Competing in the City League championship match for the first time since 1992, the Whetstone High School girls volleyball team lost to host Eastmoor Academy 20-25, 27-25, 25-22, 25-22 on Oct. 14.
"It was a real good match, but they were just a little better than we were today," coach Errole Rembert said. "There was a lot of good volleyball play. They were taller than us and able to hit it over the middle on us. We tried to compensate and fought as hard as we could. There was no quit in us."
The Braves led the fourth game 16-5, but Centennial rallied to cut its deficit to 22-20 and then scored the final five points.
"It's the type of match you love to play in," Rembert said. "Both sides were throwing haymakers. Our girls are disappointed, but they have to realize they didn't lose it, they just got beat. They gave it their all. But they worked four years to have this opportunity, so they're a bit down.
"I thought (middle hitter) Whitney Staggs and (setter) Hannah Reed played great. All of the girls did all they could in terms of effort."
The Braves were 17-3 overall entering the Division I district tournament. Seeded 35th of 50 teams, they played host to 38th-seeded Centennial in the first round Oct. 17, with the winner playing at third-seeded DeSales in the second round Thursday, Oct. 19.
The second-round winner plays 17th-seeded Upper Arlington, 22nd-seeded Hilliard Bradley or 23rd-seeded Westerville Central in a district semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 25, at Franklin Heights.
The district final is Oct. 28 at Franklin Heights.
Girls soccer team falls in City final
The girls soccer team fell to Centennial in penalty kicks in the City championship game Oct. 12 at Mapfre Stadium.
The Braves and Stars were tied at 1 at the end of regulation and two 15-minute overtime periods before Centennial prevailed 2-1 in penalty kicks to snap Whetstone's five-year reign as City champion.
"Centennial played a heck of a game," coach Doug Kohler said. "Nobody ever wants it to end with PKs. I've been on both sides of it, but it's always a strange feeling. All of the strong play, especially in the defensive (midfield) by both teams, comes off and you're left with one-on-ones. It's like ending an exciting end-to-end basketball game with a game of knockout."
The teams had split their two regular-season meetings, with Centennial winning 2-1 on Sept. 19 and the Braves winning 1-0 on Oct. 3. The Stars had lost 10 consecutive games to Whetstone before Sept. 19. Their previous win was in the 2011 championship game.
This marked the seventh season in a row the teams met in the championship game.
Whetstone took a 1-0 lead with around two minutes left in the first half on a goal by Jamie Bossenbroek. The Stars tied it with a header by Danielle O'Leary off a corner kick midway through the second half.
"That was a beautiful goal," Kohler said. "There weren't a ton of scoring opportunities because both teams were solid in the defensive midfield. But they took advantage of that set piece and that proved to be the difference. We didn't allow a goal in the run of play."
Whetstone went first in the penalty kicks and missed its first three attempts. Centennial went on top when Sophia Pizzurro scored on the Stars' second attempt. Misa Norris tied the score on the Braves' fourth try, but Nina Zimmerman scored on Centennial's fourth try. The game ended after Whetstone missed its fifth attempt.
The Braves were 8-6 entering the Division I district tournament. Seeded 35th of 42 teams, they played at 34th-seeded Teays Valley in the first round Oct. 16. The winner plays at top-seeded Pickerington North in the second round Thursday, Oct. 19.
The second-round winner faces 20th-seeded Dublin Scioto, 24th-seeded Newark or 28th-seeded Lancaster in a district semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 24, at a neutral site to be determined. The district final is Oct. 28.
Girls runners win City League meet
The boys and girls cross country teams will compete in the Division I, district 2 meet Saturday, Oct. 21, at Watkins Memorial.
In the boys race, the top five teams and top 20 runners advance to the regional meet Oct. 28 at Pickerington North. In the girls race, the top six teams and top 24 runners qualify for regional.
The girls team finished first in the home City meet Oct. 11, totaling 61 points to place ahead of Centennial (64), Northland (75), Eastmoor (77), Walnut Ridge (93) and Africentric (125).
"This championship was unexpected," coach Joe Monda said. "I thought we had an outside shot but needed a lot to happen. We've finished runner-up for quite a while now, so this was a big thing for us."
Centennial had won eight consecutive City titles.
The Braves were led by Adrien Delapp, who placed fifth of 58 runners in 22 minutes, 21.8 seconds. She was followed by Bryn Van Dommelen (ninth, 23:12.7), Harper Daniel (11th, 23:43.5), Micah Stromsoe DeLorenzo (16th, 24:11.1) and Megan Sharp (20th, 24:56.9).
"Adrien had a (personal record) by 30 seconds, Bryn had a season-best by 40 seconds, Micah had a PR by nearly a minute and Megan had a PR by 30 seconds," Monda said. "Harper has been nursing a hamstring injury and she ran well."
The boys team was runner-up (56) in the City meet, behind Eastmoor (51) and ahead of Centennial (61), Walnut Ridge (87), Northland and Mifflin (both 128), Africentric (214), East (276), Independence (283), West (296), Beechcroft (296) and South (303).
Thaine Nederveld finished fifth (18:05.7) to lead the Braves, followed by Matthew Conroy (sixth, 18:18.1), Drew Nederveld (13th, 18:46.4), Sam Khoury (14th, 18:47.1) and Emil Adams (18th, 19:13.8).
The top seven runners in each race earned first-team all-league honors. Those finishing eighth through 14th were second-team all-league.
"I was proud of the boys. They ran a good meet," Monda said. "Thaine and Matthew ran very well. Drew had been out three weeks and is just getting back from injury and Emil had bronchitis and wasn't fully recovered from that. Sam ran a decent race, so considering we weren't at full strength and almost pulled it out, that was a good performance."
Football team looks to end skid
The football team will attempt to snap a three-game losing streak Friday, Oct. 20, when it plays host to the Col-umbus Crusaders club team.
The Braves lost to Beechcroft 18-0 on Oct. 13 to fall to 2-6 overall and 2-3 in the City-North. It was the second game in a row in which they were held scoreless, and they have been outscored 87-14 during their skid.
The Crusaders also are 2-6 and have lost three in a row, including a 53-0 loss to Northland on Oct. 13.
Whetstone lost to Northland 49-14 on Sept. 29.
The Braves were held to only 26 total yards and two first downs against Beechcroft. Still, the game was scoreless at halftime before Whetstone turned the ball over on all six of its second-half possessions.
The Cougars, who had 224 total yards, got three touchdowns by Shemar Samuel, who finished with 72 yards rushing on 25 carries.
Boys soccer team opens postseason
The boys soccer team was 6-9-1 entering the Division I district tournament.
Seeded 40th of 47 teams, the Braves played at 32nd-seeded Central Crossing in the first round Oct. 18, with the winner playing at top-seeded Olentangy Liberty in the second round Saturday, Oct. 21.
The second-round winner faces 19th-seeded Olentangy Orange, 35th-seeded Scioto or 47th-seeded Newark in a district semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 25, at a neutral site to be determined. The district final is Oct. 28.