Immediately after Canal Winchester girls volleyball player Avery Huntzinger posted her 1,000th career assist Sept. 30, the Indians' match against Chillicothe Zane Trace came to a stop.
Huntzinger received congratulations from her coaches and teammates, a bouquet of flowers and a volleyball the junior setter said was "bedazzled" with silver letters and gemstones outlining the words "Avery" and "1,000 assists."
But once the Indians had finished out a 25-16, 25-14, 25-27, 25-23 win over the visiting Pioneers, Huntzinger already was looking ahead to her next milestone -- just the attitude coach Kellina Snyder wants her to have.
"I would love to hit 2,000 assists by the end of (my senior) season," Huntzinger said. "(Snyder) is one of my biggest supporters. She's always on me pushing me to be the best that I can be. I really value that. It's helped me improve by so much."
Considering Huntzinger has recorded more than half of her career assists this season alone, she might have a good chance.
Huntzinger has 656 of her 1,096 career assists this season.
Canal Winchester is 14-7 overall and 6-3 in the OCC-Capital Division entering its final league and regular season match Thursday, Oct. 10, at home against Newark. The Indians defeated the Wildcats 25-11, 25-10, 27-25 on Sept. 17.
"I told (Huntzinger) her freshman year if she stuck with me, she'd be one of the best Canal Winchester has ever had," said Snyder, who has been involved in volleyball since playing at Jackson High School and the University of Rio Grande in the late 1980s and early 1990s and has coached at various levels since then. "(Our passers) being able to get the ball up this year is showing in Avery's success. You can have the best setter in the world, but if you can't pass the ball, it's a different story.
"I knew coming into her freshman year that she was special. Now whether that meant 1,000 assists or 2,000 assists, who knows, but I expected a strong career out of her. We made a big deal about (her 1,000th assist), but it's her job and she knows that. She's the setter. I trust her to put as many balls in the air as she can because I know our hitters can finish."
Huntzinger, who also was second on the team in digs through 19 matches with 154, needed eight assists entering the Zane Trace match to reach 1,000. She reached that mark early in the first set.
"This means a lot to me. This is my second year on varsity and this is a goal I've wanted to achieve for a long time," she said. "I've been keeping track of my stats and trying to figure out how long it'd be until I got here. I want to create my mark on this program."
As far as teammate Riley Krueger is concerned, Huntzinger already has left an impression.
"She's very good at communicating on the floor. She brings us together as a unit," said Krueger, a middle blocker and opposite-side hitter. "She's a vocal leader, for sure. She celebrates a lot. After anybody gets a kill, she gets in our face and pumps us up a lot. Volleyball is a game of momentum and Avery makes sure that when we have momentum, we keep pushing and when we don't, that we get it back."
Canal Winchester is the 18th seed in the 49-team Division I district tournament and will play host to 24th-seeded Pickerington Central in the first round Tuesday, Oct. 15. The winner plays host to 39th-seeded Briggs in the second round Oct. 17.
"We're in a good spot. We're exactly where I'd be hoped we'd be as far as our record and athletically," Snyder said. "I'm very confident with where we stand. Our goal is to get better every day. I think we're peaking right now, and as a coach, that's exactly what you want."
Golf seasons end at sectional
The boys and girls golf teams both had their seasons come to an end in Division I sectionals Oct. 2.
In the girls sectional at Blacklick Woods, freshman Grace Beerman's round of 97 led the Indians to a seventh-place finish (422) behind champion New Albany (286) as 11 teams scored. The top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to the district tournament Oct. 8 at New Albany Links.
Also scoring were senior Erin Booher (100), freshman Sydney Dillon (109) and senior Amanda Gleadle (116).
In the boys sectional at Turnberry, junior Noah Cox's round of 85 led the Indians to 10th place (370) behind champion Pickerington North (306) as 15 teams scored. The top four teams and top four individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district Oct. 8 at Apple Valley.
Also scoring were seniors Joshua Fair (91), Vincent Vatri (92) and Drew Grilli (102).
The other player eligible to return from the Indians' top five, sophomore Calvin Trigg, added a 106.
Season ends for tennis players
Senior Ellie Stedman and junior Erin Duckworth of the girls tennis team both fell one win short of qualifying for the Division I district tournament, as they went 2-1 in a sectional Oct. 3 at Upper Arlington.
Stedman lost to Dublin Jerome's Kavya Alagappan 6-0, 6-1 in a district-qualifying match. In the same round, Duckworth fell 6-0, 6-0 to top-seeded Caroline Sproule of Olentangy Orange.
Also competing but failing to advance were the doubles team of sophomores Aliana Runyon and Grace Terflinger (1-1), sophomore Gabby Barringer (0-1) in singles and the doubles team of junior Layla Fox and sophomore Lauren Snider (0-1).
The top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to district Thursday, Oct. 10, and Saturday, Oct. 12, at Reynoldsburg.
Canal Winchester finished 6-12 overall and 2-3 in the OCC-Capital.
Below are the coming schedules for the Canal Winchester cross country, boys soccer and girls soccer teams:
Oct. 12 -- OCC-Capital meet at Lancaster
*Oct. 10 -- At Newark
Oct. 12 -- Home vs. Reynoldsburg
Oct. 15 -- At fifth-seeded Dublin Scioto in first round of Division I district tournament. Winner plays fifth-seeded Hilliard Davidson in second round Oct. 17. The Indians are seeded 28th.
*Oct. 10 -- Home vs. Newark
Oct. 16 -- Home vs. 17th-seeded Upper Arlington in first round of Division I district tournament. Winner plays host to 34th-seeded Licking Heights in second round Oct. 19. The Indians are seeded 14th.