Maddie Fogg understands the value of being precise.
In her fourth season as the starting setter for the Olentangy Liberty High School girls volleyball team, the senior is among central Ohio's leaders in assists per game and had 455 of the Patriots' 524 assists through 17 matches this fall.
Despite being in charge of most of Liberty's ball-handling responsibilities, she had just 21 errors among her first 1,164 attempts.
Fogg tries to be just as meticulous off the court, too.
She verbally committed in July 2016 to play for the University of Toledo and eventually would like to become a surgeon.
"I try really hard for my grades," Fogg said. "Right now I want to be a surgeon, and I'm doing an internship with an orthopedic surgeon. I get to go in in the mornings to observe him."
She should have a bright future in medicine if the success she's had on the volleyball court is an accurate gauge.
During a 25-13, 25-8, 25-17 win over Westerville Central on Sept. 14, Fogg produced her 2,000th career assist.
The Patriots were 16-1 overall and 6-1 in the OCC-Buckeye Division before playing Westerville North on Oct. 3. They had lost just nine games through 17 matches.
On Sept. 26, Liberty avenged its first loss when it edged Orange 18-25, 25-21, 20-25, 25-16, 15-11 as Fogg had 40 assists and no ball-handling errors. She also added a serving ace and four kills.
Liberty figures to be in the mix to receive the second seed behind Dublin Coffman for the Division I district tournament. The drawing will be held Sunday, Oct. 8.
"(Fogg's) been really consistent, so it's nice to have that out of your setter since it's kind of a key role," coach Jen Chapman said. "I kind of compare it to a quarterback. You can have all the athletes in the world, but if you don't have someone who can get those athletes the ball it doesn't matter."
Fogg, who hadn't missed a varsity match in her four prep seasons heading into Oct. 3, is the daughter of Patriots junior varsity coach Katherine Fogg.
Her mother, who was Dublin Jerome's coach during its first 10 seasons as a program, was a setter at Ashland University.
"I've (been a setter) forever," Fogg said. "My mom was a setter in college, so I always wanted to be like her. My first year playing I was really short so I was a libero, and that was when I was 10, but from there I've always been setting. She definitely taught me a lot of stuff that I know."
Fogg, who was first-team all-league last year, is hoping her team can break through in the postseason as well as earn at least a share of the league title.
The Patriots were tied with Orange at 6-1 in the OCC-Buckeye before Oct. 3 and wrap up league play Thursday, Oct. 5, at Central and Tuesday, Oct. 10, at home against Olentangy.
Liberty was a regional semifinalist in 2015 and a district runner-up last fall.
"We're definitely happy with the start (to this season)," Fogg said. "We have way better team chemistry this year. The loss against Orange was a little rough, but I think we've definitely bounced back.
"The team's definitely coming together. This year our main goal is to first win district but to also finally get past that regional semifinal (match). To come out with this group of girls gives us our best (chance) to do that."
Runners prep for
fall's biggest meets
The boys and girls cross country teams are rounding into shape with the league and postseason meets still to come.
The OCC-Buckeye meet is Oct. 14 at Hilliard Darby, and both teams are expected to contend for titles.
In last week's Division I state poll, the girls were ranked fifth and the boys were 10th.
The only area teams ranked ahead of Liberty in the girls poll were No. 2 Hilliard Davidson and No. 4 Granville.
"It's been going well," coach Darrell Dewese said. "We've had some success. Central Ohio is extremely competitive."
Junior Gracie Sprankle, who has run as fast 17 minutes, 36 seconds, and senior Emma Bower have been leading the girls team. Seniors Sarah Colvin and Addison French, sophomore Linnea Kunesh and freshmen Audrey Piero and Lauren Woodruff also have been steady contributors, according to Dewese.
The only boys teams from central Ohio ranked ahead of Liberty are No. 3 Davidson and No. 9 Pickerington North.
On Sept. 30 at Kettering Fairmont, the boys finished second (77) behind Mason (51) in the 25-team Neal Charske Firebird Invitational.
Junior Joseph Johnson led with an eighth-place finish (16:14), followed by seniors Logan Boone (15th, 16:15.4) and Nicholas Anderson (18th, 16:33.8), sophomore Nick Irelan (19th, 16:34.7), senior Bradley Raymond (21st, 16:35.8) and junior Adam Clark (36th, 16:49.5).
"They're really focused on the process," coach Jared Mills said. "They've responded well to good practices. In cross country, unlike other sports, it comes down to the last four weeks, and everything is preparation for that."
The boys and girls golf teams began the postseason Oct. 3.
The boys competed in a Division I sectional at Turnberry, where the top four teams and top four individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district Tuesday, Oct. 10, at Apple Valley.
The top two teams and top two individuals not on qualifying teams at district move on to state Oct. 20 and 21 on Ohio State's Scarlet Course.
The girls were in a Division I sectional at Royal American, where the top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district Tuesday, Oct. 10, at Cooks Creek.
The top two teams and top two individuals not on qualifying teams at district advance to state Oct. 20 and 21 on Ohio State's Gray Course.
The girls also will compete Saturday, Oct. 7, in the Fall Classic at Cooks Creek.
Tennis team looks
for strong finish
The girls tennis team played Orange on Oct. 3 in a Division I district semifinal of the Ohio Tennis Coach Association team tournament.
The winner plays Jerome on a date to be announced, with the winner of that match moving on to the state tournament Oct. 22 at Reynoldsburg.
The Patriots were 13-4 before playing Columbus School for Girls on Oct. 2.
The OHSAA postseason begins with sectional play Thursday, Oct. 5, and Saturday, Oct. 7, at Upper Arlington. The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to district Oct. 12 at Hilliard Bradley and Oct. 14 at Upper Arlington.
In singles, junior Lexie Brengartner is the top seed and junior Ellie MacDowell is seeded second, while junior Anna Gardner also is competing.
The doubles teams of freshmen Maddie Atway and Dani Schoenly and seniors Lexi Steer and Cellini Ko are seeded first and second, respectively.
Below are the coming schedules for the Liberty cross country, field hockey, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 7 -- Les Eisenhart Invitational at Thomas Worthington
*Oct. 9 -- At Dublin Coffman
Oct. 11 -- Home vs. Hilliard Lynx
Oct. 5 -- Home vs. Worthington Kilbourne
Oct. 7 -- At Copley
*Oct. 10 -- At Olentangy
Oct. 5 -- Home vs. Hilliard Darby
*Oct. 10 -- Home vs. Olentangy
*Oct. 5 -- At Westerville Central. The Patriots beat the Warhawks 25-13, 25-8, 25-17 on Sept. 14.
*Oct. 10 -- Home vs. Olentangy. The Patriots beat the Braves 23-25, 25-21, 25-18, 25-18 on Sept. 19.