With a 25-12, 25-14, 25-22 victory over Upper Arlington on Oct. 11, the Dublin Coffman High School girls volleyball team swept through the OCC-Central Division without losing a set.
The Shamrocks will head into next season on a 145-match winning streak in league play, but the 10-0 record they achieved in OCC-Central action this year wasn't what coach Mary Anne Souder would categorize as easy.
Coffman, which got 15 kills from Riley Wagoner, 14 digs from Lexi Piekarski and 22 assists from Jacy Sheldon against UA, has won 12 consecutive league titles.
"It's just part of the culture here and it just feels really, really good," senior Carmen Haefke said. "We've made a lot of progress and are getting a lot closer, and we're playing our best volleyball right now. We're excited about that."
Coffman has made five appearances in the Division I state tournament since 2009, including finishing as state runner-up in both 2009 and '15.
The Shamrocks were 19-3 overall and had lost just one set against a team from central Ohio entering the postseason, but are the No. 2 seed in the district tournament. Olentangy Liberty went 22-0 during the regular season and received the top seed.
"The league is better this year," Souder said. "Everybody is a little bit stronger, and overall in central Ohio, volleyball is stronger. (Not being the top seed) definitely motivates us. You have to give it to (Liberty), but it helps a lot, actually."
Coffman opened the district tournament Oct. 16 against 49th-seeded Franklin Heights and the winner plays host to 47th-seeded Centennial in the second round Thursday, Oct. 18. That winner faces 21st-seeded Newark, 26th-seeded Licking Heights or 36th-seeded Dresden Tri-Valley in a district semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 24, at Franklin Heights.
The district final is Oct. 27.
Girls soccer team secures league title
The girls soccer team earned a second consecutive OCC-Central championship when it tied UA at 3 on Oct. 9 to finish 4-0-1 in league play as Hilliard Davidson was second (4-1).
"It's always great for the team," junior midfielder/forward Kinsey Crabtree said. "We always want to get the team in the best position we can for the (Division I district) tournament. Winning the OCC is another step. (The injuries have) definitely been hard, but the team has really coped well with it."
Coffman, which closed the regular season Oct. 13 with a 1-0 loss to Springboro, is 10-3-3 overall heading into its district tournament opener Thursday, Oct. 18, at home against 25th-seeded Thomas Worthington or 26th-seeded DeSales.
The winner faces 10th-seeded Olentangy Orange, 23rd-seeded Westerville South or 29th-seeded Chillicothe in a district semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 23, at the home of the better seed. The district final is Oct. 27.
The Shamrocks are the fifth seed.
Boys soccer team upsets Moeller
With a 3-2 victory over the No. 2-ranked team in the Division I state poll, Cincinnati Moeller, on Oct. 13, the boys soccer team showed that it may be peaking heading into the district tournament.
The win came after the Shamrocks tied Jerome at 1 on Oct. 4 and tied UA at 2 on Oct. 9, the latter result earning them the OCC-Central championship at 4-0-1. UA finished second at 3-0-2.
Coffman is 11-2-3 overall and is seeded fifth in the district tournament, which it opens Saturday, Oct. 20, at home against 35th-seeded Teays Valley or 45th-seeded Columbus West in a second-round game. The winner plays 16th-seeded Orange, 22nd-seeded Davidson or 38th-seeded Whitehall in a district semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the home of the better seed.
The district final is Oct. 27.
Against UA, Hassan Ali and Colin Kirkley scored and goalkeeper Trent McConnaughey made six saves.
Runners prep for postseason
The boys and girls cross country teams will compete in the Division I district meet Saturday, Oct. 20, at Hilliard Darby.
The boys are in district 2, which advances the top five teams and top 20 individuals, and the girls are in district 3, which advances the top six teams and top 24 individuals, to the regional meet Oct. 27 at Pickerington North.
On Oct. 13 in the OCC-Central meet at Davidson, the girls finished second (59 points) behind the host Wildcats (20) and the boys were third (82) behind Davidson (23) and UA (46).
Madeline Erwin was eighth (19 minutes, 31.3 seconds) to lead the girls, followed by Abigail Scherer (ninth, 19:41.4), Leah Jablonski (12th, 20:03.9), Emma Niswonger (13th, 20:14.2), Madeline Scherer (18th, 20:31.9), Kasey Stammen (20th, 20:39.8) and Jaela Proper (27th, 21:00.9).
Alex Dediu placed third (16:08.7) to lead the boys, followed by Colin Gagne (18th, 17:17.2), Ream Gebrekidan (20th, 17:19.7), Noah Lowers (26th, 17:38.5), Mitchell Yeater (27th, 17:39.3), Cameron Hull (28th, 17:40.5) and Shashwat Rao (29th, 17:41.34).
Field hockey team to open tourney
The 12th-seeded field hockey team plays host to ninth-seeded Bexley or 10th-seeded Granville in the second round of the district tournament Thursday, Oct. 18.
The winner plays top-seeded Columbus Academy or 18th-seeded Olentangy Berlin in a district semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 23, at a site to be announced. The district final is Oct. 27 at Liberty.
Coffman lost to UA 2-0 on Oct. 10 to close the regular season at 7-9 overall and finish 3-5 in the Central Ohio Field Hockey League-West Division.
Boys golfers place seventh at district
For the third consecutive season, the boys golf team earned a seventh-place finish at the Division I district tournament.
The Shamrocks shot a 322 on Oct. 9 at Apple Valley as Jerome (293) and St. Charles (309) advanced to state Friday, Oct. 19, and Saturday, Oct. 20, at Ohio State's Scarlet Course.
Senior Matt Sopko led Coffman with a 77, followed by juniors Sam Sellman (79) and Jacob Hazen (83) and seniors Blake Whitis (83) and Spencer Eiselt (88).
"We had a string of double-bogeys that hurt us," coach Scott Sutherland said. "Matt Sopko shot 35 on the front (nine) but just had a couple errant shots that did him in. He putted well. We had a really good group of seniors and I'll miss them a lot."
Coffman earned a sectional title Oct. 2 at Darby Creek as Hazen was one of three golfers to tie for first at 74.
In the four-round OCC-Central tournament, the Shamrocks went 14-6 to tie Davidson for second (14-6) behind UA (20-0). Sellman averaged 77 to make first-team all-league, Sopko (78) and Eiselt (79.8) were second-team all-league and Hazen (83.3) was honorable mention.
Just missing making honorable mention all-league was junior Brett Whitis, who averaged 84.5 in league matches.
Tennis team losing strong senior class
Of the seven postseason competitors for the girls tennis team, four were seniors, including the doubles team of Alex Kapustin and Anya Shah.
Kapustin and Shah had their season end with a 6-2, 6-1 loss to Orange's Livie Mauger and Caroline Sproule in the first round of the Division I district tournament Oct. 11 at Reynoldsburg. The duo placed fourth at sectional Oct. 5 and 6 at UA.
"Doubles was definitely hard this year," coach Brett Hundertpfund said. "Ideally, you want to come in as a little higher seed, but we made the best of it coming in as a four seed. You know you're going to play somebody really tough. Those girls hit hard so they kind of caught us with some good shots. We did OK. We played some really good points."
Coffman, which went 11-5 overall and was runner-up in the OCC-Central at 4-1 behind UA (5-0), also loses Lena Caruso to graduation. She and sophomore Ria Singhal lost in the second round in doubles at sectional.
The other postseason competitors were juniors Claire Feit and Hannah Qin and sophomore Cassi Shough, each of whom reached a sectional quarterfinal in singles.
"As a coach, you just want to look at the beginning of the season and see that your players have improved both on the court and off the court where they're getting along as a team, having fun, and I think I saw that," Hundertpfund said. "All in all, I think it was a great season."
Girls golf season ends at district
The girls golf team had its season end with a fourth-place finish (331) at the nine-team Division I district tournament Oct. 9 at Cooks Creek as the top two advanced to state.
Sophomore Annika Manjunath shot a 78 to tie for 10th as the final individual qualifier, UA's Emily Hummer, shot 75.
Senior Maria Howard carded an 81, followed by senior Olivia Brickey (85), sophomore Ava Guilliams (87) and junior Jenna Lynn (89).
"I'm not totally unhappy, but a little disappointed," coach Randy Patton said.
"We couldn't stay away from a few holes where we had at minimum a double (bogey) or maybe a triple. But our girls never quit."
In the four-round OCC-Central tournament, Manjunath averaged 74 and Howard averaged 75 to each earn first-team all-league honors and Brickey averaged 84.8 to make honorable mention.
"We had a great year," Patton said. "We're a top-five team in the state, but there's nowhere else in the state that's like this district. I'm really proud of them."