Layne Keegan is willing to do anything she can to help the Thomas Worthington High School girls volleyball team.

The senior played setter for the Cardinals the past three seasons even though she always played outside hitter for her club team. This season, first-year coach Natalie Walter allowed Keegan to move back to her natural position.

"I never had trained to be a setter, but when you're a freshman and sophomore and that's what the team needs, you step in and say, 'I can do that,'" Keegan said. "I knew I could be a setter, but it's not my best position.

"This year, we had some other girls who could set and I could help us better as a hitter and I think (Walter) saw that. I'm having so much fun. I just love hitting."

The Cardinals opened the season with junior Celeste Sanfrey at setter, but she has missed the past two weeks with an injury. Rather than move Keegan back to setter, Walter brought up Lauren Gerber from junior varsity.

"Lauren is doing very well and we have an experienced team with eight seniors who have taken her under their wing and helped her transition," Walter said. "It's good to see the depth in the program and to have girls ready to play if we need them on varsity.

"I can't say enough good things about Layne. She really embraced the change to a new position and she just gets after it."

The Cardinals were 5-10 overall and 1-6 in the OCC-Cardinal Division before playing Dublin Jerome on Sept. 25.

Thomas had a recent stretch in which it won three of four matches. The Cardinals rallied to defeat Newark 19-25, 22-25, 25-15, 25-16, 15-9 on Sept. 11. Then, after losing to Kilbourne 25-22, 25-14, 25-20 on Sept. 13, they beat Marion Harding 25-17, 25-17, 25-7 on Sept. 17 and rallied to beat Mount Vernon 11-25, 20-25, 25-15, 25-16, 15-8 the next day.

"We were struggling, but overcoming a two-set deficit against Newark kind of sparked us and then we did it again against Mount Vernon," Keegan said. "We're gaining confidence and we have a lot of seniors so we don't get rattled. It's just a matter of us coming together and playing to our potential. I think we're headed in the right direction now."

Among the Cardinals' leaders is 6-foot-1 senior middle blocker Brie Wight, who has committed to Tiffin.

"Brie is strong and consistent and has developed into a good leader," Walter said. "Meredith Althouse, our libero, is our emotional leader who plays relentless defense and communicates very well. She's a pleasure to coach and she helped us through a rough first half of the season."

Boys golfers to tee off in sectional

The boys golf team will compete in a Division I sectional Tuesday, Oct. 2, at Turnberry, where the top four teams and top four individuals not on a qualifying team advance to the district tournament Oct. 9 at Apple Valley.

Last season, the Cardinals qualified for district as a team and finished third at Apple Valley with a 311, as Jerome (294) and Olentangy Liberty (307) advanced to state. David LaLonde, a 2018 graduate, survived a three-hole playoff and advanced to state as an individual qualifier.

LaLonde was one of four starters who graduated, as only senior Aaron Zeller returned this season. Zeller averaged 77.5 in the four-round OCC-Cardinal tournament this season to be named first-team all-league. During league play, he shot a 75 at Turnberry and a 78 at Apple Valley.

Soccer teams both register second wins

The girls and boys soccer teams both produced their second wins of the season on Sept. 20.

The girls team defeated host Olentangy Berlin 4-2 as Annie McClure, Mackenzie Peeke, Claire Sever and Peyton Hughes each scored for the Cardinals, who were 2-5-3 overall and 2-1-1 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing at Dublin Scioto on Sept. 25.

The boys team beat visiting Berlin 1-0 as Jon Tchounguen scored and goalkeeper Rye Conley had two saves for the Cardinals, who were 2-7-1 overall and 2-2 in the league before playing host to Scioto on Sept. 25.

bemerine@thisweeknews.com

@Brad_ThisWeek

Schedules

Below are the coming schedules for the Thomas cross country, field hockey, boys golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis, girls volleyball and water polo teams:

CROSS COUNTRY

Sept. 29 -- Midwest Meet of Champions at Hilliard Bradley

FIELD HOCKEY

*Oct. 3 -- Home vs. Upper Arlington

BOYS GOLF

Sept. 27 -- Worthington Cup at Worthington Hills

Sept. 29 -- Pickerington Central Invitational at Turnberry

Oct. 2 -- Division I sectional at Turnberry

BOYS SOCCER

Sept. 27 -- At Westerville Central

Sept. 29 -- At Whitehouse Anthony Wayne

*Oct. 2 -- At Hilliard Darby

GIRLS SOCCER

Sept. 27 -- At Westerville Central

*Oct. 2 -- Home vs. Hilliard Darby

GIRLS TENNIS

Sept. 27 -- At Westerville Central

Oct. 1 -- Home vs. DeSales

Oct. 2 -- Watterson at Park of Roses

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

*Sept. 27 -- Home vs. Delaware. The Cardinals lost to the Pacers 25-9, 25-20, 25-19 on Aug. 28.

Sept. 29 -- Home vs. Franklin Heights

*Oct. 2 -- At Olentangy Berlin. The Cardinals beat the Bears 9-25, 25-14, 25-22, 25-22 on Aug. 30.

WATER POLO

Sept. 29 -- Boys: Upper Arlington Invitational

Oct. 3 -- Boys: At St. Charles

*League contest