. 18. The 14th-seeded Greyhounds, who lost to Bradley 2-0 on Oct. 5, entered the game 8-5-3 overall.

"We're playing good soccer," Mulvany said. "Our schedule going into the season was back-loaded. The teams that we're playing, most of them are in the top 10 in the (area). We've had some results that we're not excited about, but that's part of getting ready for the tournament."

Grove City's schedule included games against district-ranked Pickerington North, South, Hilliard Darby and Westerville Central. It went 1-3 against those teams.

The Greyhounds began last week by losing at North 2-1 on Oct. 10 to finish second in the league at 3-1-1, behind the Panthers (5-0).

"When you finish second in the league two years in a row and nobody is satisfied, your program is going in the right direction," said Mulvany, whose team tied Pickerington Central for second (3-1-1) last fall behind North (4-1). "That's something that hasn't happened around here for a long time. These kids have continued to push the expectations. The expectations are not win a couple games in our league anymore."

Grove City opened the scoring against North on Will Isaac's goal early in the second half, but the Panthers answered with goals from Will Harr and Evan Herd.

Greyhounds goalkeeper Oaklund Smith had five saves.

"I thought our boys were well prepared," Mulvany said. "I thought we had them well scouted. We jumped out to an early lead and had a couple guys that got nicked up. It obviously didn't turn out the way we wanted it to turn out, but I was proud of the way our boys battled."

The Grove City-Bradley winner plays host to 34th-seeded Westerville North in the second round Saturday, Oct. 21. The Greyhounds defeated North 4-1 in the season opener Aug. 18.

The winner plays third-seeded Dublin Jerome, 30th-seeded Dresden Tri-Valley or 43rd-seeded Franklin Heights in a district semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 25, at the home of the better seed.

The district final is Oct. 28 at a neutral site to be determined.

"I'm happy with the season," senior Bryce Hull said. "There are a couple games I was a little disappointed because I felt like we could have won. There are a couple games if we would have played better as a team we could have finished better, but I'm pretty happy with how we did."

Girls soccer team eyes tourney run

The girls soccer team finished in third place in the OCC-Ohio after falling to Pickerington North 5-1 on Oct. 10 at home.

Kennedy Fulks scored for the Greyhounds, who went 3-1-1 in the league to finish behind North (4-0-1) and Gahanna (3-0-2).

"The key to this team is the chemistry amongst the players and how they care for each other both on and off the field," coach Josh Keller said. "It's been a pleasure to coach them this year."

Grove City is 11-4-1 overall and seeded 11th for the Division I district tournament. They open the postseason Thursday, Oct. 19, by playing host to 17th-seeded DeSales in a second-round game.

The winner plays 10th-seeded Canal Winchester or 23rd-seeded Westerville Central in a district semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 24, at the home of the better seed. The Greyhounds defeated Davidson 2-0 on Sept. 7.

"Anytime you get past the first round, you're going to be playing a good team and we're going to be playing a bunch of good teams," Keller said. "That's just the way it is in central Ohio. If you're going to compete, you're going to have to compete against some good teams. We have Gahanna and Pick North in our league, so we see two of the best teams every year."

The district final is Oct. 28 at a neutral site to be determined with top-seeded North as a potential opponent.

"North has an incredibly talented team, I tip my cap to them," Keller said. "The better team won (Oct. 10), but there's a possibility we could see each other in a district final in a couple of weeks."

Cross country teams prepare for district

The boys and girls cross country teams prepared for the Division I district meet by competing in the OCC-Ohio meet Oct. 14 at Lancaster.

The boys finished fifth (151) behind Pickerington North (36), Lancaster (48), Pickerington Central (69) and Gahanna (88) and ahead of Reynoldsburg (166). Evan Whitaker was 11th of 56 runners in 17 minutes, 11.56 seconds, followed by Adam Meister (30th, 18:16.51) and Zach Elliott (46th, 19:32.5).

The girls finished sixth (149) behind Gahanna (26), Lancaster (47), Central (92), Reynoldsburg (106) and North (118). Lindsay Donaldson was 22nd of 53 runners in 21:49.93, followed by Maylene Renninger (33rd, 23:03.28) and Sumer McWilliams (34th, 23:04.29).

The boys and girls will compete in the district 3 meet Saturday, Oct. 21, at Watkins Memorial. The top six teams and top 24 individuals advance to the regional Oct. 28 at North.

Girls volleyball team opens postseason

The 16th-seeded girls volleyball team was 12-9 before playing at 14th-seeded Canal Winchester in the first round of the Division I district tournament Oct. 17.

The winner plays sixth-seeded Worthington Kilbourne or 46th-seeded Central Crossing in the second round Thursday, Oct. 19, at the home of the better seed, with that winner playing eighth-seeded Olentangy, 34th-seeded Marysville or 40th-seeded Columbus West in a semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 25, at Franklin Heights.

The district final is Oct. 28 at Franklin Heights.

Boys golfer Erwin competes at district

Senior Nick Erwin closed his career with the boys golf team by competing in the Division I district tournament Oct. 10 at Apple Valley.

Erwin, who has committed to play baseball at Ohio State, tied for 16th of 72 golfers with a 77.

On Oct. 3, Grove City finished sixth (326) in the 13-team Darby Creek sectional behind champion Jerome (280) as Erwin shot a 77 to advance to district.

Grove City went 13-7 in the OCC-Ohio to finish third behind Gahanna (17-3) and Pickerington North (14-6) and ahead of Pickerington Central (12-8), Lancaster (4-16) and Reynoldsburg (0-20).

Erwin was first-team all-league, and sophomore Ian Johnston and freshman Jeremiah Bane were second-team all-league

Junior Nathan Eberle and sophomore Connor Estep also are eligible to return.

Girls golfer Saur reaches district

Freshman Lizzie Saur of the girls golf team closed her season by competing in the Division I district tournament Oct. 10 at Cooks Creek. She tied for 33rd of 54 golfers with an 85.

"Lizzie had a great experience at the district tournament," coach Megan Blaney said. "She set a goal for herself at the beginning of the season to get to district and she accomplished that goal.

"I'm extremely proud of her and all the work she has put into the season."

Saur earned a district berth by qualifying from the Royal American sectional, where she shot an 87 on Oct. 3 as the Greyhounds finished fourth (390) behind district-qualifiers Olentangy Orange (298), Olentangy Liberty (327) and Watterson (365).

Seniors Avery Imes and Madisyn Boyd, sophomore Abigail Jones and freshman Ysabel Gomez also competed.

The Greyhounds went 11-9 in the OCC-Ohio to finish third behind co-champions Pickerington North and Gahanna (both 18-2) and ahead of Pickerington Central (7-13), Big Walnut (5-15) and Lancaster (1-19).

Saur was first-team all-league.

"Everyone on the team is hard working and we had a great season overall," Blaney said. "The team is losing three seniors, but hopefully with the addition of some new golfers next season we can be just as competitive, if not more. I'm really looking forward to seeing what the team can accomplish."

Girls tennis team closes season

The girls tennis team competed in a Division I sectional Oct. 6 at Reynoldsburg but did not qualify anyone for district.

Still, it was a strong season for the Greyhounds, who finished 18-4 overall.

"We had a very good season," coach Dan Witteman said. "All of the varsity players won key matches during the season."

In doubles at sectional, the teams of seniors Nichole Walsh and Sierra Massey and senior Hannah Singleton and junior Becca Bane each went 1-1.

In singles, seniors Brittany Bennett and Hayley Singleton and sophomore Olivia Norbut each went 0-1.

Grove City went 2-3 in the OCC-Ohio to finish fourth behind Pickerington Central (5-0), Pickerington North (4-1) and Gahanna (3-2) and ahead of Lancaster (1-4) and Reynoldsburg (0-5).

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank