Makayla Nolan gave the Central Crossing High School girls volleyball team a boost that the Comets hope will lead to better play.
The junior defensive specialist/right-side hitter scored the first 14 points in the final game of a 25-19, 10-25, 25-14, 25-11 victory over visiting Marion Harding on Sept. 29.
The Comets improved to 3-13 overall. They were 2-4 in the OCC-Central Division before playing Marysville on Oct. 2.
"It felt good to have a start like that, and after that we all came together and played well," Nolan said. "This match made us all come together and we want that to continue to help us in the rest of the season."
The Comets lost their first nine matches before defeating Marysville 25-20, 25-20, 25-22 on Sept. 11. They won a second league match by defeating Westland 26-24, 25-23, 25-12 on Sept. 25.
Against the Cougars, middle hitter Taylor Weddington had eight kills and two blocks and outside hitter Morgan Geddes had six kills, two blocks and four aces. Setter Olivia Castle added 12 assists and four aces.
"We have such great team chemistry," said Geddes, who led the Comets with 163 kills and 18 blocks through 15 matches. "We are all friends on and off the court, and I think that helps us a lot on the court. We're like a family."
Coach Meredith Shifley has seen marked improvement as the season has progressed.
"We're playing more as a team and working on our passing game," she said. "I think (the match against Harding) truly showed that our teamwork and communication can help us pull through and win.
"We're also encouraging them to play smart volleyball. We don't always need to be the most aggressive team, but we can also play smart. We need to be aggressive when we can."
Weddington had team highs in blocks (31) and aces (17) and also had 17 kills through 15 matches. Castle led with 143 assists and also had 52 digs and 13 aces, and defensive specialist Delaney Pfeiffer led in digs with 62 and had 13 aces. Right-side hitter Olivia Everett had 40 kills and middle hitter Erin Brothers had 16 blocks.
"We need to work on communication because sometimes we can get into our own heads," Weddington said. "We definitely showed that (strong communication) in the last game (against Harding) after Makayla's run. We're going to need to keep pushing on and progressing."
Shifley said that progress all depends on the Comets playing as a team.
"It comes down to the teamwork, especially when we play the tougher teams," she said. "We have been trying to get the girls to play together instead of six individuals out there. We have to stay as a cohesive unit.
"Our defense is improving. We're working on it every practice and we're learning not only our block but our passing and where we need to be get the ball."
Postseason begins for boys golf team
The boys golf team began its postseason Oct. 2 in a Division I sectional at Denison Golf Club.
The top four teams and top four individuals not qualifying teams advanced to district Tuesday, Oct. 9, at Apple Valley.
At district, the top two teams and top two individuals not on those teams qualify for state Oct. 19 and 20 at Ohio State's Scarlet Course.
Last season, senior Caleb Davern shot a 71 at district, tying Olentangy Liberty's Trey Rath for first. Rath, a 2018 graduate, then won a one-hole playoff for medalist honors.
Davern, an Ohio State recruit, went on to finish fourth at state with a two-round 148, four strokes behind medalist Maxwell Modolvan of Uniontown Green.
Davern had a strong tune-up for the postseason, tying Olentangy Berlin's Bryce Reed for medalist honors with a 70 in the OCC Shootout on Sept. 24 at Moundbuilders.
The Comets finished 17th (408) of 18 teams behind champion Olentangy Orange (307). Jackson Phillips (106), Jimmy Schwinne (106) and Austin Estep (126) also competed.
Girls tennis team heads to sectional
The girls tennis team plays in a Division I sectional tournament Thursday, Oct. 4, and Saturday, Oct. 6, at Upper Arlington.
Seniors Emma Bachmann and Evelyn Pauquette and junior Madison Wallner will play singles. The doubles teams will be senior Alana Smith and sophomore Irnia Meleshchuk and senior Alexis Young and junior Alina Marko.
The Comets were 4-8 overall and 0-4 in the OCC-Central before playing Westland on Oct. 1.
Below are the coming schedules for the Central Crossing boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
*Oct. 9 -- Home vs. Westland
Oct. 4 -- At Westerville South
Oct. 6 -- At Big Walnut
*Oct. 9 -- At Westland
*Oct. 4 -- Home vs. Hilliard Davidson. The Comets lost to the Wildcats 25-23, 24-26, 25-16, 25-16 on Sept. 13.
*Oct. 9 -- Home vs. Dublin Coffman. The Comets lost to the Shamrocks 25-9, 25-7, 25-12 on Sept. 20.
Oct. 10 -- At Watterson