Shelley Ebright brings a wealth of experience to her new role as Westerville Central girls volleyball coach.

Ebright coached at Westerville North from 1988-99, leading the Warriors to the Division I state tournament in 1997 and three consecutive district titles from 1995-97. She also is the owner of Matchpoint Volleyball in Sunbury.

The Warhawks are 4-0, having defeated Pickerington Central 25-19, 25-18, 25-16 on Aug. 16, Upper Arlington 25-12, 25-20, 27-29, 25-23 on Aug. 20, Big Walnut 25-13, 14-25, 25-13, 25-13 on Aug. 22 and Fairbanks 22-25, 25-20, 25-16, 25-15 on Aug. 26.

"It's nice to see success with the team and it's also nice to see the girls believing in themselves," said Ebright, who took over after Gerard Iquina stepped down after three seasons. "One of the goals was to change the culture and that they were capable in building that confidence."

The Warhawks open OCC-Buckeye Division play Tuesday, Sept. 3, at North. Last season, they finished 11-12 overall and 4-6 in the league.

Junior outside hitter/right-side hitter Riley Kindall was named second-team all-league last season, and senior outside hitter Madison Saunders was honorable mention all-league.

Also back are seniors Danielle Ingram (middle hitter) and Hayle Tillman (setter), juniors Josie Curran (right-side hitter) and Ava Hampton (libero/defensive specialist) and sophomore Mia Cline (defensive specialist). Ebright said Hampton was the team's defensive MVP against Big Walnut.

Other players are senior Sarah Gellner (defensive specialist), junior Kaitlyn Pasi (defensive specialist/setter) and sophomore Marisa Hodges (middle hitter).

"I like what I see," Ebright said. "They started working hard on April 15 and they've been working hard every day since."

A key loss to graduation was outside hitter/defensive specialist Avrey Schumacher, who was first-team all-league last season.

Warriors making strides under Mosely

North expects continued improvement in its second season under coach Amanda Mosely.

The Warriors have seven performers who played key roles last year, when the team finished 8-16 overall and 2-8 in the OCC-Buckeye.

"We are a lot further ahead this year because you don't have to go over what your expectations are," Mosely said. "Now they know what I want done and how to do it. Some of the drills that we have done would have taken 15 minutes to do last year, but now they only take five."

Senior middle hitter Clarke Gilchrist is back after leading the Warriors with 54 blocks last season. She also had 113 kills.

Senior libero Ameena Freeman (honorable mention all-league) returns after having a team-high 250 digs, and junior setter Addy Moore led with 267 assists.

Senior Lynn Burton returns at setter after having 215 assists, and senior outside hitter Lily Miller had 80 kills and 113 digs. Senior right-side hitter Allison Armstrong and sophomore middle hitter Grace Link also played varsity last season.

"We're more on the smaller side with Grace definitely being our tallest at 6-foot," said Mosely, whose team begins league play Tuesday, Sept. 3, at home against Westerville Central. "We have Clarke, who (at 5-9) isn't tall, but she can jump high and is very athletic. We're not the tallest, but we have some good athletes like Ameena, who is a great digger in the back row."

Seniors Kadija Conteh (right-side hitter), Alison Kiger (right-side hitter) and Riley Kimpel (defensive specialist) and juniors Emily McGeorge (outside hitter) and Catherine Moore (defensive specialist) round out the roster.

The Warriors were 2-1 before playing Upper Arlington on Aug. 27. They lost to New Albany 25-22, 18-25, 25-21, 18-25, 16-14 on Aug. 20 before defeating Marysville 21-25, 25-17, 22-25, 25-15, 16-14 on Aug. 22 and Marion Harding 25-16, 25-11, 25-17 on Aug. 24.

-- Scott Hennen

Wildcats 'building' under new coach

South has a new look this season.

Haley Adams has replaced Veronica Brownlee as coach, and the Wildcats must replace their nucleus from a year ago.

The team lost 2019 graduates Peyton Guice and Maria Hays, and senior Alyssa Jones has opted to focus on basketball because she's an Ohio State recruit in that sport.

"We're starting off and we're building," Adams said. "We've come so far in two weeks of just practicing hard every day. This is our starting point right now, but we're going to peak at the end of the season. We need that strong peak. We have a lot of work to do, but we work hard every day and hopefully we'll get there sooner rather than later."

Back are seniors Josephine Appiah (middle hitter), Shae Johnson (libero/defensive specialist), Melanie Kowalski (outside hitter), Emma Nicodemus (libero/defensive specialist) and Promise Winston (outside hitter).

Other players are sophomores Hannah Pestorius (middle hitter) and Maggie Yost (setter) and freshmen Lauryn Bowie (middle hitter) and Nelia Guice (outside hitter).

"I have a pretty young team," Adams said. "I have five seniors and (a total) of four sophomores and freshmen. I have a lot of young talent to develop, but good seniors as well. It will be an interesting season."

South was 3-4 before playing Reynoldsburg on Aug. 27. It opens OCC-Buckeye play Tuesday, Sept. 3, against visiting Olentangy.

Adams played volleyball at Williamsville (New York) in suburban Buffalo and Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania.

In two seasons under Brownlee, the Wildcats went 10-36 overall and 1-19 in the OCC-Buckeye, including 3-19 overall and 0-10 in the league a year ago. She is now the coach at Africentric.

-- Frank DiRenna

sports@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSports

Schedules

Below are the coming schedules for Central, North and South:

CENTRAL

CROSS COUNTRY

Aug. 31 -- Boys: Westerville North Classic; Girls: Ashland Invitational

BOYS GOLF

Aug. 31 -- Pinnacle Classic

GIRLS GOLF

Sept. 3 -- Hilliard Davidson at Royal American

Sept. 4 -- OCC-Buckeye at Royal American

BOYS SOCCER

Aug. 31 -- Charleston (W.Va.) George Washington at Mapfre Stadium

Sept. 3 -- At Gahanna

GIRLS SOCCER

Aug. 29 -- At Dublin Scioto

Sept. 3 -- Home vs. Gahanna

GIRLS TENNIS

*Aug. 29 -- Home vs. Olentangy

*Sept. 3 -- At Olentangy Liberty

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Aug. 29 -- At Gahanna

*Sept. 3 -- At Westerville North

NORTH

CROSS COUNTRY

Sept. 31 -- Westerville North Classic

GIRLS GOLF

Sept. 4 -- OCC-Buckeye at Royal American

BOYS SOCCER

Aug. 29 -- At Gahanna

Sept. 3 -- Home vs. Dublin Coffman

GIRLS SOCCER

Aug. 29 -- At Delaware

Sept. 3 -- At Coffman

GIRLS TENNIS

*Aug. 29 -- Home vs. Olentangy Liberty

*Sept. 3 -- At Westerville South

Sept. 4 -- Home vs. DeSales

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Aug. 29 -- Home vs. Coffman

*Sept. 3 -- At Westerville Central

SOUTH

CROSS COUNTRY

Aug. 31 -- Boys: Westerville North Classic

BOYS GOLF

Aug. 31 -- Bob Darwin Memorial Tournament at Westchester

Sept. 3 -- Thomas Worthington and Worthington Kilbourne at Royal American

Sept. 4 -- Big Walnut and Westerville North at Royal American

GIRLS GOLF

Aug. 29 -- Lancaster at Valley View

Sept. 3 -- Olentangy Berlin at Bent Tree

Sept. 4 -- OCC-Buckeye at Royal American

BOYS SOCCER

Aug. 29 -- At Marysville

Sept. 3 -- Home vs. Upper Arlington

GIRLS SOCCER

Sept. 3 -- At UA

GIRLS TENNIS

*Aug. 29 -- At Olentangy Orange

*Sept. 3 -- Home vs. North

Sept. 4 -- Home vs. Bloom-Carroll

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Aug. 29 -- Home vs. UA

*Sept. 3 -- Home vs. Olentangy

Sept. 4 -- Home vs. Northland

*League contest