Jessica Tiell had an eventful first season as coach of the Hilliard Bradley High School girls volleyball team, but she believes the Jaguars showed improvement.

Jessica Tiell had an eventful first season as coach of the Hilliard Bradley High School girls volleyball team, but she believes the Jaguars showed improvement.

Tiell started the season as an assistant to first-year coach Phil Nagy, who resigned after six matches. The Jaguars were 2-4 under Nagy but went on to finish 10-14 overall after losing to 25th-seeded Dela-ware 26-24, 20-25, 25-15, 25-16 in the second round of the Division I district tournament Oct. 19.

Seeded 22nd, Bradley opened the postseason with a 25-18, 24-26, 25-6, 25-9 win over 27th-seeded Groveport on Oct. 17.

The Jaguars had finished 6-15 last season.

"Looking back at the season as a whole, I think we took a huge step forward and hopefully have gained some respect from other teams in the (OCC-Cardinal Division) and the area," Tiell said. "I think we're a much better team than our 10-14 record shows. We played a lot of five-game matches, especially early in the season, which I think helps support that."

The Jaguars went 6-6 in the OCC-Cardinal Division to tie Dublin Scioto for third, behind Darby (12-0) and Worthington Kilbourne (8-4) and ahead of Delaware and Dublin Jerome (both 4-8) and Thomas Worthington (2-10).

Junior middle hitter Donna Brown (first-team all-league) led the Jaguars with 194 kills and 52 solo blocks, freshman setter/right-side hitter Riley Speelman (second-team all-league) had 683 assists, 152 digs and 111 kills and junior outside hitter Megan Fleshman (honorable mention all-league) had 150 kills and 331 digs.

"We had a good mix of experienced varsity players and young, inexperienced players that I think helped us be pretty successful this season and will hopefully help us be successful in the future," Tiell said. "Last year, we were only able to win six matches and weren't always competitive in our losses. This year, we were able to win 10 and play competitively in almost all of our losses, with only six of those losses being 0-2 or 0-3 losses, which is a huge accomplishment over last year."

Outside hitter Aidan Johnson (341 digs, 62 kills) and middle hitter Sara Oates (72 kills) led a five-player senior class.

Junior libero Lauren Renner had 76 aces and 436 digs, and junior right-side hitter Abbey White added 103 kills. Also expected to return are junior outside hitter Abby Duffer and sophomore setter/right-side hitter Emily Ewen.

"I'm really proud of the way this team handled themselves this season and look forward to seeing how much more they can progress next year," Tiell said.

Injuries hindered girls soccer team

Injuries took a toll on the girls soccer team this season.

Bradley finished 3-12-1 overall after losing to 20th-seeded Scioto 2-1 in the first round of the Di-vision I district tournament Oct. 18. The Jaguars, who were seeded 23rd, had lost to the Irish 3-0 in an OCC-Cardinal game Oct. 6.

"It's been a really terrible season for us," first-year coach Gustavo Landaverde said. "First, we started with eight (goalkeepers) in the program and we lost all of them by about the fifth game because of injuries."

The Jaguars went 2-4 in the OCC-Cardinal to tie Delaware for fourth, behind Jerome (6-0), Darby (4-1-1) and Thomas (3-2-1) and ahead of Scioto and Kilbourne (both 1-4-1).

Bradley is losing eight seniors, including forward Myiah Kelley (first-team all-league), midfielder Carly Stang (second-team all-league) and defenders Alissa Spears (special mention all-league) and Lily Ellison (honorable mention all-league).

Junior midfielder Gabbi Viggiano (first-team all-league) leads the list of expected returnees. Juniors Emma Bailey (defender), Liz Leahy (forward) and Nicole Owens (midfielder) also were starters.

Also expected back are juniors Sydney Artis (midfielder), Kaelyn Glenn (defender) and Alexandra Kelly (goalie), sophomores Andrea Decker (forward) and Jillian Klepzing (forward) and freshmen Emily Keck (goalie), Mckenzy Kuhn (defender), Julianna Lundy (midfielder), Shea Stephens (midfielder) and Emily Marschhausen (defender).

"It was a big transition because I (wasn't hired) until a week before tryouts," Landaverde said. "I didn't have time to put a program together, so I had to fix everything game by game, practice by practice. This is the result at the end of the season. When I started coaching, they were all playing kickball, sending the ball high and chasing the ball. Now they're playing with their feet, moving the ball around, controlling the midfield. They did understand the concept, but unfortunately we fell short at the end."

shennen@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekHennen