After being denied two major goals last season, the Dublin Scioto High School girls cross country team entered this season refocused.

After being denied two major goals last season, the Dublin Scioto High School girls cross country team entered this season refocused.

The Irish, who had won seven consecutive OCC titles, are seeking to return to the top of the league after finishing sixth (176 points) behind champion Jerome (40) last season. It was the Celtics' first league title.

Scioto has won 10 league titles under coach Matt Suttle, who is in his 14th season.

The Irish also failed to qualify for regional as a team last season, as they finished seventh in the district 1 meet, two spots shy of a regional berth.

"We missed regional last year, so that's definitely a goal," Suttle said. "Last year was also the first year we didn't win a league title in seven years. That was definitely not good to lose that, so that's another goal. The team wasn't happy where we finished last year."

Scioto returns its only individual regional qualifier from last season in junior Meredith Billman, who finished 56th (20 minutes, 15.5 seconds). She also is the only remaining starter from the 2014 team that finished 11th at state.

Senior captain Erin Adelman, who finished 48th (22:19.63) at district last year, also has returned.

"It's definitely motivation because we came from a really good team over the last couple of years and it was hard not to be at that level last year," Adelman said. "We realize how hard we have to work to get back to that level. If we can come together, it should be a good team."

Also back are seniors Sarah Groh (44th at district, 22:01.9), Jessica Horvat (43rd, 21:44.91) and Erica Husted and sophomore Molly Sarver (45th, 22:03.06).

Billman and Horvat are the other captains.

Scioto competed in the FinishTiming Classic on Aug. 27 at Wilmington, finishing 11th (264) of 14 teams, behind champion Mason (40).

Billman finished 31st (21:05.2) of 444 runners, followed by Horvat (34th, 21:09.7), Groh (76th, 22:12.5) and Sarver (78th, 22:14.7).

Arellano returns to lead boys runners

The boys cross country team returns a Division I regional qualifier from a year ago in junior Cesar Arellano, who finished 57th (15:53.09).

The Irish finished sixth (176) in the district 1 meet, one spot behind the final regional qualifier, Granville (129).

Junior Tyler Mielke, who is expected to be the team's No. 2 runner, was 21st (16:37.53) at district last year.

Also back are seniors Miles Baker, Ishan Patel (72nd, 18:13.49) and Sean Riley and juniors Brian Briones (41st, 17:28.22) and Joel David (86th, 18:50.25).

Junior Joe Gaunt, sophomores Mitchell Thomas and Jordan Sopher and freshmen Collin McKenzie and Sam Thomas also could be in the mix.

"We have some good talent," 22nd-year coach Kevin Foley said. "We will get better as the year goes on. It will be a steppingstone for next year. I'm happy where we're at."

Scioto finished ninth (203) of 15 teams in the Pickerington Classic on Aug. 27 at Pickerington North, behind champion Thomas Worthington (61). Arellano placed sixth (16:12.87) of 506 runners.

Mielke was 17th (17:13.82) and Mitchell Thomas was 48th (18:19.82).

"We have a record turnout (33 boys in the program), so we're really happy about that," Foley said.

Volleyball coach likes team's athleticism

Girls volleyball coach Jackie Wilson calls this year's team "the most athletic and most versatile" group in her seven seasons.

The Irish were 3-3 overall and 1-0 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Hilliard Darby on Aug. 30. They opened league play by defeating Delaware 26-24, 25-20, 22-25, 25-21 on Aug. 25.

As part of OCC realignment, Delaware, Thomas and Worthington Kilbourne have joined the OCC-Cardinal in place of Canal Winchester, Westerville Central, Westerville North and Westerville South.

Last season, the Irish finished second (12-2) in the league, behind champion Central (14-0).

"We hope to keep building and keep growing and setting our goals higher," Wilson said.

Scioto lost eight players to graduation, but returns seven players, including seniors Haley Compton (setter) and Lauren Parrott (outside hitter), who were second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district, respectively, last year. Compton led the team in assists (275) and Parrott was second (245).

Also back are senior Alexis McQuade (middle hitter), juniors Madison Heasley (middle hitter), Edan Jones (libero) and Lillie Wilcox (outside hitter) and sophomore Natalie Hutras (outside hitter).

Other players are junior Emily Jordan (opposite hitter) and freshman Lauren Erickson (outside hitter).

"The athletic talent is there," Wilson said. "We just have to coach them up on the volleyball skill."

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

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Schedules

CROSS COUNTRY

Aug. 22 -- at Coffman with Jerome

Aug. 26 -- Boys: at Cincinnati Moeller with Olentangy Orange and Eaton

Aug. 27 -- Boys: Pickerington Classic at Pickerington North; Girls: FinishTiming Classic at Wilmington

Sept. 3 -- Westerville North Classic

Sept. 17 -- Otterbein Invitational

Sept. 24 -- Tiger Invitational at Pickerington Central

Oct. 1 -- Buck Creek Invitational

Oct. 8 -- Les Eisenhart Invitational at Thomas Worthington

Oct. 15 -- OCC-Cardinal meet at Hilliard Bradley

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Aug. 20 -- vs. Canal Winchester and Hamilton Township

Aug. 23 -- vs. Mount Vernon

*Aug. 25 -- at Delaware

Aug. 27 -- vs. Olentangy Liberty and Marion Pleasant

*Aug. 30 -- at Hilliard Darby

*Sept. 1 -- vs. Worthington Kilbourne

*Sept. 6 -- at Thomas Worthington

*Sept. 8 -- vs. Hilliard Bradley

*Sept. 13 -- at Jerome

Sept. 17 -- Scioto Invitational

*Sept. 20 -- vs. Delaware

*Sept. 22 -- vs. Hilliard Darby

*Sept. 27 -- vs. Worthington Kilbourne

*Sept. 29 -- vs. Thomas Worthington

*Oct. 6 -- at Hilliard Bradley

Oct. 11 -- at Olentangy

*Oct. 13 -- vs. Jerome

*League contest

Below are the coming schedules for the Scioto field hockey, boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls tennis teams:

FIELD HOCKEY

*Sept. 7 -- Home vs. Olentangy Liberty

BOYS GOLF

Sept. 3 -- Pickerington North at Pine Hill

Sept. 7 -- Westerville North at Blackhawk

GIRLS GOLF

Sept. 7 -- Delaware at Oakhaven

BOYS SOCCER

Sept. 1 -- At New Albany

*Sept. 6 -- At Delaware

GIRLS SOCCER

Sept. 3 -- At Zanesville West Muskingum

*Sept. 6 -- Home vs. Delaware

GIRLS TENNIS

*Sept. 1 -- At Thomas Worthington

*Sept. 6 -- Home vs. Hilliard Bradley

Sept. 7 -- Home vs. Westerville South

*League contest