One thing that Randy Cline has been impressed with during his first season as the Dublin Jerome High School girls volleyball coach has been the way his team hasn't let its circumstances get it down.
The Celtics already have surpassed last year's win total despite a new system in which some players changed positions.
In addition, some players have had to battle through illness.
"Keeping us in the right mind is not always an easy task for a high school coach with so much going on with volleyball, school work and a sickness that has been going through the school, but it's been fun," Cline said. "We've had a couple matches that they've had to (bounce) back from. In the past, they didn't come back from them well. We played excellent in the (Worthington) Kilbourne tournament (Sept. 15), which is very promising for the program."
Jerome was 12-6 overall and 7-3 in the OCC-Cardinal Division before facing Hilliard Darby on Oct. 2. It has league matches Thursday, Oct. 4, at Hilliard Bradley and Tuesday, Oct. 9, at home against Delaware before closing the regular season Oct. 11 with a league match at Scioto.
Entering play Oct. 2, Kilbourne and Scioto were 9-1 in the league and Bradley and Delaware were 6-4.
Last season, Jerome went 10-14 overall and 3-9 in the OCC-Cardinal.
At the Kilbourne tournament, the Celtics won 26-24, 27-25 over Grove City, which has been battling for the OCC-Ohio title, and came up just short against the state's 10th-ranked team, Olentangy Liberty, 25-21, 27-25.
According to Cline, junior right-side hitter Katie McKibben and sophomore middle hitter Grace Schleter have adjusted to playing new positions.
Through 18 matches, sophomore Jaci Carpenter (outside hitter/middle hitter) had a team-high 194 kills, followed by seniors Lauren Gilbert (defensive specialist/outside hitter) and Kendall Poach (middle hitter) with 153 and 129, respectively.
Senior setter Shefali Srinivasan had 328 assists through 18 matches.
The Division I district tournament drawing is Sunday, Oct. 7.
"Our ball control has been (a strength)," Cline said. "Our blocking is getting better. Our dig count isn't up to what it should be, but our serve-receive has been solid."
Girls soccer team in hunt for title
The girls soccer team would have wrapped up the OCC-Cardinal championship with a win over Delaware on Oct. 2.
Jerome, which concludes league play Tuesday, Oct. 9, at Scioto, was 9-3 overall and 5-0 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing the Pacers, while the Irish and Bradley were 3-1-1 in the league heading into their matchup Oct. 2.
Jerome was on a two-game winning streak before playing Delaware, as it bounced back from a 4-1 loss to Upper Arlington on Sept. 18 by beating Darby 5-3 on Sept. 20 and Bradley 2-1 on Sept. 25.
Against the Jaguars, Riley Mullady scored both goals and goalkeeper Natalie Coontz had 11 saves.
Girls runners prep for league meet
The girls cross country team's final tuneup before the OCC-Cardinal meet on Oct. 13 will take place Saturday, Oct. 6, when it competes in the Les Eisenhart Invitational at Thomas Worthington.
Juniors Madison Weigle and Manaka Yamauchi and freshman Audrey Cook have been among the top runners.
Weigle led Jerome with an eighth-place finish (20 minutes, 3.1 seconds) in the Celtic Clash on Sept. 22, as the Celtics finished fourth (91 points) of nine teams, behind champion Jonathan Alder (49).
Cook was 13th (20:24.0) and Yamauchi finished 15th (20:25), while sophomore Lauren Metzger won the open race (20:41.6).
Other key runners have included seniors Abby Lenz, Nicole Bowen, Sowbhagya Gosangi and Larkin Thomas, junior Olivia Bentley, sophomore Kelly McLoughlin and freshman Gwyn Lai.
Tennis squad hits final stretch
The girls tennis team beat Liberty 3-1 on Oct. 1 in a Division I district semifinal of the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association team tournament.
The Celtics face Olentangy, Olentangy Orange, Watterson or Upper Arlington in the district final at a site and date to be announced.
Jerome was 14-5 after beating Liberty and defeated UA 3-2 on Sept. 26.
In the OHSAA postseason, the Celtics have three of the top four seeds in singles for a sectional Thursday, Oct. 4, and Saturday, Oct. 6, at Reynoldsburg.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to the district tournament Oct. 11 and 13 at Reynoldsburg.
Sophomore Lalasa Nagireddy is the second seed behind Pickerington Central's Cassie Alcala, who was last year's state runner-up, and will open against Pickerington North's Regan Webber.
Junior Katherine Wang is the third seed and will open against Northland's Leila Suarez-Reid, and fourth-seeded junior Reagan Resor opens against Northland's Ma'kaela Warner or Mifflin's Arleth Nunez.
In doubles, junior Kavya Alagappan and sophomore Izzy Seikel are seeded third and have a first-round bye, while the Celtics' other pairing is seniors Sophie Williams and Katie Yao.
Golf teams begin postseason action
The boys and girls golf teams began their respective postseasons Oct. 2 in Division I sectionals.
The boys competed at Denison Golf Club, where the top four teams and top four individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to the district tournament Tuesday, Oct. 9, at Apple Valley.
The girls played at the sectional at Royal American, where the top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to the district tournament Oct. 9 at Cooks Creek.
From both district tournaments, the top two teams and two individuals not on qualifying teams advance to their respective state tournaments Oct. 19 and 20 at Ohio State.
In regular-season matches Saturday, Oct. 6, the boys will compete at the Wedgewood Showcase and the girls will participate in the Pickerington North Fall Classic at Cooks Creek.
Below are the coming schedules for the Jerome cross country, field hockey, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 6 -- Les Eisenhart Invitational at Thomas Worthington
Oct. 6 -- At Rocky River Magnificat
*Oct. 10 -- Home vs. Olentangy Berlin
Oct. 4 -- At Coffman
*Oct. 9 -- Home vs. Scioto
Oct. 4 -- Home vs. Granville
*Oct. 9 -- At Scioto
*Oct. 4 -- At Bradley. The Celtics beat the Jaguars 25-18, 21-25, 25-12, 19-25, 15-10 on Sept. 5.
*Oct. 9 -- Home vs. Delaware. The Celtics beat the Pacers 25-22, 25-22, 25-23 on Sept. 6.