During her 22 seasons as Hartley girls tennis coach, Lynn Winters never has experienced the participation numbers she's enjoyed this year.
That's made for some memorable moments on and off the court for the Hawks.
"We've had a great season," Winters said. "We've got 33 girls and they're all super nice, sweet girls. We've got 16 (National Honor Society) students on the team. They work really hard. A lot of them are beginners. We have 10 seniors and a lot of them are playing (junior varsity)."
Four of the Hawks' seniors will compete in a Division II sectional being held Thursday, Oct. 3, and Saturday, Oct. 5, at Columbus Academy.
In singles, junior Gia Green will open against Columbus South's Meleah Witcher, senior Laurynn-Renee Caldwell will open against Grandview's Taylor Fultz and sophomore Emily Thompson will open against Granville's Avery Spiker.
Green, Caldwell and Thompson comprised the three singles spots, respectively, for much of the regular season.
Senior Elyse Amorati and junior Morgan Liden will comprise one doubles team at sectional and seniors Leah Herbert and Lauren McFann will make up the other.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to the district tournament Oct. 10 at Columbus School for Girls and Oct. 12 at Reynoldsburg.
The Hawks were 8-7 overall before playing Thomas Worthington on Sept. 30 and finished third in the CCL at 1-2, behind Watterson (3-0) and DeSales (2-1).
"We started off kind of slow, but we're getting stronger as we go," Winters said.
Young volleyball team putting it together
Based on its play during the season's second half, the girls volleyball team could be a tough out in the Division I district tournament later this month.
That the Hawks have come so far so quickly is a testament to the group of young talent that seems to be flooding the program.
Of the nine players who have seen the most playing time, only two are seniors and four are freshmen.
"Four freshmen start for me," coach Mike Rahe said. "I'm really happy with the way we're playing right now."
Hartley beat Canal Winchester 25-15, 26-24, 25-17 on Sept. 23 for its fifth consecutive victory and is 13-4 overall.
Included in that stretch was a 24-26, 25-23, 25-23, 21-25, 15-11 win over DeSales on Sept. 19. The Hawks finished third in the CCL at 3-3, behind the Stallions (5-1) and Watterson (4-2).
Freshman Ella Brandewie (middle hitter/right-side hitter) and junior Colleen Sweeney (setter/right-side hitter) have been the team's top two players in kills and Sweeney leads the Hawks in serving aces, according to Rahe.
Sophomore Lauren Johnson (defensive specialist) and Sweeney have been the team's leaders in digs and Sweeney had nearly 300 assists through 17 matches, Rahe said.
Field hockey team 'excited' to progress
By the time it reached the midpoint of the regular season, the field hockey team already had scored more goals than it did all of last season.
That's just one of the examples of the improvement this season for the Hawks, who also have surpassed last year's victory total.
"We're excited about our progress," coach Bridget Ebenhack said.
"At this point through the season, we have more goals than we did all of last season. As we move forward through the rest of the season, we hope to be able to play from start to finish with the same level of intensity and focus."
Hartley was 4-9 overall before playing Dublin Coffman on Sept. 30 and Dublin Scioto on Oct. 2 and finished 2-6 in the COFHL-East Division. Last fall, the Hawks won just one league game and finished 3-14-1.
In a 3-0 win over Columbus School for Girls on Sept. 18, senior Audrey Ryan (forward) had two goals and senior Isabella Hoffman (mid-fielder/forward/defender) scored the other.
Other key contributors, according to Ebenhack, have included seniors Tori Garey (defender), Samantha Hanson (midfielder/forward) and Mia Innes (defender) and junior Caitlin Abel (midfielder/forward).
"(Garey, Hanson, Innes and Ryan) are communicating well and helping to set a positive tone for our group," Ebenhack said. "They're really making everyone around them better, and at the same time the other players are capitalizing on the opportunities given."
Below are the coming schedules for the Hartley field hockey, boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 7 -- At Olentangy
Oct. 2 -- Competed in Division II district tournament at Denison Golf Club. The championship team and the top individual not on the qualifying team advanced to state Oct. 11 and 12 at NorthStar.
Oct. 2 -- Competed in Division I sectional at Blacklick Woods. The top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district Oct. 8 at New Albany Links.
Oct. 3 -- At Centennial
Oct. 5 -- Home vs. Reynoldsburg
Oct. 3 -- Home vs. Bellville Clear Fork
Oct. 5 -- Home vs. Hartley
Oct. 8 -- Home vs. Groveport
Oct. 3, 5 -- Division II sectional at Columbus Academy. The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to district Oct. 10 at Columbus School for Girls and Oct. 12 at Reynoldsburg.
Oct. 5 -- London Invitational
Oct. 7 -- Home vs. Sparta Highland