Central Crossing seniors Olivia Castle and Morgan Geddes have been playing volleyball side by side for almost 10 years.
That partnership, which began in the third grade and features Castle as a setter and Geddes as a hitter, soon will come to an end, and neither wants that to happen.
They love playing for the Comets girls team and cherish being longtime teammates.
"We started playing sand volleyball at Chapel Hill (Free Will Baptist) Church in Grove City," Geddes said. "That's a long time.
"(Castle) is really good at commanding the court, and she tells us what to do if we mess up. We have really good communication so if there is something we have to work on we're able to figure that out."
Castle said she has been a setter from day one.
"My very first coach, Morgan's mom, Kelly Geddes, told me I had good hands and since then I started practicing setting," Castle said.
"It definitely will be sad (when the season ends) and I don't want it to end, but it's cool to see how far we have come. We were really bad when we first started. I was probably 4-(foot-)5 and now I'm 5-4, at least in volleyball height (listed on the roster)."
Geddes was first-team all-OCC-Central Division last fall, leading the Comets in kills (245) and digs (112), and she also had 28 blocks and 25 aces. This season, she led in kills (170) and aces (29) through 14 matches and also had 93 digs and 12 blocks.
"(As an outside hitter) you always need to better the ball," said Geddes, who is 6-1 and a University of Indiana recruit. "When the play gets scattered, you have to work with whatever you get and make a good play out of it."
Castle was honorable mention all-league last season, leading the Comets with 343 assists to go with 21 aces and 66 digs. This fall, she had a team-leading 354 assists with 82 digs and 16 aces through 14 matches.
"I bring energy and positivity," Castle said. "I need to try to make sure everyone has the same energy as everyone else. Everyone has to put their part into it. You can't get down on yourself and you need to build each other up."
Coach Meredith Shifley said the two not only bring experience but help unify the team.
"They both have a lot of experience and they are team captains so they know when to take charge and bring everyone together," she said. "Liv does a good job of keeping everyone positive and level-headed and she is always trying to stay focused on building momentum. Morgan does a really good job of building that momentum when we have great moments."
The Comets already have surpassed their win total from last season when they finished 3-20. They were 5-10 overall and 2-4 in the OCC-Central before playing Marysville on Sept. 24.
"We think we can keep winning and continue to grow," Shifley said. "We're getting to the point to where we are competing with all of those teams (in our league). We no longer walk in gyms and know it's going to be a blowout. We know that we can take at least one game if not win the match with all of those teams in our league."
Geddes has noticed how close the Comets have become on and off the court.
"We're getting better and better," she said. "We're learning how to work with each other more and going into the rest of our season, we definitely want to keep a positive attitude so we can do well.
"I definitely think we're closer as a team. We're definitely stronger as a team and we're able to work with each other better."
Both Castle and Geddes have a 4.2 GPA. Castle plans to study occupational therapy and Geddes is looking at physical therapy.
"I don't think I will play (volleyball) in college, just study somewhere in-state," Castle said. "I think being motivated in school helps me be motivated in sports as well. I work hard at it.
"It will be sad leaving, and I'm not ready for our senior night (Oct. 10 against Westland). It seems like it's far away, but it's actually pretty close. It's definitely going to be weird not seeing each other every day."
Golfers prepare for postseason
The boys golf team begins Division I postseason play Wednesday, Oct. 2, in a sectional at Turnberry.
The top four teams and top four individuals not on those teams advance to district Oct. 8 at Apple Valley.
The Comets finished fifth (4-16) in the OCC-Central behind champion Upper Arlington (19-1). Jackson Phillips led with a 95.0 average, playing in three of the league tournament's four rounds.
Central Crossing also will have Courtnie Sprouse playing in a Division I girls sectional Tuesday, Oct. 1, at Mentel Memorial. The top three individuals not on qualifying teams advance to district Oct. 8 at New Albany Links.
Girls soccer team plays lopsided games
The girls soccer team split a pair of blowouts last week and was 4-6 overall and 0-2 in the OCC-Central before playing Hilliard Davidson on Sept. 24.
The Comets lost to Marysville 10-1 on Sept. 17 in league play before defeating Independence 10-2 on Sept. 18. Jackie Mateos had two goals to lead a balanced scoring attack against the 76ers, and goalkeeper Celi Rosado had two saves.
Below are the coming schedules for the Central Crossing cross country, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 2 -- Hilliard Darby Dash
Oct. 1 -- At Franklin Heights
Oct. 1 -- Home vs. Northland
Sept. 26 -- At Darby
*Sept. 26 -- At Hilliard Davidson. The Comets lost to the Wildcats 25-14, 26-24, 25-9 on Sept. 10.
Oct. 1 -- At Darby