For Westerville South girls soccer coach Mark Wise, watching his team have some late-season success has been a positive during a frustrating campaign.
After losing their first eight games by shutout, the Wildcats won two of their next six and were 2-12 overall before playing Chillicothe on Oct. 8.
"There's improvement," Wise said. "If you can't have wins and losses to show you your improvement, you can at least see the improvement in the number of goals or the quality of play on the field. That's a good thing."
South closes the regular season Thursday, Oct. 10, at home against Westerville Central in an OCC-Buckeye Division game. The Wildcats are 0-4 in the league.
They are seeded 31st of 46 teams for the Division I district tournament and will visit 27th-seeded Newark in the first round Wednesday, Oct. 16.
South, which defeated Licking Heights 2-1 on Sept. 21 for its first win and goals of the season, edged Whetstone 1-0 on Sept. 26 as Hannah Thompson scored.
South was competitive in a 3-2 loss at Newark on Oct. 1. After falling behind 2-0, the Wildcats rallied to tie the game on two goals by Ellise Riggs before Newark scored in the final minute.
"These girls are so resilient," Wise said. "These girls go play a game and five minutes after the game, they're just enjoying each other's company and having a good time. I had to get used to that over the years because that's not just this team. That's been in general for most of the teams I've coached. ... They go out to play because they love the game."
Through 13 games, Riggs had three goals, Thompson and Emma Seacrest each had two goals and an assist and Ruthie Curry and Mae Riggs each had a goal.
Freshman Allie Kotik has been the goalkeeper in the closing games of the regular season.
"Allie has been doing a fantastic job," Wise said. "She is a freshman playing in these tough games."
Girls tennis team closes with seven wins
Girls tennis coach Ryan French was pleased with his team's development this season.
The Wildcats finished 7-8 overall and 0-5 in the OCC-Buckeye.
"We had good progress from last year after losing four seniors," French said. "We won two close matches in our last two against Big Walnut (3-2 on Sept. 25) and Central Crossing (4-1 on Sept. 24). I'm proud of the mental toughness shown throughout the year, especially since it was the hottest September I can remember."
South competed in a Division I sectional Oct. 3 at Pickerington Central.
In singles, senior Ozichi Fah and sophomores Braydan Matan and Mary Pedrozo went 0-1.
In doubles, seniors Dani Koehler and Elaina Murray and sophomores Ama Asare and Kyra Lesmerises went 0-1.
Freshmen Natalie Ma and Leanne Ngo also are eligible to return.
Boys golf team wraps up season
With no seniors in the program, the boys golf team went 1-19 in the four-round OCC-Buckeye tournament.
Freshman Michael Murray emerged as the team's top golfer. He finished with a 90 average in three rounds of league play.
Junior Logan Hunn had a 95.75 average.
Other golfers were juniors Ethyn Allen, Mason Campbell and Andrew Collinsworth.
"I am very excited about next season already," coach Dave Haney said. "We have everyone coming back and will have a ton of experience. The leadership that these four juniors demonstrated all year was excellent, and will be even that much better next year."
South closed the season by finishing 13th (381) of 15 teams in a Division I sectional Oct. 2 at Turnberry behind champion Pickerington North (306).
Murray led the Wildcats with an 84, followed by Collinsworth (94), Hunn (99), Campbell (104) and Allen (107).
"I was disappointed with how our season ended at sectional," Haney said. "We didn't play as well as we had expected, including a couple of meltdowns, but the experience was awesome and again will only help to improve all of us for next season."
Girls golf team closes season
The girls golf team closed the season by finishing 10th (403) of 12 teams in a Division I sectional Oct. 1 at Mentel Memorial behind champion Upper Arlington (297).
Junior McKhala Eckert led the Wildcats with a 93, followed by junior Katherine Blais (101), freshman Alexzandria Stewart (102), junior Layla Goebeler (107) and senior Amelia Kidder (114).
"My team shot better than I expected," coach Matt Yingling said. "I thought we'd do decently well, but across the board my girls have performed better than I even thought they would."
South went 6-14 in the four-round OCC-Buckeye tournament. Blais had a team-best 107.3 league average.
Juniors Nia Cosby and Jaidan Wynn and freshmen Kathryn Cohen, Audrey Faulkner and Olivia Wheeler also are eligible to return.
"I always enjoy coaching the golf team," Yingling said. "I have a great group of girls and always a great group of families. It's fun to watch my team grow and get better from last year to this year."
Below are the coming schedules for the South cross country, boys soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 12 -- OCC-Buckeye meet at Hilliard Davidson
Oct. 15 -- At 30th-seeded Licking Heights in first round of Division I district tournament. The Wildcats are seeded 31st of 52 teams.
*Oct. 10 -- Home vs. Westerville Central. The Wildcats lost to the Warhawks 25-20, 25-15, 25-12 on Sept. 17.
Oct. 15 -- At 11th-seeded Big Walnut in first round of Division I district tournament. The Wildcats are seeded 38th of 49 teams.