Injuries have taken a toll on the Columbus School for Girls volleyball team, but experience gained by younger players should help the program in the coming seasons.
The Unicorns were 3-10 overall and 2-7 in the MSL-Ohio Division before playing Columbus Academy on Oct. 1. They defeated Whitehall 25-17, 25-19, 25-14 on Sept. 26 in league play before losing to Olentangy Berlin 25-7, 25-15 and Watterson 25-6, 25-6 in a tri-match Sept. 28.
"This year (we have) been plagued by injuries," assistant coach Sarah Schoenhagen said. "Our starting senior setter, McKenzie Stringer, and junior middle hitter, Emma Salamon, have been out with season-ending injuries.
"With injuries, we have been changing lineups around trying to find the right combination. The injuries have made it difficult."
Schoenhagen said senior setter Bella Lyons, junior middle hitter Alex Rodgers, junior outside hitter Bella Sloan and freshman libero Bella Luckage have accepted the challenge of their new roles brought forth by injuries.
"Bella Luckage has been stepping up, getting lots of nice touches for us and she's really hustling," Schoenhagen said. "Bella Sloan has been stepping up and getting some offense going. That's good because they both will be back next year.
"This team has dealt with adversity. Bella Lyons has been setting for us after starting the season as a (defensive specialist). She is doing well for never having set before. Alex Rodgers has been stepping into the middle position for us. They are playing positions that they have not played before and are handling those roles well."
Sloan said the Unicorns have been weathering the adversity.
"I think we have been through some rough patches," she said. "We lost two of our starting players to season-ending injuries, but for the last couple of weeks, we have picked things up."
Luckage said the team's chemistry has helped the Unicorns handle the tough moments.
"I think we get along well and we're working well together," she said. "I feel we need to work on finishing and also being disciplined in matches and doing the things we are supposed to do. We can't freak out about how well the other team plays. We just need to worry about what we can do."
CSG is in its first season as a member of the MSL-Ohio, but Schoenhagen said the Unicorns are familiar with the teams in the league.
"It's going well," she said. "We knew what to expect because we played the (league) teams last year before we joined.
"We need to work on some things, like defensive movement. We need to make sure we're in the right spots. When things don't happen the way we would have liked, we can lose some fundamentals a little bit. We need to continue to fight even more, eliminate our fear and go after it like we have nothing to lose."
Golf team reaches state tournament
The golf team won the Division II district tournament Sept. 30 at Darby Creek to earn the lone berth to state Oct. 11 and 12 at Ohio State's Gray Course.
The Unicorns shot a 350 to advance to their first state tournament since 2008.
Kate Kramer led CSG with a 77, followed by Emily Bruce (89), Caroline Kromalic (90), Vara Mehra (94) and Emma Kim (97).
The Unicorns advanced to district by finishing second (370) in a sectional Sept. 23 at Blacklick Woods behind Newark Catholic (359).
Tennis team set for home sectional
The tennis team was 5-10 overall before playing Westerville Central in its regular-season finale Oct. 1.
The Unicorns finished 3-4 in the MSL-Ohio as Academy (7-0) won the title.
CSG will play host to a Division II sectional Thursday, Oct. 3, and Saturday, Oct. 5, with the top four finishers in singles and doubles advancing to the district tournament Oct. 10 at Academy and Oct. 12 at Reynoldsburg.
The doubles team of senior Helen Hoag and freshman Becca Hoffman is seeded fourth at sectional. Seniors Megan Hardy and Haley Tobias also are competing in doubles, while juniors Maya Garg and Sophia Vershinin and freshman Lanie Klatt are playing singles.
Below are the coming schedules for the Columbus School for Girls field hockey, soccer and volleyball teams:
*Oct. 3 -- Home vs. Bexley
Oct. 7 -- Home vs. Ready
Oct. 3 -- Home vs. Ready
Oct. 5 -- London Invitational
*Oct. 7 -- At Bexley. The Unicorns lost to the Lions 25-16, 25-21, 25-15 on Sept. 12.