Led by OCC-Ohio Division Player of the Year Lizzie Saur, the Grove City girls golf team captured its first league title.
The Greyhounds clinched the championship by finishing first (344) in the final round of the four-round league tournament Sept. 4 at Mentel Memorial, ahead of second-place Pickerington North (370).
Grove City finished 18-2 in the league, ahead of the runner-up Panthers (16-4).
"(Winning the OCC-Ohio title) was a goal coming into the season," coach Megan Blaney said. "We wanted to be competitive and the girls proved that they are and that they can actually play, so this is really good."
Saur, a junior, capped her strong effort in league play with a 71 to earn medalist honors for the third time this season. She finished with a 73.8 average in league action to earn Player of the Year honors ahead of North's Cassie Tasney (77.8).
"I'm excited and I know everyone else is, too," Saur said. "It was always a goal of ours and to say it actually happened is a dream come true."
Senior Abby Jones helped secure the title for the Greyhounds by shooting a season-best 78 in league play. She finished third overall in the league with an 81 average.
Sophomore Katie Thrun shot 97 in the final round and finished with a 100 average, and freshman Chloe Seeley shot 98 and finished with a 99.8 average.
Freshman Rachael Jones shot 116 and finished with a 114.3 average.
"They all played really well (Sept. 4), so hopefully we can carry that momentum forward for sectional," Blaney said.
The Division I sectionals will be held Oct. 1 and 2.
Last season, Saur advanced to her second district tournament and tied for 23rd (84). As a freshman, she tied for 33rd (85).
"This season is better than I anticipated and I'm just hoping to keep continuing what I'm doing," Saur said.
Tennis coach finds comfort with team
In what has been a trying year, girls tennis coach Dan Witteman has found solace by teaching the sport he loves.
Witteman, who is in his 31st season leading the Greyhounds, has returned to the team after taking a brief break following the death of his wife, Marcy, who died Aug. 1 after a long illness. They were married for 50 years.
"This is good for me to be here," Witteman said. "When we had her viewing, we had 400 people there. We have had a lot of support from people."
Grove City was 4-5 overall before playing Hamilton Township on Sept. 9. It is 1-3 in the OCC-Ohio and has to make up its league finale against Reynoldsburg.
The Greyhounds defeated Westland 5-0 on Sept. 4. Winners were Emma Smith 6-0, 6-0 at first singles, Lexi Townsend 6-0, 6-0 at second singles, Julie Moore 6-1, 6-0 at third singles, Olivia Norbut and Josie Susi 6-2, 6-0 at first doubles and Emma Burke and Grace Schaffer 6-1, 6-3 at second doubles.
Grove City defeated Lancaster 3-2 on Aug. 22 for its league win.
"It's a young team," Witteman said. "We have four seniors, but (Norbut) is our only really experienced singles player. This is a good group of kids."
Boys soccer team eyes league success
The boys soccer team is preparing for what it hopes is an OCC-Ohio title run.
The Greyhounds were 5-2 before opening league play Sept. 10 against Lancaster. They went 2-1-2 in the league last season to tie Gahanna for second behind Pickerington North (5-0).
"We have a couple losses, but to really quality teams," coach Bryan Mulvany said. "Now we get to start OCC play. Everything we want to do is still on the table."
Grove City lost to Dublin Scioto 6-1 on Aug. 22 and DeSales 2-0 on Aug. 29.
The Greyhounds are coming off a pair of strong efforts, defeating Westland 5-0 on Sept. 3 and Whitehall 2-0 on Sept. 5.
Nick Isaac scored two goals and AB Abdullahi, Aaron Falcon and Colin Mountain each added a goal against Westland. Goalkeepers Casey Thompson (4) and Elvin Martinez (3) combined for seven saves.
Luke Taylor and Mountain scored against Whitehall, and Thompson had three saves.
Below are the coming schedules for the Grove City boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 12 -- Pickerington Central at Pinnacle
Sept. 14 -- Rodney Butt Classic at Denison Golf Club
Sept. 16 -- Lancaster Country Club Invitational
Sept. 14 -- Bloom-Carroll Invitational at Pine Hill
Sept. 17 -- Hilliard Davidson at Pinnacle
Sept. 18 -- Westerville Central at Royal American
Sept. 12 -- Home vs Groveport
*Sept. 17 -- At Reynoldsburg
Sept. 12 -- At Worthington Kilbourne
*Sept. 17 -- Home vs. Reynoldsburg
Sept. 12 -- At Westerville Central
Sept. 16 -- Home vs. Ready
Sept. 17 -- Home vs. Watkins Memorial
*Sept. 12 -- Home vs. Pickerington Central
Sept. 14 -- Worthington Kilbourne Tournament
*Sept. 17 -- At Pickerington North