It worked before, so sixth-year coach Cari DeAngelis said the Olentangy Orange High School girls golf team will keep things simple again this season.
The Pioneers have won two consecutive Division I state championships, and they aren't planning to worry about competing for a third in a row. Instead, they will focus on the event in which they are playing and not the possible outcome Oct. 19 and 20 at Ohio State's Gray Course.
"We just have to keep chugging along," DeAngelis said. "We cannot look too far ahead of things. We have to go invitational to invitational and match to match and continue to work on the things we need to work on. Then we have to make sure we are hitting on all cylinders when the time comes."
In winning its second championship, Orange was 10 strokes better than runner-up Centerville (612) and set tournament records for lowest round (297 in the second round) and lowest two-round total (602). Mason set the previous records -- 303 and 611 -- in 2010.
Senior Ashley Au tied for sixth of 72 golfers with a 145, and seniors Riley Dean and Natalia Sompolvorachai both shot 152 to tie for 15th. Alyssa Kim (153, tied for 20th) and Emily Fisher (166, tied for 39th) were lost to graduation.
"We still have three seniors who shoot well, but we lost two seniors who contributed so much for us," Au said. "We're still solid, but we don't have the depth we have had in the past."
Orange also won sectional and district titles a year ago and captured its third consecutive league championship by going 19-1 in the four-round OCC-Buckeye Division tournament, finishing ahead of runner-up Liberty (17-3).
Au was medalist with a 72 in the opening round of league play Aug. 8 at Mentel Memorial as Orange finished first (317) ahead of Liberty (330), Westerville Central (385), Olentangy (425), Westerville South (508) and Westerville North (515).
"Before every event I have a general plan," Au said. "I try to remember where I didn't have a good hole and try to change things up. Maybe I'll hit with a wood instead of a driver and try to play smarter."
Sompolvorachai (79) was next for the Pioneers, followed by Dean (83), freshman Natalie Au (83) and senior Sydney Krupp (96).
The second round was Aug. 15 at Westchester.
"There is always pressure," DeAngelis said. "Our four seniors have dealt with pressure for the past two years. They are still here, and they did a good job dealing with that. Now it's about helping the new girls relax."
Rounding out the roster is sophomore Lauren Muffley.
"We only had six girls try out, but maybe more will come out after school starts," DeAngelis said. "It's tough because there are so many fall activities to compete with."
Boys golf team ready for challenge
Coach Jerrod Ross has 16 players in his first season leading the boys golf program.
"The kids are willing to play, and they have spunk," said Ross, who took over after Andrew Fraley went to Berlin after two seasons. "They like a challenge, and they are willing and up for a chance to go against the best."
Senior Alex Cabungcal leads the returnees from last season, when the Pioneers finished sixth (317) in the Division I district tournament as Dublin Jerome (294) and Liberty (307) advanced to state.
Cabungcal and sophomore Jonathan Green both shot 76, and sophomore Nathan Brown shot 79.
Orange was fourth (10-10) in the OCC-Buckeye behind champion Liberty (20-0).
In the opening round of league play Aug. 7 at Turnberry, the Pioneers finished second (306) behind Liberty (295) and ahead of Olentangy (307), Central (325) and North (397). South did not field a team.
Cabungcal led Orange with a 72, followed by Brown (77), freshman Luke Johnson (78) and sophomores Corbin Bentley (79) and Jake Smith (84).
"We could have gone lower, but Jonathan was out with a back problem," Ross said. "Our goal is for our players to go under 80 on all of our OCC matches. If we stay in the 70s, that should keep us competitive this year."
In the second round Aug. 13 at Apple Valley, Orange finished fourth (328) behind Liberty (302), Olentangy (313) and Central (319) and ahead of North (385).
Also in the mix for varsity time are junior Sam English and freshmen Brendan Cabungcal and Mitch Perdue.
Girls tennis team loaded with experience
The girls tennis team returns six of its seven starters from last season but has only one senior in Livie Mauger.
Juniors Hannah Logan and Kortney Reed qualified for the Division I district tournament in doubles, but lost their opening-round match.
Mauger and junior Abby Butler played doubles in the postseason while junior Erin Storrer and sophomore Caroline Sproule played singles. Junior Grace Bezold, who also played singles, did not return to the team and is competing in cross country.
"All of them have been starting for a couple years, and that's very exciting because we're really deep," third-year coach Susan Storrer said. "Our girls have played singles and doubles, so that's a strength. We're versatile."
Pushing to get into the lineup are freshmen Niki Bhimireddy and Tyler Reed.
"At this point, we're just figuring out who plays on what court," said coach Storrer, whose team opens Thursday, Aug. 16, at Dublin Coffman. "Tyler and Niki are both tournament players (in the offseason), and for them to start on varsity is great. We expected them to be strong coming in."
The Pioneers finished 15-3 overall and were second (4-1) in the OCC-Buckeye last season behind Liberty (5-0). They open their league schedule Aug. 23 against the Patriots.
Aug. 7 -- OCC-Buckeye at Turnberry
Aug. 9 -- Eagle Invitational at New Albany Links
Aug. 10 -- Mount Vernon Invitational at Chapel Hill
Aug. 11 -- Steve Youmans Classic at Oakhaven
Aug. 13 -- OCC-Buckeye at Apple Valley
Aug. 16 -- Watkins Memorial at Cumberland Trail
Aug. 18 -- Kent Miller Colonial Fall Classic at Hiawatha
Aug. 21 -- Marysville at Darby Creek
Aug. 23 -- Lakewood at Bent Tree
Aug. 28 -- OCC-Buckeye at Denison Golf Club
Sept. 6 -- Olentangy Berlin at Bent Tree
Sept. 8 -- Worthington Christian Invitational at Turnberry
Sept. 12 -- OCC-Buckeye at Darby Creek
Sept. 15 -- Rodney Butt Classic at Denison Golf Club
Sept. 17 -- Delaware County Bank Cup at Royal American
Sept. 18 -- Marysville at Bent Tree
Sept. 22 -- Howlett Invitational at Worthington Hills
Sept. 24 -- OCC Shootout at Moundbuilders
Sept. 27 -- Olentangy Berlin at Bent Tree
Aug. 6 -- Gahanna Invitational at Jefferson
Aug. 8 -- OCC-Buckeye at Mentel Memorial
Aug. 10 -- Panther Invitational at Turnberry
Aug. 15 -- OCC-Buckeye at Westchester
Aug. 18 -- North Canton Hoover Midwest Classic at Skyland Pines
Aug. 22 -- Dublin Coffman and New Albany at Muirfield Village
Aug. 25 -- Bear/Lion Fall Open at Cooks Creek
Aug. 27 -- Lexington Invitational at Westbrook
Aug. 29 -- OCC-Buckeye at Royal American
Sept. 4 -- New Albany Invitational at New Albany Country Club
Sept. 6 -- Dublin Coffman and New Albany at Blackhawk
Sept. 8 -- Eagle/Panther Invitational at Cooks Creek
Sept. 10 -- Kettering Alter Invitational at NCR
Sept. 12 -- OCC-Buckeye at Cooks Creek
Sept. 17 -- Lancaster, Olentangy Berlin and Thomas Worthington at Blackhawk
Sept. 19 -- Delaware and Dublin Scioto at Oakhaven
Sept. 20 -- Upper Arlington Invitational at Brookside
Sept. 24 -- Delaware and Gahanna at Blackhawk
Sept. 27 -- Olentangy Berlin, Olentangy Liberty and Olentangy at TBA
Oct. 6 -- Pickerington North Fall Classic at Cooks Creek
Aug. 16 -- at Dublin Coffman
Aug. 21 -- vs. Franklin Heights
*Aug. 23 -- at Olentangy Liberty
Aug. 25 -- Watterson Invitational
Aug. 27 -- vs. Columbus Academy
*Aug. 28 -- vs. Westerville Central
*Sept. 4 -- at Olentangy
Sept. 5 -- vs. Thomas Worthington
*Sept. 6 -- vs. Westerville North
Sept. 7 -- vs. Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown
Sept. 10 -- vs. Dublin Jerome
Sept. 11 -- at Columbus School for Girls
Sept. 12 -- at Watterson
Sept. 18 -- at Pickerington Central
Sept. 19 -- vs. Pickerington North
Sept. 20 -- at Olentangy Berlin
*Sept. 24 -- vs. Westerville South
Sept. 25 -- at Dublin Scioto
Sept. 27 -- at New Albany
Below are the coming schedules for the Orange field hockey, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Aug. 20 -- At Bexley
*Aug. 22 -- At Olentangy
Aug. 17 -- At Olentangy Berlin
Aug. 21 -At Thomas Worthington
Aug. 17 -- At Berlin
Aug. 22 -- At Big Walnut
Aug. 18 -- At Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame
Aug. 21 -- Home vs. Big Walnut