The Olentangy Orange girls golf team has different expectations entering the Division I postseason.

The Pioneers won the state title in 2016 and 2017 and were state runners-up to New Albany last season. This year, however, they feature an inexperienced lineup led by Natalie Au, the lone holdover from last fall's state appearance.

Au, a junior, said the season has been fun even though the team is not at the same level.

"It was a weird transition period of having a bunch of new players and being the one needed to help lead them through the change," Au said. "Overall, it has been a fun season. We never really knew each other much before the season, but it's been great getting the chance to be able to build memories in a sport I love."

The Pioneers compete in a sectional Tuesday, Oct. 1, at Royal American. The top three teams and top three individuals not on those teams advance to district Oct. 8 at New Albany Links.

"We play Royal American for sectional and one thing I know about it is that it has a lot of power lines over it and that makes me nervous," said Au, whose team also competes in the Olentangy Cup on Thursday, Sept. 26, at Oakhaven. "There is always a small chance that I will hit the power lines and I don't want to do that. It does have nice fairways and greens, and it's always fun to play."

After winning three consecutive league championships, the Pioneers finished sixth (2-18) in the OCC-Buckeye Division behind champion Liberty (20-0).

Au averaged 83.0 in the four rounds of league play, second to medalist Grace Welty (80.3) of Westerville Central. Au shot 80 on Aug. 8 at New Albany Links, 84 on Aug. 14 at Mentel Memorial, 86 on Aug. 28 at Blacklick Woods and 82 on Sept. 4 at Royal American.

Lauren Muffley had the second-best average for Orange with a 108.5 in two rounds.

Girls soccer team playing solid defense

The girls soccer team has been relying on its strong defense.

The Pioneers were 7-2-3 overall and 2-0 in the OCC-Buckeye before playing Westerville South on Sept. 24. They had posted seven shutouts and had allowed only seven goals.

Orange did not allow a goal in its first two league contests, including defeating Liberty 1-0 on Sept. 10 as Sophia Leonetti scored and goalkeeper Amanda Poorbaugh had six saves.

Poorbaugh had two saves in a 3-0 win over Central on Sept. 17.

Girls volleyball team playing well in league

The girls volleyball team was 13-2 overall and 6-0 in the OCC-Buckeye before playing Central on Sept. 24.

The Pioneers defeated Liberty 25-18, 25-18, 25-16 on Sept. 19 to begin the second round of league play. London Davis had 14 kills and Madison Moll had eight kills and four blocks.

Through 15 matches, Davis had a team-high 165 kills, Hanna Borer led with 431 assists, Arianna Jackson had a team-high 26 blocks and Addie Evans led with 204 digs.

shennen@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekHennen

Schedules

Below are the coming schedules for the Orange cross country, field hockey, boys golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:

CROSS COUNTRY

Sept. 28 -- Bear Den Dash at Berlin

FIELD HOCKEY

Sept. 26 -- At Granville

BOYS GOLF

Sept. 26 -- Delaware County Cup at Mill Creek

Oct. 1 -- Division I sectional at Darby Creek. The top four teams and top four individuals not on those teams advance to district Oct. 8 at Apple Valley.

BOYS SOCCER

Sept. 26 -- At Worthington Kilbourne

Oct. 1 -- Home vs. Marysville

GIRLS SOCCER

Sept. 28 -- At New Albany

GIRLS TENNIS

Sept. 30 -- Home vs. Dublin Scioto

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

*Sept. 26 -- At Westerville South. The Pioneers defeated the Wildcats 25-8, 25-13, 25-11 on Sept. 10.

*League contest