Sophomore forward Sydney Richards' eight goals, three of which came in a district semifinal victory, led a balanced offense during another successful season for the Olentangy High School girls soccer team.

Sophomore forward Sydney Richards' eight goals, three of which came in a district semifinal victory, led a balanced offense during another successful season for the Olentangy High School girls soccer team.

Olentangy finished 12-3-4 overall and 4-0-1 in the OCC-Buckeye Division, winning its third consecutive league championship. The Braves lost to Liberty 3-0 in a Division I district final Oct. 29 at Orange.

Freshman forward Natalie Hegg and freshman forward Kayla Primm each added seven goals, and senior midfielder Sarah Markel and sophomore midfielder Julia Francis both scored four.

"They really worked on not holding the ball as long (and) getting rid of it quickly," coach Megan Kirsten said. "That is something we focused on and it showed with a lot of quick passes. They improved over the year. That's what we ask for. They did what they were supposed to do."

Olentangy's 3-0 win at Liberty on Oct. 13 secured the league title ahead of the Patriots (4-1), Orange (2-2-1), Westerville Central (1-2-2), Westerville North (1-3-1) and Westerville South (0-4-1).

Seeded ninth for the 42-team district tournament, the Braves beat 40th-seeded Centennial 10-0 in a second-round game Oct. 20 and 10th-seeded Canal Winchester 4-1 in a semifinal Oct. 25 before losing to the second-seeded Patriots.

The rivals had split postseason meetings each of the past two years.

Senior midfielder Ireland Fallona, senior defender Julia Scott, junior defender McKenna Riesterer and Hegg all were first-team all-league. Senior defender Danielle DiMarzo, senior goalkeeper Emma Spinner, Markel and Primm were second-team all-league, senior defender Erin Wilt was special mention all-league and Francis was honorable mention all-league.

Volleyball team looks forward

Because the girls volleyball team played one of its toughest schedules ever while employing several underclassmen as starters, coach Michelle Mimna is confident the Braves will return next season again ready to challenge for league and district titles.

Underclassmen Madyson Chitty, Emily Margolies, Olivia Margolies and Gabby Trees played prominent roles alongside five seniors. Olentangy went 15-9 overall and 7-3 in the OCC-Buckeye, losing to Gahanna 25-21, 26-24, 25-16 in a Division I district semifinal Oct. 25 at Franklin Heights.

"Next year, inexperience and youth will not be part of our conversation, as the Margolies twins will be in their third season as starters, as will Gabby Trees, and the eight returners all played significant time this season," Mimna said. "We had a 15-9 record with 10 ranked opponents in the (state's) top 20. Six of our nine losses were to those teams. I'm sad to lose this group of seniors, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't already feeling great about this program at all levels."

Olivia Margolies, a sophomore outside hitter who was named first-team all-league and all-district, had a team-high 283 kills to go with 230 digs. Senior libero Lexie Weithman, a Wittenberg University commit and second-team all-league and all-district honoree, led the team with 419 digs and made a program-record 47 in an 11-25, 25-22, 26-24, 13-25, 23-21 win over DeSales on Sept. 26.

Senior outside hitter Nhu Do's 170 kills were second on the team. Chitty, a freshman defensive specialist, had 290 digs and 95-percent success in passing.

Senior middle blocker Megan Cochran made a team-best 77 blocks.

Do was second-team all-league. Trees is a junior setter.

Emily Margolies, a sophomore right-side hitter, was honorable mention all-league. She and Olivia Margolies have committed to Ohio University.

Olentangy finished third in the OCC-Buckeye behind Orange (9-1) and Liberty (8-2) and ahead of Central (4-6), North (2-8) and South (0-10).

Seeded seventh for the 47-team district tournament, the Braves swept 24th-seeded Lancaster 25-17, 25-21, 25-15 in a second-round match Oct. 19 before losing to the third-seeded Lions.

Field hockey team relishes success

The field hockey team expects to return several of its top contributors, including one who set a program record, from a team that finished a program-best 9-7-1 overall.

Senior Allison Martin set program records for goals (15) and assists (20), sharing the goals mark with junior Emma Brown. Brown added two assists, and junior Elise Harder had eight goals and nine assists.

Junior goalie Erika Brehm stopped 153 of 185 shots (82.7 percent).

"The girls showed up on day one ready to work," coach Biz Brehm said. "The leadership this year from Allison Martin was a complete game-changer for the team. We had a great work ethic and team morale. Everyone showed up to work hard and to work for each other. When everyone shows up and does their job, great things happen and it is a ton of fun, especially when you are winning."

Seeded ninth in the 17-team district tournament, Olentangy lost at seventh-seeded New Albany 1-0 (4-2 on strokes) in a first-round game Oct. 17.

Martin is a Slippery Rock University commit.

Olentangy went 5-3 in the Central Ohio Field Hockey League-West, finishing fourth behind Thomas Worthington (8-0), Liberty (7-1) and Upper Arlington (5-2-1) and ahead of Orange (4-4), Dublin Coffman (3-5), Dublin Jerome (2-5-1), Dublin Scioto (1-7) and Lancaster (0-8).

The Braves' previous-best record was 8-9-1 in 2010.

Nine of Olentangy's 11 starters against New Albany were underclassmen. Other expected returnees include juniors Katurah Emery (defen-der/midfielder) and Kenzie Morris (midfielder) and sophomores Katie Berberick (def-ender), Grace Cory (midfielder), Brooklyn Morris (forward) and Cate Norris (defender).

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