Westerville Central High School boys volleyball coach Jimi Yu believes a basic part of the game has been key to his team's improvement as the season has progressed.
Yu said he has seen a change in his players' mental approach.
The Warhawks were 5-5 overall and 3-3 in the OCC-Buckeye Division before playing Olentangy on April 30. Central had won its previous two matches entering the contest with the first-place Braves.
"It's been their mental game," Yu said. "We're in the second half of the season and that has been the difference. It's their head game. We've tried to work on that. We're trying really hard on staying focused and moving on. The first half of the season they focused on the errors that they made. In the second half, we want to focus on the next point."
The Warhawks avenged an early season five-set loss to Olentangy Orange by defeating the Pioneers 18-25, 25-17, 25-19, 25-14 on April 25 at home. Ryan Kannenwischer led Central with 12 kills, followed by Will Latham and Simon Bouscher-Helbig with eight apiece.
Olentangy was 5-0 in the league before playing Central, and Olentangy Liberty was 4-1 before playing Westerville North on April 30.
Central closes league play Thursday, May, 2, at Liberty.
The Warhawks completed a season sweep of North with a 25-13, 23-25, 25-8, 19-25, 15-13 win April 23.
Through 10 matches, Kannenwischer led Central in kills (114), aces (36) and blocks (16). Latham had 45 kills, 10 aces and seven blocks, Stephen Gerardi had 23 kills, 18 aces and seven blocks and Bouscher-Helbig had 22 kills and 12 blocks.
"The goal is getting them stronger every day and let's be ready for the postseason," Yu said. "We still have a lot to work on and they're making good progress. We just want to maintain that now."
Softball team earns top seed in district
The softball team earned the top seed for the 45-team Division I district tournament and has a first-round bye before playing host to 41st-seeded Columbus West in the second round Wednesday, May 8.
Central was 20-2 overall and 8-0 in the OCC-Buckeye before playing Olentangy on April 30.
The Warhawks clinched at least a share of the league title with a 10-3 win at Liberty on April 29. Emily Ruck allowed just two hits while striking out 17 in a complete-game effort.
Central rebounded from a 4-3 loss to Gahanna on April 23 to defeat Orange 14-4 on April 24 as Cami Compson and Avrey Schumacher homered.
Track and field teams turn in solid efforts
The boys and girls track and field teams both turned in solid performances in recent meets.
The girls won the 16-team Dan Adams Classic on April 27 at Muskingum University with 151.5 points, finishing ahead of runner-up Vincent Warren (95.5).
Moriah Johnson won the 200 meters (27.18 seconds), Kayla Jones won the 800 (2:21.19), Tara Will won the 1,600 (5:33.35) and Mabinty Kebe won the 300 hurdles (47.83).
Johnson, Kebe, Kendall Allen and Skylar Themelaras won the 400 relay (meet-record 49.29) and Jones, Allen, Johnson and Taylor Hickman won the 800 relay (1:49).
The boys finished third (95) of nine teams in the Ranger Invitational on April 26 at Hamilton Township behind champion Westerville South (123).
Rickey Hyatt Jr. and Devon Richardson each won two individual events. Hyatt won the 300-meter hurdles (39.71) and long jump (20 feet, 3 1/2 inches) and Richardson won the shot put (44-9 1/2) and discus (129-1).
Haden Fulkerson won the 3,200 (10:33.3) and Hyatt, Dymon Gainey, D.J. Johnson and Erice Bonner Jr. won the 800 relay (1:32.67).
Below are the coming schedules for the Central baseball, boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse, softball, boys tennis, track & field and boys volleyball teams:
*May 3 -- Home vs. Olentangy Orange. The Warhawks lost to the Pioneers 8-7 on April 10 and won 6-4 on April 12.
May 4 -- At Lakewood (DH)
*May 6 -- At Olentangy. The Warhawks lost to the Braves 13-7 on April 15 and won 9-8 on April 17.
*May 8 -- Home vs. Olentangy Liberty. The Warhawks lost to the Patriots 9-7 on April 22 and 6-0 on April 24.
May 2 -- Home vs. Granville
May 4 -- Home vs. Watterson
May 7 -- At Pickerington North
May 6 -- Home vs. Hartley
May 7 -- At Pickerington North
May 3 -- At Pickerington North
May 8 -- Home vs. 41st-seeded Columbus West in second round of Division I district tournament. The Warhawks are seeded first.
May 2 -- Home vs. Watkins Mem-orial
May 3 -- At Big Walnut
May 6 -- At Delaware
May 7 -- Home vs. Columbus Academy
TRACK & FIELD
May 3 -- Warhawk Invitational at Otterbein
May 8, 11 -- OCC-Buckeye meet at Westerville North and Hilliard Davidson
*May 2 -- At Liberty. The Warhawks lost to the Patriots 25-17, 25-11, 25-19 on April 16.
May 8 -- At DeSales