Westerville South girls volleyball coach Haley Adams entered the season looking for more than positive results. She also was hoping to build a foundation for the future.
The Wildcats were 5-13 overall and 0-8 in the OCC-Buckeye Division before playing Westerville North on Oct. 1.
South closes the regular season Tuesday, Oct. 8, against Dublin Jerome and Oct. 10 against Westerville Central. Both matches are at home.
The Wildcats lost to Central 25-20, 25-15, 25-12 on Sept. 17.
South played shorthanded in a 25-7, 25-8, 25-13 loss to visiting Olentangy Orange on Sept. 26. The Pioneers lead the league at 8-0.
"When we're playing these tough teams, we want to take advantage to get better," Adams said. "These are really good teams. We don't expect to go in and win, but every run counts when we play teams like North, who we really want to beat. That's been our mentality through it. Staying positive has been hard."
Senior outside hitter Promise Winston, who has been the team's top player, went home sick before the match against Orange.
"It's a lot different without having Promise," Adams said. "She's our go-to (player) right now. We found out 20 minutes before the match that she wasn't playing."
Freshman middle hitter Lauryn Bowie has missed most of the season after breaking a finger on her right hand in a 25-13, 25-19, 25-16 loss to Pickerington Central on Aug. 22.
Senior libero and defensive specialist Emma Nicodemus has missed the entire season with a wrist injury.
With her team shorthanded, senior outside hitter Melanie Kowalski has stepped in as a leader on and off the court.
"I have to be a leader because leadership is very important and we have to pick up the team when we're down," Kowalski said. "If someone isn't providing the leadership and bringing the team together, the whole team will collapse and we won't be one unit."
Through 18 matches, Winston (83), freshman outside hitter Nelia Guice (72), senior middle blocker Josephine Appiah (52), sophomore middle hitter Hannah Pestorius (47) and Kowalski (42) led the team in kills, senior libero and defensive specialist Shae Johnson (80), Winston (35) and Kowalski (31) led in digs and Kowalski (18) and sophomore setter Maggie Yost (12) led in aces.
Cross country teams compete in London
The boys and girls cross country teams competed in the Erin L. Nance Fall Distance Classic on Sept. 28 at London Country Club.
Emily Ellsworth led the girls by finishing 18th of 104 runners in 22 minutes, 3.1 seconds. Taylor Hughes was 20th (22:10.3), Karina Deere was 31st (22:48.1), Emma Henderson was 39th (23:04.6), Annalyssa Earl was 40th (23:06.3), Abby Cumming-Vukovic was 45th (23:28.3) and Elise Bennett was 50th (23:38.5).
South finished fifth (143) of 14 teams behind champion Gahanna (34).
Donovan Slattery led the boys by finishing 18th of 148 runners in 18:08.9. Liam Allbritton was 34th (18:52.7), Chase Jackson was 43rd (19:06), Andrew McCracken was 51st (19:18.3), Jaxen Swank was 69th (19:43.3) and Gabe Combs was 86th (20:29.3).
The Wildcats finished seventh (210) of 21 teams behind champion Olentangy (55).
Girls tennis team prepares for sectional
The girls tennis team will compete in a Division I sectional Thursday, Oct. 3, and Saturday, Oct. 5, at Pickerington Central.
In singles, Baydan Matan will play Marion Harding's Nicole Flock in the first round. Ozichi Fah will face Big Walnut's Abbie Crandell and Mary Pedrozo will take on Marion Harding's Destiny Moaney in play-in matches.
In doubles, Ama Asare and Kyra Lesmerises will play Lancaster's Sarah Mullins and Leah Watson and Dani Koehler and Elaina Murray will face Harding's Lyndsey McQuown and Sofia Tinnerello in the first round.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to district Oct. 10 and 12 at Reynoldsburg.
Below are the coming schedules for the South boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer and girls soccer teams:
Oct. 2 -- Competed in Division I sectional at Turnberry. The top four teams and top four individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district Oct. 8 at Apple Valley.
Oct. 1 -- Competed in Division I sectional at Mentel Memorial. The top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district Oct. 8 at New Albany Links.
Oct. 3 -- At Westerville North
*Oct. 7 -- At Westerville Central
*Oct. 3 -- At North
Oct. 5 -- At Pickerington Central
Oct. 8 -- At Chillicothe