Olivia Kirwin is someone whom Hartley High School girls volleyball coach Mike Rahe refers to as a "grinder."
Since early in her freshman season, the now-senior libero has been one of the leaders on defense for a Hawks team that was Division II state runner-up in 2014 and last season and won a district title in 2015.
During a season in which Hartley is making the transition to Division I and is dealing with injuries to three key players, Kirwin has been more important than ever for the Hawks this fall.
"It's been like a wheel of doom with our injuries," Rahe said. "Olivia's a four-year starter and just has an ability to read the block and get to the ball. She's basically controlled our defense and done a great job at it. At about (5-foot-5), she's a true defensive player. She's very quick and with great hands."
With Kirwin as one of the team leaders in digs and serves received, the Hawks were 11-6 overall before playing Buckeye Valley on Oct. 2. They finished 5-3 in the CCL, behind champion DeSales (8-0).
Kirwin is considering playing volleyball in college and, according to Rahe, has received interest from Ohio Wesleyan.
Her focus right now, though, is to help lead the Hawks on another long postseason run this season. The district tournament draw is Sunday, Oct. 8.
"My leadership has gotten a lot better since my freshman year and I've (improved my) skill set," Kirwin said. "The most fun memories came when we went to state. We want to go far in the tournament and just work hard as a team because we're pretty young this year."
The Hawks bounced back from a 22-25, 25-20, 25-19, 25-23 loss to DeSales on Sept. 25 by beating Columbus School for Girls 25-10, 25-17, 25-15 on Sept. 28 and Huron 25-9, 25-12, 25-14 on Sept. 30.
According to Rahe, senior Killian Sweeney (outside hitter), junior Ashley Tipton (defensive specialist) and sophomore Maya Hendricks (outside hitter/right-side hitter) all have battled injuries.
"No one's really owned us," Rahe said. "All of our matches have been competitive with a lot of different lineups."
Boys soccer team
not down about record
Although his team had just two wins over its first 11 games, boys soccer coach Chris Kowalski believes its record is deceptive.
Hartley was 2-8-1 overall before playing Bloom-Carroll on Oct. 3 and finished 1-3 in the CCL.
"I'm excited to compete every day with this team," Kowalski said. "Our record will say otherwise, but we're going to be a tough draw in the (Division II district) tournament. We know what it takes to win this time of year."
The tournament draw is Sunday, Oct. 8.
The Hawks defeated Fairbanks 3-0 on Sept. 21 and Ready 5-1 on Sept. 26.
Kowalski has been pleased with the leadership of Matteo Agriesti, Evan Armstrong and Mac Wieging.
"We've played an extremely competitive schedule," Kowalski said. "We know we're in for a tough fight every night."
preps for Ready
The football team is on a five-game winning streak and in prime position to qualify for the Division III, Region 11 playoffs.
Most importantly to coach Brad Burchfield is that his team is continuing to get better.
"Players, plays and schemes are emerging," Burchfield said. "It's always a process for us to find out what we do best and how we can do it. It takes time."
The Hawks are 5-1 overall and will look to extend a seven-game winning streak over Ready when they play the Silver Knights on Friday, Oct. 6, at DeSales.
Hartley now competes in the same CCL division as DeSales, St. Charles and Watterson after previously being in the same division as Ready.
On Sept. 29, the Hawks opened league action with a 34-0 victory over Watterson as Elijah Carter rushed for 121 yards and a touchdown, Jalen January ran for 119 yards and one score and Phillip Cole rushed for a 73-yard touchdown.
Max Stienecker and Ethan Amaya led Hartley's defense with one tackle for loss each.
The Silver Knights also are 5-1 overall and would be considered CCL-Gold Division champions if they beat Hartley.
"I'm happy Ready is doing well," Burchfield said. "It makes the rivalry even better."
Tipton leads boys
golfers to district
Junior Trent Tipton carded a 68 to earn medalist honors Sept. 26 in the Division II boys golf sectional at Oakhaven.
His performance helped the Hawks shoot a 317 to earn a runner-up finish behind Columbus Academy (303) in the 12-team field as the top three advanced to district.
The six-team district tournament was held Oct. 4 at Denison Golf Club at Granville. The first-place team and the top individual not on the qualifying team advanced to state Oct. 13 and 14 at NorthStar.
Tipton was district champion last season with a 70 and went on to earn a state runner-up finish.
Also at sectional, junior Jack Shisler shot an 80, followed by sophomore Andrew Inthavongsone (83), senior Andrew Berger (86) and junior Thomas Mayhan (90).
in tennis, girls golf
The girls golf team competed in the postseason for the first time Oct. 3 when it traveled to Mentel Memorial for a Division I sectional.
The top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to the district tournament Tuesday, Oct. 10, at Cooks Creek.
At district, the top two teams and top two individuals not on qualifying teams move on to state Oct. 20 and 21 at Ohio State's Gray Course.
The girls tennis team is competing in a Division II sectional Thursday, Oct. 5, and Saturday, Oct. 7, at Columbus School for Girls.
Senior Londynn Caldwell, sophomore Laurynn Caldwell and freshman Gia Green are playing singles, while seniors Hannah McFeeters and Abby Thompson make up one doubles team and senior Annie Robinson and sophomore Leah Herbert comprise the other.
Below are the coming schedules for the Hartley cross country, field hockey, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 7 -- Darby Dash at Hilliard Darby
Oct. 9 -- At Dublin Scioto
Oct. 11 -- At Olentangy Orange
Oct. 5 -- At Centennial
Oct. 7 -- Home vs. Jonathan Alder
Oct. 10 -- At Wellington
Oct. 5 -- Home vs. Whetstone
Oct. 5, 7 -- Division II sectional at Columbus School for Girls. Top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to district Oct. 12 at Columbus School for Girls and Oct. 14 at Upper Arlington.
Oct. 7 -- At London
Oct. 9 -- Home vs. Sparta Highland