Only a sophomore, Riley Kindall has emerged as one of the top players on the Westerville Central High School girls volleyball team.
Kindall has helped the Warhawks make a bid for their first winning season since 2015, when they lost in a Division I district final to finish 22-4 overall. Central won the OCC-Cardinal Division title at 14-0 for its second consecutive perfect record in league play.
The Warhawks were 10-8 overall and 3-3 in the OCC-Buckeye before playing Olentangy Orange on Oct. 2.
"I feel like our bond is very good and we just really love the sport," Kindall said. "Our goal is just to play every game and try our hardest."
Kindall received valuable playing time last year at outside hitter and has taken on more of a key role this season.
"She's taken the mentality that when she's on the court she has to bring the game and make everyone else around her better," coach Gerard Iquina said. "Last year as a freshman, she didn't have that confidence. This year she has that confidence, that composure and is definitely a great addition."
The Warhawks have played part of the season without senior outside hitter/defensive specialist Avrey Schumacher, who sprained her right ankle in a 23-25, 25-12, 18-25, 25-23, 16-14 win over Westerville North on Sept. 4.
Last season, Schumacher was first-team all-league and honorable mention all-district. She missed the Warhawks' rematch at North on Sept. 27, but was hoping to return this week.
Kindall has stepped up in Schumacher's absence, including contributing 22 kills and eight digs in a 25-21, 14-25, 25-22, 20-25, 15-8 win over the Warriors.
"Riley takes pressure off the other attackers," Iquina said. "Playing all the way around, she definitely is a great addition to the team and she makes all of those around her better as well."
The Warriors were seeking their first win over Central.
"The big message I told them in the fifth set was to respect the process and they did what I told them to do in regard to playing defense, bettering the ball on offense, and you saw the results at the end," Iquina said. "It was definitely a great (win)."
Through 18 matches, Kindall led the Warhawks in kills (200) and aces (36). Madison Saunders had 116 kills and Mallory Mahoney led in digs (237), while Jordan Plas (256) and Haylee Tillman (250) led in assists and Esther Holtzclaw led in blocks (24).
Central will look for a sweep of its Westerville rivals when it plays host to South on Oct. 11. The Warhawks defeated the Wildcats 29-27, 25-14, 25-20 on Sept. 25.
Kindall began playing at the club level in sixth grade.
"I do not think I would have the amount of personal success I have been able to achieve without my teammates," she said. "Over the course of my volleyball career, my teammates have always made it possible for me to play at my highest level."
Boys soccer team falls to Liberty
The boys soccer team lost 2-0 to Olentangy Liberty on Oct. 1 to fall to 7-3-3 overall and 2-1-1 in the OCC-Buckeye.
Liberty leads the league at 4-0.
Central handed Olentangy its first loss of the season 2-1 on Sept. 24. Blake Barna and Enrique Monzalvo scored, and goalkeeper Jacob Borcila had eight saves.
Stephen Gerardi and Kyle Stewart scored and Borcila had six saves in a 2-1 win over Thomas Worthington on Sept. 27.
Girls soccer team looking for league win
The girls soccer team was 7-5-1 overall and 0-3 in the OCC-Buckeye before playing Liberty on Oct. 2.
Kate Schimmel scored two goals in a 5-2 win over Thomas on Sept. 27. Anna Bardwell, Michayla Brenning and Lauryn White each added a goal, and goalie Payton McCarthy had five saves.
Brenning scored and McCarthy had three saves in a 1-all tie against Worthington Christian on Sept. 29.
Golf teams open postseason play
The boys and girls golf teams opened the postseason by competing in Division I sectionals Oct. 2.
The boys competed at Darby Creek, where the top four teams and top four individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district Tuesday, Oct. 9, at Apple Valley.
At district, the top two teams and top two individuals not on qualifying teams advance to state Oct. 19 and 20 at Ohio State's Scarlet Course.
The girls competed at Westchester, where the top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district Tuesday, Oct. 9, at Cooks Creek.
At district, the top two teams and top two individuals not on qualifying teams advance to state Oct. 19 and 20 at Ohio State's Gray Course.
In regular-season events Saturday, Oct. 6, the boys will compete in the Wedgewood Showcase and the girls will compete in the Pickerington North Fall Classic at Cooks Creek.
Below are the coming schedules for the Central boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 4 -- At Big Walnut
*Oct. 8 -- At Westerville South
Oct. 4 -- Home vs. Big Walnut
*Oct. 9 -- Home vs. South
Oct. 4, 6 -- Division I sectional at Hilliard Bradley. The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to district Oct. 11 and 13 Reynoldsburg.
*Oct. 4 -- Home vs. Olentangy. The Warhawks lost to the Braves 25-15, 25-10, 25-11 on Sept. 13.
*Oct. 9 -- At Olentangy Liberty. The Warhawks lost to the Patriots 25-11, 25-11, 25-14 on Sept. 20.