The seniors in the Olentangy Orange High School girls golf program set the bar high for future teams.
Ashley Au, Riley Dean, Sydney Krupp and Natalia Sompolvorachai contributed to the Pioneers winning Division I state titles in 2016 and 2017 and finishing second on Oct. 20 at Ohio State's Gray Course.
"To get to the state tournament once is hard enough but then to get here four times, win two titles and also finish second is amazing," sixth-year coach Cari DeAngelis said. "These girls just have had an incredible career."
The Pioneers shot a two-day 618 to finish behind New Albany, which shot a record 592 to break the former top mark of 602 set by Orange last fall.
Orange needed to rally to finish second. The Pioneers were fourth (310) after the first round Oct. 19, but moved past Ashland (309) and Centerville (305) the second day. Centerville finished third (624) of 12 teams, and Ashland was fourth (642).
"I was really proud of the way we were able to come back in the tougher conditions with the wind and everything," DeAngelis said. "We knew we could shoot lower and all the girls did a good job."
Au placed third (143) to lead the Pioneers, followed by Dean (149), Sompolvorachai (155), freshman Natalie Au (171) and Krupp (190).
"I was able to fight through and save shots this whole tournament," Ashley Au said. "I was able to get crucial up-and-downs and make some big putts. My mentality was to stay focused on every shot and try not to give away too much."
The Pioneers were runners-up (315) at district Oct. 9 at Cooks Creek behind New Albany (298), and they shot 306 to win a sectional title Oct. 2 at Royal American.
Orange won its third consecutive league title by going 20-0 in the OCC-Buckeye Division. Ashley Au averaged 71.3 to earn league Player of the Year honors and Dean (76.5), an Akron recruit, also made the first team. Sompolvorachai (77.0), a Cincinnati recruit, was honorable mention, as were Natalie Au (84.3) and Krupp (97.3).
"It's bittersweet and really sucks that this is all over," said Ashley Au, who has yet to make a college selection. "We had a lot of fun and I will miss playing with everyone."
Tennis team finishes fourth at state
The girls tennis team wrapped up its season by finishing fourth in its first appearance in the Division I OTCA state tournament.
On Oct. 21 at Reynoldsburg, the Pioneers lost to Rocky River Magnificat 3-2 in a semifinal and Perrysburg 3-2 in the third-place match.
"(The semifinal) was a great match, going down to the last court just like we thought that it would," said third-year coach Susan Storrer, whose team defeated Dublin Jerome 3-0 in the district final Oct. 16 to advance to state. "We played well. I was hoping we had enough experience from state and district (in the OHSAA postseason) that we could work through some of the nerves. We seemed to be able to do that."
Mason defeated Magnificat 3-0 in the championship match.
In the semifinal, the second-doubles team of junior Hannah Logan and freshman Tyler Reed battled for 2 hours, 40 minutes before falling to Magnificat's Hannah Klubnik and Kayra Koprulu 7-6, 4-6, 7-5 in the decisive match.
Juniors Kortney Reed and Erin Storrer went 1-1 in doubles in the Division I state tournament Oct. 19 and 20 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason. They beat Perrysburg's Kyleigh Henthorn and Gemma Smith 3-6, 6-2, 6-0 before losing to eventual runners-up Caitlyn Hsu and Hannah Kassaie of Mayfield 6-1, 7-5.
"State was fun, but it was a little disappointing that we didn't get through the second round," said coach Storrer, whose team finished 14-4 overall and won the OCC-Buckeye at 5-0. "The girls got to play on center court and win in the first round so that was a good experience for them.
"We're only losing one senior, Livie Mauger. I'm hoping this year's experience will give them the hunger they need to work hard so we can make it back (to state) next year."
Cross country teams prepare for regional
The boys and girls cross country teams will compete in the Division I regional Saturday, Oct. 27, at Pickerington North.
The top five teams and top 20 individuals in both races advance to state Nov. 3 at National Trail Raceway.
The girls were runners-up (63 points) in the district 2 race Oct. 20 at Hilliard Darby behind Granville (34) as the top six teams advanced. Scoring were Allie Guagenti (fifth, 18:27.8), Lindsay Ott (eighth, 19:15.6), Abby Schroff (15th, 20:06.4), Paige Benecke (17th, 20:08.5) and Corinne Hazel (18th, 20:11.5).
Andrew Schroff (third, 16:00.5) led the boys, who finished third (99) in district 1 behind champion Gahanna (63) as the top five teams advanced. Also scoring were Alex Kenish (18th, 16:53.5), Cole Benishek (23rd, 17:13.1), Merek Helmer (27th, 17:18.0) and Lincoln Weber (28th, 17:18.1).
Girls soccer team wins district opener
The 10th-seeded girls soccer team was 10-5-2 before playing fourth-seeded Dublin Coffman on Oct. 23 in a district semifinal.
The winner plays fifth-seeded Olentangy or sixth-seeded Hilliard Davidson in a district final Saturday, Oct. 27, at a neutral site to be determined. The Pioneers lost to Davidson 2-1 on Aug. 23 and to Olentangy 2-1 on Oct. 13.
The district champion faces New Albany, Pickerington Central, Pickerington North or Westerville Central in a regional semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 30, at Westerville Central. Orange defeated New Albany 3-2 on Sept. 18 and Westerville Central 3-0 on Sept. 20.
The Pioneers opened the postseason with a 1-0 win over 23rd-seeded Westerville South on Oct. 18 in the second round as Payton Kaufman scored.
Volleyball team to face Jerome
The fourth-seeded girls volleyball team is 18-5 and plays 12th-seeded Jerome in a district semifinal Thursday, Oct. 25, at Whitehall.
The winner plays sixth-seeded Pickerington Central or eighth-seeded Watterson in a district final Saturday, Oct. 27, at Whitehall. The Pioneers have won two district titles in a row.
Orange defeated 34th-seeded Westerville North 25-10, 25-10, 25-15 on Oct. 18 in the second round.
Field hockey team reaches district semi
The sixth-seeded field hockey team was 11-3-3 before playing at fourth-seeded Watterson on Oct. 23 in a district semifinal.
The winner plays top-seeded Columbus Academy or ninth-seeded Bexley in a district final Saturday, Oct. 27, at Liberty.
The Pioneers defeated 11th-seeded Jerome 1-0 on Oct. 16 in the second round as Josie Carcamo scored.
Boys soccer team falls to Davidson
The 16th-seeded boys soccer team lost to 22nd-seeded Davidson 3-2 on Oct. 20 in the second round of the Division I district tournament to finish 7-7-3 overall.
Senior forward Joey Brooks and senior defender Richie Porello scored, and senior goalkeeper Alex Beck had three saves.
Beck, Brooks and Porello led a six-player senior class for the Pioneers, who went 1-3-1 in the OCC-Buckeye.
Top players expected to return include juniors Jack Kossoudji (midfielder), Jason Stewart (defender) and Kyle Stringer (forward) and sophomore midfielders Nate Hoang and Alex James.