When the Olentangy Orange High School girls golf team repeated as Division I state champion, it was another day at the office.

Sure, there were high-fives along with some hugs, but the tears of joy from last year's first championship were gone. Instead, there were sighs of relief after the Pioneers put up record numbers Oct. 20 and 21 at Ohio State's Gray Course.

Orange set tournament records for lowest round (297 in the second round) and lowest two-round total (602). Mason had set the previous records -- 303 and 611 -- in 2010.

"Coming in, I felt a little more pressure than last year because there were more expectations," said junior Ashley Au, who tied for sixth overall of 72 golfers with a 145. "After the first round, all of the nerves went away and I was able to play this round stress-free."

The Pioneers were 10 strokes better than runner-up Centerville (612). Toledo St. Ursula (613) was third and Dublin Jerome (622) was fourth in the 12-team field. Cincinnati Walnut Hills' Katie Hallinan (137) was medalist.

Orange juniors Riley Dean and Natalia Sompolvorachai both shot 152 to tie for 15th, followed by seniors Alyssa Kim (153, tied for 20th) and Emily Fisher (166, tied for 39th).

"We didn't expect (to repeat) but we were confident, especially after the first day," Dean said of the team's 305 first-round performance. "We took it one shot at a time. We needed a good score (in the second round), and we definitely got that."

Fifth-year coach Cari DeAngelis said the first round helped the Pioneers stay focused on what they needed to do to defend their championship.

"I think they all had such a good day (in the second round)," DeAngelis said. "I don't think they had any nerves out there because they were all feeling good. When you feel good the whole round and when you're confident, you aren't as on edge waiting on scores like last year."

Last fall on the same course in a weather-shortened event, Orange and Medina Highland each shot 311 and the Pioneers won the state title by having the better fifth-player score.

"Last year's experience helped us a lot," Au said. "It was my second time at state last year and I knew about the atmosphere and emotion. It also was different because it was a one-day tournament. This year, I was much more relaxed."

Orange also won league, sectional and district titles. It shot 304 at district to qualify for state along with runner-up Jerome (307) on Oct. 10 at Cooks Creek. The Pioneers shot 298 and were one of three teams to advance from the sectional Oct. 3 at Royal American.

Orange won its third consecutive league title by going 19-1 in the OCC-Buckeye Division. Liberty (17-3) was second, followed by Westerville Central (12-8), Olentangy (8-12), Westerville North (4-16) and Westerville South (0-20).

Dean averaged 69.75 in the four league rounds to earn Player of the Year honors. Au (73.0 average) and Sompolvorachai (74.0) also were on the first team.

With three players expected to return from the starting lineup, the Pioneers may have a chance at a third state title in a row.

"It might be more challenging because we lose Alyssa and Emily, who were keys for us," Dean said. "The toughest part was knowing that two of us won't be back next year. We're such a close team and we get along so well that it was kind of in the back our heads throughout state."

Boys, girls runners advance to regional

The boys and girls cross country teams will compete in the Division I regional meet Saturday, Oct. 28, at Pickerington North.

The top five teams and top 20 individuals advance to state Nov. 4 at National Trail Raceway.

Allison Guagenti won the 18-team district 3 girls race Oct. 21 at Watkins Memorial in 17 minutes, 55.03 seconds as the top six teams and top 24 individuals advanced to regional.

The girls were third (98 points) behind champion Hilliard Davidson (25).

Lindsay Ott (seventh, 19:03.01), Zoe Bond (12th, 19:26.24), Olivia Dieckmann (31st, 20:27.12), Grace Frye (47th, 20:58.41), Paige Benecke (65th, 21:28.95) and Natalie Johnson (82nd, 22:10.94) also competed.

The boys were third (74) in the 17-team district 2 race behind champion North (56) as the top five teams and top 20 individuals advanced.

Tommy Wintering (seventh, 15:57.2) and Andrew Schroff (eighth, 16:01.09) led Orange, followed by Jack Schiefelbein (13th, 16:25.82), Tyler King (15th, 16:30.93), Brant Yocum (31st, 17:04.79), Cole Benishek (32nd, 17:06.52) and Cody Moore (50th, 17:32.28).

Boys soccer team wins two district games

The 19th-seeded boys soccer team played top-seeded Liberty on Oct. 25 in a Division I district semifinal.

The winner plays sixth-seeded Westerville South or 15th-seeded Canal Winchester in a district final Saturday, Oct. 28, at a site to be determined. Orange lost to South 3-0 on Sept. 26 in OCC-Buckeye play.

The district champion plays in a regional semifinal at a date and neutral site to be determined.

The Pioneers improved to 8-7-3 by defeating 47th-seeded Newark 8-0 on Oct. 21 in a second-round game. Eddie Muller and Grant Simon both scored two goals.

On Oct. 18 in the first round, Orange defeated 35th-seeded Dublin Scioto 3-0 as Simon scored twice.

Girls soccer team reaches district semi

The ninth-seeded girls soccer team played second-seeded Dublin Coffman on Oct. 24 in a Division I district semifinal.

The winner plays fifth-seeded Hilliard Bradley or eighth-seeded Liberty in a district final Saturday, Oct. 28, at a site to be determined. The Pioneers defeated Liberty 2-1 on Sept. 12 in OCC-Buckeye play.

The district champion plays in a regional semifinal at a date and neutral site to be determined.

Orange improved to 10-6-1 by defeating 27th-seeded Pickerington Central 6-0 on Oct. 19 in a second-round game as Delaney Earl scored three goals.

Girls volleyball team back in district semi

The fourth-seeded girls volleyball team played 19th-seeded Lancaster in a Division I district semifinal Oct. 24 at Franklin Heights.

The winner plays fifth-seeded Pickerington North or 11th-seeded Hartley in a district final Saturday, Oct. 28, at Franklin Heights. The Pioneers defeated Hartley 25-17, 25-17, 17-25, 18-25, 15-11 on Sept. 7.

The district champion advances to a regional semifinal Nov. 2 at Worthington Kilbourne.

Orange won its first district championship last season.

The Pioneers improved to 19-4 by defeating 41st-seeded Westerville South 25-16, 25-10, 25-16 on Oct. 18 in a second-round match.

Field hockey team falls to Golden Bears

The ninth-seeded field hockey team finished 8-8-1 overall, losing to seventh-seeded Upper Arlington 1-0 in two overtimes Oct. 17 in the first round of district play.

The Pioneers tied Jerome for fifth (2-4-1) in the Central Ohio Field Hockey League-West behind Thomas Worthington (7-0), Liberty (6-1), UA (5-2) and Olentangy (4-3) and ahead of Coffman (1-6) and Scioto (0-7).

Defender Izzy Altier (24 steals, 81 assists), defender Kendall Baehr (2 goals), midfielder/forward Makenzie Cooper (5 goals, 2 assists, 41 steals, 65 interceptions) and forward Hannah Lower (4 goals, 3 assists) led an eight-player senior class.

Juniors Josie Carcamo (defender; 27 steals, 33 interceptions) and Abby Stedman (defender; 31 steals, 106 interceptions) are expected back along with sophomores Hannah Brown (midfielder; 2 goals, 3 assists, 97 steals, 145 interceptions), Taylor DiSabato (midfielder; 57 steals, 47 interceptions), Tatum Gibson (goalie; 62 saves, 4 shutouts), Mia Jakubowski (defender; 20 steals, 68 interceptions) and Josie Vance (midfielder; 32 steals, 95 interceptions) and freshman Sydney Lowry (forward; 3 goals, 53 steals, 46 interceptions).

shennen@thisweeknews.com

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