It had been since 2011 that the Watterson High School girls volleyball team last had won a Division I district championship, and it was beginning to look as though that drought would be extended by third-seeded Olentangy on Oct. 27 at Whitehall.
After falling behind two games to one, however, the eighth-seeded Eagles battled back to defeated the Braves 18-25, 25-15, 20-25, 25-23, 15-13 in a district final.
Watterson improved to 19-7 and advanced to play Olentangy Orange in a regional semifinal Nov. 1 at Worthington Kilbourne.
Olentangy finished 19-6.
“That was not our best match by any means, but we had grit and grime and just a willingness to not lose,” Eagles coach Stephanie Grieshop said.
In a tight fourth game, Olentangy pulled within 21-20 on a kill by Olivia Margolies, but Watterson scored the next two points and went on to take the game.
Then in the fifth game, the Braves held a 13-10 lead before the Eagles, led by Grace Jenkins and Sydney Taylor, scored the final five points to close out the match.
Olentangy Orange 3, Watkins Memorial 1
The fourth-seeded Pioneers won their third consecutive Division I district championship by defeating the 13th-seeded Warriors 25-19, 20-25, 25-15, 25-15 in a district final Oct. 27 at Whitehall.
Orange improved to 20-5 and advanced to play Watterson in a regional semifinal Nov. 1 at Kilbourne.
Taylor Metzler had 15 kills and five blocks, London Davis had 12 kills, Carrigan O’Reilly had 25 assists and seven blocks and Megan McCollum had 16 digs for the Pioneers.
Olentangy Liberty 3, DeSales 0
The top-seeded Patriots advanced to a Division I regional semifinal with a 25-11, 25-17, 25-18 victory over the 11th-seeded Stallions in a district final Oct. 27 at Franklin Heights.
Liberty improved to 25-0 and advanced to play Dublin Coffman in a regional semifinal Nov. 1 at Kilbourne.
DeSales finished 16-9.
“I just felt like we didn’t make a whole lot of errors, played scrappy and did what we needed to do with our serving,” Patriots coach Jen Chapman said. “We just played consistent.”
Defense might have been the biggest strength for the Patriots, as Maile Steckelberg had 25 digs and Claranne Fechter and Logan Flaugh both had 19.
Fechter also had 12 kills.
Dublin Coffman 3, Worthington Kilbourne 0
The second-seeded Shamrocks won their 12th consecutive Division I district championship by defeating the fifth-seeded Wolves 25-17, 25-19, 25-20 in a district final Oct. 27 at Franklin Heights.
Coffman improved to 23-3 and will play Liberty in a regional semifinal Nov. 1 at Kilbourne.
“We have a strong senior class but a pretty balanced team, and nobody wants to be the team that breaks the (district title) streak,” Coffman coach Mary Anne Souder said. “Everyone is playing at a high level right now. We’re just trying to refine some things, but Kilbourne did a really nice job of finding some weaknesses. I think of these 12 district championship matches we’ve been in, this was by far our biggest challenge.”
Riley Wagoner had 17 kills and three aces to lead the Shamrocks.
Coffman, which never trailed in the match, jumped out to a 10-3 lead in both the first and second games and extended its lead to 22-13 in both games.
The Wolves, who finished a program-best 22-4, battled point-for-point for most of the third game, forging eight ties, the last at 16-all, but the Shamrocks scored four of the final five points.
—Brad EmerineDivision II
Hartley 3, Big Walnut 2
According to Hartley coach Mike Rahe, both his team and last year’s state runner-up, Big Walnut, were “exhausted” after the fifth-seeded Hawks earned a 23-25, 25-23, 23-25, 25-23, 15-8 victory over the second-seeded Golden Eagles in a Division II district final Oct. 27 at Licking Heights.
Hartley improved to 20-6 and will face Jonathan Alder in a regional semifinal Nov. 1 at Heath, while Big Walnut finished 20-5.
“Unbelievable match,” Rahe said. “Two talented teams who left everything on the court.”
Ashley Tipton led the Hawks’ defense and served the final four points of the match. Kayla Malone, Chiamaka Nwokolo and Colleen Sweeney were among the Hawks’ other standouts, according to Rahe.
—Jarrod UlreyDivision IV
Fairfield Christian 3, Delaware Christian 1
The top-seeded Knights earned a return trip to the Division IV regional by defeating the fourth-seeded Eagles 25-23, 25-16, 24-26, 25-16 in the district final Oct. 27 at Worthington Christian.
Fairfield Christian, which was a state semifinalist last season, improved to 25-1 and will play Portsmouth Clay in a regional semifinal Oct. 31 at Lancaster. The Knights are 113-18 over the last five seasons.
Fairfield Christian rallied from a 21-14 deficit in the first game, which was reminiscent of the teams’ match Sept. 29 when the Knights rallied in the first game and went on to win 29-27, 25-21, 25-6.
Delaware Christian, which finished 16-10, was led by Lyssi Snouffer (18 kills and 22 digs), Maggie Broadfoot (9 kills, 13 digs) and Grace Williams (31 assists and 13 digs).