Considering the limited amount of returning experience the Reynoldsburg High School boys soccer team possessed heading into this season, coach Tony Labudovski was more than happy with the first month.
The Raiders were 5-2-5 overall and 0-1-1 in the OCC-Ohio Division before facing Pickerington Central on Sept. 25.
"They've exceeded my expectations," Labudovski said. "It's a young group and they've bought into the system. I'm proud of the guys."
Reynoldsburg opened league play with a 2-0 loss to Gahanna on Sept. 13. It then rallied from deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 to forge a 2-all tie Sept. 19 at Grove City.
Junior forward Nick Wallace and junior midfielder Yobiel Fishation each scored against the Greyhounds.
The Raiders played Groveport (Aug. 17) and Dublin Scioto (Sept. 15) to scoreless ties and also played Westerville South, a 2017 Division I district champion, to a 1-all tie Aug. 28. Their other tie was against Hilliard Darby (1-all Sept. 6).
"There have been three or four ties that could have gone our way," Labudovski said. "I told the boys that now it's a mindset. You have to play the game to win instead of playing the game to lose. ... (Against Grove City) we should have won the game. They got two goals on throw-ins where a couple guys just got loose."
Wallace has been among the team's leading scorers all season.
"(Wallace's) movement is good off the ball," Labudovski said. "He's phenomenal in the air. In high school it's about the effort, and he's got the effort."
Volleyball team opens second round of OCC play
The girls volleyball team will begin the second round of the OCC-Ohio schedule Thursday, Sept. 27, at Gahanna.
Before facing Lancaster on Sept. 25, the Raiders were 3-11 overall and 0-4 in the league with wins over Central Crossing (Aug. 30), Whitehall (Sept. 11) and Zanesville (Sept. 17). All three wins came in three games.
The Raiders played much of the season's first half without one of their top expected players, junior outside hitter/middle hitter Olivia Kirksey, because of an injury.
Reynoldsburg has four seniors in Tyra Barber (outside hitter/right-side hitter), DaNetra Franklin (defensive specialist), Madison Finnerty (right-side hitter) and Lindsey Long (right-side hitter). Juniors Leah Delco (middle hitter/outside hitter) and Jessica Ricks (outside hitter/setter) also are among the key players.
On Sept. 19, the Raiders lost to Pickerington North 25-10, 20-25, 25-18, 25-10, marking the first time this season that they won a game against a league opponent.
"We just got Olivia back," coach Brittney McKenna said. "All of them have been stepping up and working as a team. We just have to keep working together and improve every day."
Girls soccer team out to finish strong
After winning its first six games, the girls soccer team went 1-3-1 over its next five.
Two of the losses came to Gahanna (3-0 on Sept. 13) and Grove City (3-1 on Sept. 19), which are among the top teams in the OCC-Ohio.
The Raiders were 7-3-1 overall and 0-2 in the league before facing Pickerington Central on Sept. 25. They continue league action Tuesday, Oct. 2, at home against Pickerington North.
Last season, Reynoldsburg lost to North 6-0.
Sophomore forward Ryanne Buck scored twice and sophomore defender Cassidy Collins, junior defender Kendall Craiglow and senior defender Alexis Langwasser also scored in a 5-1 win over Zanesville on Sept. 15.
Buck, who also scored against Grove City, had 14 goals and one assist through 11 games. Craiglow had four goals and three assists, followed by Collins (3 goals), Isa Fuentes (2 goals, 4 assists) and Baylie Phillips (2 goals, 2 assists).
Junior goalkeepers Alexis Sheffield and Alissa Richmond had 24 and 20 saves, respectively.
The Raiders close the league schedule Oct. 9 at Lancaster and also have non-league games remaining Saturday, Sept. 29, at Watkins Memorial and Oct. 4 at home against
Westerville North before the postseason begins. The Division I district tournament drawing is Oct. 7.
Below are the coming schedules for the Reynoldsburg cross country, boys golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 29 -- Pickerington North Invitational
Sept. 29 -- Pickerington Central Invitational at Turnberry
Oct. 2 -- Division I sectional at Turnberry. The top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advance to the district tournament Oct. 9 at Apple Valley.
*Oct. 2 -- At Pickerington North
Sept. 29 -- At Watkins Memorial
*Oct. 2 -- Home vs. Pickerington North
Sept. 27 -- Home vs. Granville
Oct. 1 -- At Newark
Oct. 2 -- Home vs. Watkins Memorial
*Sept. 27 -- At Gahanna. The Raiders lost to the Lions 25-21, 25-8, 25-14 on Sept. 4.
Oct. 1 -- Home vs. Logan
*Oct. 2 -- Home vs. Grove City. The Raiders lost to the Greyhounds 25-4, 25-8, 25-13 on Sept. 5.