The Worthington Kilbourne High School girls volleyball team rolled through the first two rounds of the Division I district tournament.
Seeded sixth of 50 teams, the Wolves played eighth-seeded Olentangy in a district semifinal Oct. 25, with the winner advancing to play third-seeded DeSales or 23rd-seeded Westerville Central in a district final Saturday, Oct. 28, at Franklin Heights. The district champion advances to a regional semifinal Nov. 2 at Kilbourne.
The Wolves lost to top-seeded Dublin Coffman 25-14, 25-6, 25-14 in a district final last year.
"The girls are very aware of the opportunity to play at home again if we can make it to the regional," coach Meladee Hopkins said. "We talked about that before the tournament started. Right now, we are talking about just the match in front of us.
"But how cool would that be to be able to play at home in a regional?"
In home matches, Kilbourne defeated 46th-seeded Central Crossing 25-17, 25-8, 25-12 in the first round Oct. 17 and beat 16th-seeded Grove City 25-20, 26-24, 24-26, 25-18 in the second round Oct. 19 to improve to 21-3.
"We played as well as we needed to against Central Crossing and played pretty well against Grove City when we had to make some adjustments to the lineup due to an injury to (outside hitter) Taylor Katz," Hopkins said. "She sprained an ankle and we're not sure if she'll be back.
"We are continuing to play well as a team. I thought (middle hitter) Sarah Baxter had a great match against Grove City."
Four runners qualify for regional
Although the boys and girls cross country teams were not able to advance from the Division I district meet Oct. 21 at Watkins Memorial, each will have two representatives in the regional meet Saturday, Oct. 28, at Pickerington North.
Competing for the boys team at regional will be junior Jack Begley and sophomore Tanner Williams, who finished 21st (16 minutes, 36.09 seconds) and 22nd (16:36.94), respectively, of 124 runners in the district 3 meet.
The top six teams and top 24 runners advanced to regional.
"I knew I had to pick it up at about the two-mile mark when a coach yelled at the guy in front of me that he was 25th," Williams said. "I always try to stay with Jack because he was so much ahead of me at the beginning of the year. I have been able to close the gap during the season, but I still want to be right with him.
"I was a second off my (personal record) at district and my goal was to lower it. I think I can get it at regional."
Begley and Williams will be making their first appearances at regional.
The Wolves placed eighth (203 points) of 16 teams at district, behind champion Olentangy Liberty (49). Hilliard Darby (168) earned the final regional berth.
Also scoring for the Wolves were John Cuozzo (49th, 17:19.95), Gabe Knuth (53rd, 17:27.12) and Chris Valade (58th, 17:34.21).
Competing at regional for the girls team will be sophomore Sasha Bomser and senior Keira Smith, who placed 17th (19:45.11) and 22nd (20:01), respectively, of 125 runners in the district 3 meet.
Bomser and Smith will be making their second trips to regional. Last year, Bomser finished 46th (20:57.87) of 117 runners and Smith was 71st (21:38.19) as the Wolves competed as a team.
"I was excited and nervous last year and we didn't do super," Smith said. "Sasha and I won't be as nervous this year. Our ultimate goal is to make it to state. But based on the competition, if we just run well and are competitive, I'll be fine with that."
The Wolves finished ninth (227) of 18 teams at district, behind champion Hilliard Davidson (25). Big Walnut (195) was sixth.
Also scoring for Kilbourne were Madeline Allen (45th, 20:55.92), Amya Harris (66th, 21:32.92) and Sydney Shannon (77th, 21:59.81).
"It (stinks) that we're not going as a team this year, but I still feel like we ran well as a team at districts because everyone was under 22 minutes," Bomser said. "Last year was a letdown at regional. I just want to be happy with my time and place this year. If it's good enough for state, that's a bonus."
Boys soccer team reaches district semi
The boys soccer team won its first two games in the Division I district tournament and played at 18th-seeded Gahanna in a district semifinal Oct. 25.
The winner will play second-seeded Coffman or 13th-seeded Thomas in a district final Saturday, Oct. 28, at a neutral site to be determined. The district champion advances to a regional semifinal, with the date and site still to be determined.
Kilbourne defeated Thomas 5-1 on Oct. 10.
The 27th-seeded Wolves advanced with a pair of 2-1 victories, beating host Delaware in the first round Oct. 18 and fifth-seeded New Albany in the second round Oct. 25 at Westerville Central to improve to 6-8-4.
William Wiet and Lucas Hershberger scored against New Albany and goalkeeper Jason Bowen made seven saves.
Against Delaware, the Wolves trailed 1-0 but scored off a pair of set pieces for a 2-1 halftime lead that stood up the rest of the game. Jimmy Sauder scored off a free kick by Jacob Roberts with 10:23 left in the half and Chris Guerra scored on a free kick with 4:10 left. Bowen made three saves.
Field hockey team wins tourney opener
Kate Pilcher and Gracie Burford both scored two goals as the field hockey team rolled past 10th-seeded Bexley 5-1 on Oct. 18 to advance to a district semifinal at fourth-seeded Olentangy Liberty on Oct. 24.
Leighanne Jordan also scored for the sixth-seeded Wolves, who improved to 9-6-2, and goalie Arianna Garver made six saves.
The semifinal winner will play second-seeded Columbus Academy or seventh-seeded Upper Arlington in a district final Saturday, Oct. 28, at Liberty. The district champion advances to a state semifinal Nov. 3 at UA.
Girls water polo team places 10th at state
The girls water polo team finished 10th in the 11-team state tournament Oct. 20 and 21 at Cincinnati Princeton.
The 10th-seeded Wolves lost their first two games by 8-7 scores on Oct. 20, falling to the seventh-seeded Columbus Hawks club team and ninth-seeded Milford. Kilbourne beat 11th-seeded Sylvania 8-5 the next day to finish 7-20-1.
The boys state tournament is Friday, Oct. 27, and Saturday, Oct. 28, at Mason and Princeton.
Kilbourne is seeded 10th of 12 teams and opens against seventh-seeded Mason on Oct. 27 at Princeton. The Wolves are 6-24.
Girls soccer team losing five seniors
The girls soccer team is losing five seniors but should return a lot more experience next season when it will look to improve on a 2-12-2 overall record.
The Wolves' season ended Oct. 16 with a 4-0 loss at 13th-seeded Upper Arlington in the first round of the Division I district tournament. Kilbourne was seeded 30th of 42 teams.
The Wolves went 0-5-1 in the OCC-Cardinal Division to place seventh, behind Dublin Jerome (5-0-1), Darby (5-1), Hilliard Bradley (3-2-1), Thomas (2-3-1), Delaware (1-3-2) and Dublin Scioto (1-3-2).
The seniors are Ashley Carson (midfielder), Ranyah Chaine (defender), Maggie Crozier (midfielder/forward), Ashley Laudermilch (defender) and Ashlyn Matto (midfielder/def-ender).
Expected returnees include juniors Eleni Alexander (midfielder/defender), Jill Baumgardner (goalie), Natalie Guist (midfielder/forward), Kayla Morris (midfielder/forward), Emma Phillips (forward), Courtney Ream (midfielder/for-ward) and Grace Tefend (midfielder/defender), sophomore Sasha Estice (midfielder/def-ender), Taylor Leachman (midfielder), Lauren Lickman (midfielder/defender) and Ciera McKibben (defender) and freshmen Ella Bally (midfielder) and Abby English (defender).