New coach Ricky Konkolewski still is working to put the pieces together for his Westerville North High School girls soccer team.

The Warriors finished 8-8-2 overall last season and tied Olentangy Liberty for third (2-2-1) in the OCC-Buckeye Division behind champion Olentangy Orange (4-1).

However, North was 0-3-1 before playing Upper Arlington on Aug. 28, leaving Konkolewski searching for solutions to get the team on a winning path.

"We want to put our best 11 girls on the field and we want to run a formation based on what we have available," said Konkolewski, a 2000 Olentangy graduate who has been a head coach in Texas. "We're still learning a lot about ourselves, but we have played a formation that is midfielder heavy. That's where our strength lies."

The Warriors have returned six starters, including senior Trinity Hassey (special mention all-league), junior Hanna Cripe and sophomore Makayla Parry in the midfield. Seniors Mikayla Martin (first-team all-league) and Riley Welsheimer (first-team all-league) return at forward and senior Eva Lower anchors the defense.

"Execution is the big thing for us right now," said Konkolewski, who replaced Brett Weiss after five seasons. "We need to finish scoring. Even in scrimmages, a lot of times we had as many shots as our opponents, but weren't scoring as much. We're working on finishing in practice."

The Warriors lost to Grove City 2-0 on Aug. 17 in the opener and tied New Albany at 4 on April 21. Parry scored the final three goals for North, including two in the final minute of the second half and the tying goal with 13 seconds remaining.

"We are all working really hard this season and we're working together as a team," Parry said. "When we work together as a team, we play well."

Senior Katie Koch also plays in the midfield along with junior Nia Hassey and freshman Emily Bordron, and junior Emily Kellar is a key contributor in the back.

Junior goalkeeper Abigail Markley has taken over for three-year starter Bethany Worm, a 2018 graduate. Her backup is sophomore Maggie Moc.

"Abigail has some big shoes to fill," Konkolewski said. "She didn't see much time last year, but she has worked hard and has done a really good job for us."

The Warriors also lost by 2-0 scores to Hilliard Darby on Aug. 23 and Big Walnut on Aug. 25. They open league play Sept. 10 against Westerville Central.

Boys soccer team looking to improve

Drew Buttermore expects to see improvement in his third season leading the boys soccer program.

Last fall, the Warriors finished 1-15-1 overall and sixth (0-5) in the OCC-Buckeye behind champion Liberty (4-0-1).

"One of their strengths is having a year of varsity experience and we hope that pays dividends for us," said Buttermore, whose team opens league play Sept. 11 at Central. "I think the biggest takeaway from last year is that they learned that they have to play a full 80 minutes. We lost a lot of close games in the final 10 minutes and we cannot let that happen this year."

North has nine starters back from last season, including senior forward Jovonni Auddino (third-team all-district, first-team all-league) and senior midfielder Rron Thaci (second-team all-league).

Also returning are seniors Adam Stefanelli (midfielder/defender) and Luke Trimmer (midfielder/defender), juniors Austin Bealer (midfielder/defender), Jacob Grant (midfielder/forward), Jacob Gruber (midfielder) and Owen Thompson (mid-fielder/forward) and sophomore Sam Olson (goalie).

"Even with all of the experience we have back and all of the skill we have in the midfield, we need more creativity around the goal," Buttermore said. "We need to create better opportunities than we have found early on this year."

The Warriors were 0-3 before playing UA on Aug. 28. They lost to Grove City 1-0 on Aug. 17, New Albany 2-1 on Aug. 21 and Darby 3-2 on Aug. 23.

Girls volleyball team out to strong start

The girls volleyball team won its first three matches after finishing 7-16 overall last season and tying Westerville South for fifth (1-9) in the OCC-Buckeye behind co-champions Liberty and Orange (both 9-1).

First-year coach Amanda Mosely is excited about the team's prospects.

"Things are going well and we are doing a lot of things right," said Mosely, who replaced Dylan Johnson after two seasons. "We're getting to know each other and who goes where on the court and what lineups work for us. Right now we have a solid lineup."

Returning starters are senior middle hitter Cameron Calhoun (88 kills, 98 blocks), junior libero Ameena Freeman (282 digs, 29 aces), junior middle hitter Clarke Gilchrist (honorable mention all-league; 101 kills, 106 blocks, 33 aces) and junior outside hitter Lily Miller (86 kills, 21 aces, 47 blocks, 99 digs).

Also in the mix are senior Mackenzie Lykins and freshman Grace Link on the right side, junior Lynn Burton and sophomore Addy Moore at setter and senior Maddy Hines at outside hitter.

Seniors Alice Stevenson (middle hitter) and Hailey Stickney (defensive specialist) also are in the rotation.

"One of the things I love is how you can explain something and you can see that they are so wanting to learn it," said Mosely, whose team opens league play Tuesday, Sept. 4, at Central. "They are learning to do things that they didn't know that they can do."

The Warriors defeated New Albany 25-18, 16-25, 25-17, 16-25, 15-9 on Aug. 21, Marysville 25-12, 25-13, 25-15 on Aug. 23 and Marion Harding 25-15, 25-8, 25-12 on Aug. 25.

shennen@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekHennen

Schedules

BOYS SOCCER

Aug. 17 -- vs. Grove City

Aug. 21 -- at New Albany

Aug. 23 -- vs. Hilliard Darby

Aug. 28 -- vs. Upper Arlington

Aug. 30 -- at Pickerington North

Sept. 4 -- at Dublin Coffman

Sept. 8 -- vs. Canal Winchester

*Sept. 11 -- at Westerville Central

Sept. 15 -- at Beavercreek

Sept. 18 -- vs. Gahanna

*Sept. 20 -- vs. Olentangy

*Sept. 25 -- at Olentangy Liberty

*Oct. 2 -- vs. Westerville South

Oct. 4 -- vs. Reynoldsburg

*Oct. 9 -- at Olentangy Orange

Oct. 11 -- at Big Walnut

GIRLS SOCCER

Aug. 17 -- vs. Grove City

Aug. 21 -- vs. New Albany

Aug. 23 -- at Hilliard Darby

Aug. 25 -- at Big Walnut

Aug. 28 -- at Upper Arlington

Aug. 30 -- at Thomas Worthington

Sept. 4 -- vs. Dublin Coffman

Sept. 6 -- vs. Marysville

*Sept. 10 -- vs. Westerville Central

*Sept. 20 -- at Olentangy

*Sept. 25 -- vs. Olentangy Liberty

Sept. 27 -- vs. Olentangy Berlin

*Oct. 1 -- at Westerville South

Oct. 4 -- at Reynoldsburg

*Oct. 9 -- vs. Olentangy Orange

Oct. 13 -- vs. Watkins Memorial

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Aug. 21 -- at New Albany

Aug. 23 -- vs. Marysville

Aug. 25 -- vs. Marion Harding

Aug. 28 -- vs. Upper Arlington

Aug. 30 -- at Dublin Coffman

*Sept. 4 -- at Westerville Central

*Sept. 6 -- vs. Olentangy

Sept. 8 -- vs. Licking Heights and Reynoldsburg

Sept. 11 -- vs. Delaware

*Sept. 13 -- at Olentangy Liberty

Sept. 17 -- vs. Olentangy Berlin

Sept. 18 -- vs. Newark

*Sept. 20 -- vs. Westerville South

Sept. 24 -- vs. Columbus Academy

*Sept. 25 -- at Olentangy Orange

*Sept. 27 -- vs. Westerville Central

*Oct. 2 -- at Olentangy

*Oct. 4 -- vs. Olentangy Liberty

Oct. 8 -- at Mount Vernon

*Oct. 9 -- at Westerville South

*Oct. 11 -- vs. Olentangy Orange

*League contest

Below are the coming schedules for the North cross country, boys golf, girls golf and girls tennis teams:

CROSS COUNTRY

Sept. 1 -- Westerville North Classic

BOYS GOLF

Aug. 30 -- Dublin Scioto at Glenross

Sept. 5 -- Canal Winchester at Royal American

GIRLS GOLF

Sept. 4 -- DeSales at NorthStar

GIRLS TENNIS

*Aug. 30 -- At Olentangy Liberty

*Sept. 4 -- Home vs. Westerville South

Sept. 5 -- Home vs. Hilliard Bradley

*League contest