The Dublin Coffman High School girls volleyball team had to play the first two rounds of the Division I district tournament without junior outside hitter McKenzie Bailey.

The Dublin Coffman High School girls volleyball team had to play the first two rounds of the Division I district tournament without junior outside hitter McKenzie Bailey.

Bailey, who leads Coffman in kills per match, sat out because of a sore left calf muscle that also prevented her from playing in 14 regular-season matches.

Nevertheless, the third-seeded Shamrocks made short work of their first two district opponents, beating Reynoldsburg 25-9, 25-5, 25-20 on Oct. 18 at Jonathan Alder and Zanesville 25-9, 25-8, 25-9 on Oct. 22 at Columbus East.

"Our No. 1 hitter has missed a lot of matches, but Beatrice Hannan and Cassie Hausfeld have moved from middle hitter to outside hitter when Kenzie can't play, and they've really stepped it up," junior setter Jenn Vargo said.

"Our chemistry is good no matter who we have in there, and we played pretty well. We used these first few matches as confidence builders for our younger hitters so they will be ready to play in bigger matches deeper in the tournament."

The Shamrocks play Canal Winchester in a district semifinal Thursday, Oct. 27, at Big Walnut.

Canal Winchester, which is led by senior setter Morgan White and senior libero Jill Nelson, defeated Chillicothe 25-22, 25-21, 25-14 in the second round Oct. 22 to improve to 16-7.

The winner plays fifth-seeded Olentangy Liberty or 15th-seeded Westerville North in a district final Saturday, Oct. 29, at Big Walnut.

The winner of that will play top-seeded Pickerington North, seventh-seeded Hilliard Bradley, ninth-seeded Thomas Worthington or 16th-seeded Gahanna in a regional semifinal Wednesday, Nov. 2, at Hilliard Davidson.

Coffman swept Thomas during the regular season, winning 25-18, 25-20, 25-19 on Sept. 6 and 25-17, 25-17, 25-13 on Sept. 29.

Bailey likely will not return until the district final, meaning Hausfeld and Hannan will play as outside hitters and sophomore Casey Barrett and freshman Mahlia Blair will play as middle hitters.

Sophomore Gabby Goodson will continue to play at opposite hitter and junior Megan Mills is Coffman's top defensive specialist.

Libero Morgan Yeager is leading Coffman in digs, Vargo is leading in assists, Hausfeld is leading in blocks and Hannan and Hausfeld are leading in kills.

Vargo said the Shamrocks need to run a quick offense that features a variety of hitters to keep advancing in the tournament.

Coffman advanced to the state final each of the past two seasons, losing to Toledo St. Ursula 15-25, 25-23, 26-24, 25-18 last year.

"Our whole team is really diverse, which has been a huge benefit," Vargo said.

"Morgan's been giving me really good passes and we've got a lot of players who are hitting the ball well.

"The keys for us are to keep up our chemistry and energy. We've gotten shaken up in our bigger matches at times because we've got a lot of girls who aren't used to playing in big games. So we need to stay confident and focused as we continue playing tougher and tougher matches in the tournament."

•Jerome opened the Division I district tournament with a 27-25, 25-22, 28-26 loss to ninth-seeded Thomas Worthington on Oct. 19 at Jonathan Alder.

Lindsay Rieland had 11 kills and 10 blocks and Taylor Belke had seven kills and five blocks to lead the team.

"The girls played real well and all three sets went back and forth," said coach Katherine Fogg, whose squad finished 4-15.

"We just couldn't finish and pull out any of the sets. They were just a little bit luckier than us on that day."