The Worthington Kilbourne High School girls volleyball team left the comfort of its home court to play 19th-seeded Pickerington North in a Division I district semifinal Oct. 24 at Franklin Heights.
The fifth-seeded Wolves won their first two matches of the district tournament at home and are seeking to play at least one more match on their court, as Kilbourne is the site of the regional tournament Nov. 1 and 3.
To reach a regional semifinal, the Wolves must win a district title. The Kilbourne-North winner plays second-seeded Dublin Coffman or 21st-seeded Newark in a district final Saturday, Oct. 27, at Franklin Heights.
"That's one of the goals the kids set forth at the beginning of the season," coach Meladee Hopkins said, referring to reaching the regional tournament. "We have a shot at it, but we're going to have to continue to play well to get past our next two opponents. We've got to take care of our business."
Kilbourne entered its district semifinal seeking a program-record 22nd victory. The Wolves, who beat 48th-seeded Mifflin 25-1, 25-6, 25-5 in the first round Oct. 16 and 46th-seeded Westland 25-15, 25-6, 25-14 in the second round Oct. 18, were 21-3 before playing North.
"We've stayed healthy this season and we lost (outside hitter) Taylor Katz to an injury in practice during the tournament last year when we wanted to come back and play in the regional at home, so that was a big factor," senior libero Amber Beals said. "I think we have a different mindset this year and we're playing for each other. We're more confident and comfortable.
"We have basically the same team structure. It's just a different attitude and expectations."
Beals has committed to the University of Michigan and plans to sign with the Wolverines on Nov. 14. She said her father, Ohio State baseball coach Greg Beals, has come to grips with her decision.
"He gives me a lot of good-natured (grief) about it, but he understands that I made the best decision for me in terms of volleyball and academics," Beals said. "I hear it from my teammates, too. But I love them so much. That's why we want to at least reach the regional so we can play in front our fans on our home floor again. We want to extend the season as long as possible because we won't be playing together after this. This is it."
Boys runners headed to regional
The boys cross country team is headed to the regional meet for the first time since 2007.
Competing in the Division I, district 1 race Oct. 20 at Hilliard Darby, the Wolves totaled 101 points to place fourth of 13 teams, behind champion Gahanna (63).
The top five teams and top 20 individuals advanced to regional Saturday, Oct. 27, at Pickerington North.
"We are very excited and pumped up about this as a program," coach Katie Scocozzo said. "I think the boys worked really hard to make this happen, so they definitely deserve this. We had three guys finish in the top 20, so they would've made it to regionals individually, but the goal was to get the team there and they did that."
Tanner Williams placed ninth of 97 runners in 16 minutes, 13.8 seconds to lead the Wolves and Jack Begley was 10th (16:23.1).
Also competing were John Cuozzo (17th, 16:49.2), Max Shafran (30th, 17:21.8), Gabe Knuth (35th, 17:32.3), Luke Miller (37th, 17:34) and Alexander Scites (51st, 18:02.9).
"It was a very windy day and the wind was tricky, depending on which direction you were headed," Scocozzo said. "But the boys powered through it. John said that the wind kept surging him through the race, something he hadn't felt before. Every time he needed a push, he said he felt the wind gave it to him.
"At regional, we just want to give ourselves a chance to get out. Only two of the boys have competed at regional before, so it'll be something new to most of them."
At regional, the top five teams and top 20 individuals advance to the state meet Nov. 3 at National Trail Raceway.
Sasha Bomser will represent the girls team at regional after placing 16th (19:47.2) of 104 runners in the Division I, district 3 race, from which the top six teams and top 24 runners advanced.
The Wolves finished ninth (246) of 15 teams, behind champion Hilliard Davidson (25).
Also competing for Kilbourne were Sylvia Long (44th, 21:00.7), Riley Tate (47th, 21:02.2), Marisa Long (68th, 21:50.6), Madeline Allen (71st, 21:59.1), Gwendolyn Cardimen (74th, 22:26.9) and Chloe Emberton (78th, 22:43.1).
Boys soccer team rolls into semifinal
The boys soccer team rolled into its home matchup with 20th-seeded Dublin Scioto in a Division I district semifinal Oct. 24 on a 13-game unbeaten streak.
The seventh-seeded Wolves were 12-4-2 before playing the Irish. The winner plays third-seeded St. Charles or 18th-seeded Reynoldsburg in a district final Saturday, Oct. 27, at a neutral site.
The district champion faces New Albany, Coffman, Dublin Jerome or Davidson in a regional semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 31, at a neutral site. The regional final is Nov. 1.
The Wolves beat Jerome 3-0 on Aug. 28.
Kilbourne defeated 36th-seeded Mifflin 7-0 in the first round of the district tournament Oct. 17 at home and 15th-seeded Westerville South 1-0 in a second-round home game Oct. 20.
Against South, Logan Evans scored and goalkeeper Taylor Katz made five saves. Against Mifflin, Braydon Biehn scored two goals, Josh Blankenship, Chris Guerra, Brandon Kim, Gabe Porter and J.D. Burnett each scored one and Katz had three saves.
Field hockey team wins tourney opener
The third-seeded field hockey team defeated 14th-seeded Columbus School for Girls 4-1 in a second-round home game in the district tournament Oct. 17.
The Wolves, who had a first-round bye, improved to 12-2-2 and played host to fifth-seeded Olentangy Liberty in a district semifinal Oct. 23.
The winner plays second-seeded Thomas or eighth-seeded New Albany in a district final Saturday, Oct. 27, at Liberty. The district champion advances to a state semifinal Nov. 2 at Upper Arlington.
Against CSG, Abby Periatt scored two goals, Reilly St. Myer and Gracie Burford both scored one and goalie Arianna Garver made two saves.
Girls soccer team falls to Monarchs
The 22nd-seeded girls soccer team lost to 14th-seeded Marys-ville 3-1 in the second round of the Division I district tournament Oct. 18 to finish 7-10.
The Wolves, who defeated 38th-seeded Mount Vernon 4-0 in the first round Oct. 15, are losing nine seniors in Eleni Alexander (defender), Jill Baumgardner (goalie), Tori Blake (midfielder/defender), Natalie Guist (forward/midfielder), Alexis Hancock (defender), Kayla Morris (midfielder), Emma Philipps (forward), Courtney Ream (forward) and Grace Tefend (defender).
Among the expected returnees are juniors Sasha Estice (forward), Maddie Feldhaus (midfielder), Taylor Leachman (midfielder), Lauren Lickman (defender) and Brooke Taylor (forward), sophomores Elly Bally (defender) and Abby English (defender) and freshmen Molly Humphrey (midfielder) and Celeste Sloma (goalie).