Making adjustments and being willing to learn a new system has helped the Worthington Christian girls volleyball team more than double its win total from a year ago and capture a league championship this season.
After going 8-14 last season, the Warriors were 17-3 overall and 10-0 in the MSL-Ohio Division before playing Whitehall on Oct. 8. They close league action Thursday, Oct. 10, at Columbus Academy.
"Some of our girls are playing in positions they didn't play last year, and some girls didn't even try out last year, so it was information overload on everything I was trying to teach them," first-year coach Chelsea Meyers said. "Now that we're approaching the postseason, they've already learned the basics and are now really striving to know more. I'm so proud. All the girls truly want to improve and be the best they can be, so they ask lots of questions and really work hard on what they're learning."
Worthington Christian, which is seeded fifth for the Division III district tournament and opens the postseason Oct. 19 at home against 16th-seeded Amanda-Clearcreek in the second round, had won eight matches in a row before Oct. 8.
Through 20 matches, senior Jenna Kray had 282 kills and senior Maddie Patrick had 149 kills to lead the offense, with Kray also leading the Warriors in service aces with 74 and blocks with 34.
There also were five players with more than 100 digs, with freshman Liv Fenstermaker leading the way with 321. Junior Libby Dalton and senior Gabi Burford had 299 and 249 assists, respectively.
"Our girls have been really motivated to continue to improve throughout these last few weeks of the season," Meyers said. "They're asking lots of questions and really want to push themselves to be better, so I've been really encouraged by their drive to compete."
Mayotte sisters make district in tennis
The girls tennis team will be represented at the Division II district tournament Thursday, Oct. 10, at Columbus School for Girls, and Saturday, Oct. 12, at Reynoldsburg by the doubles team of junior Abby Mayotte and freshman Meghan Mayotte.
The top two finishers in singles and doubles at district advance to state Oct. 18 and 19 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
The Mayotte sisters won their first three matches at sectional Oct. 3 and 5 at CSG before falling to Alexis Burkhalter and Katie Zerbi of Wellington 6-1, 6-4 in the championship match.
Also in doubles at sectional, seniors Amber Ralston and Laura King lost in a quarterfinal to Burkhalter and Zerbi 6-1, 6-1 to fall one win shy of advancing to district.
In singles, sophomores Lily Rettstatt and Audrey Mousa both lost in quarterfinals to miss advancing by one win and sophomore Bekah Shively lost in the second round.
Most of boys golf team to return
The boys golf team had its season end Oct. 2 with a third-place finish (323) in the 13-team Division III district tournament at Darby Creek.
Wellington shot 314 to earn the only state-qualifying berth and Fairbanks also shot 323 but won the fifth-score tiebreaker to place second.
Sophomore Sam Evans shot a 73 to finish third, followed by junior Ben Evans (tied for fifth, 77), senior J.R. Bowers (tied for 14th, 84), sophomore Nathan Ball (tied for 28th, 89) and freshman Chase Steininger (tied for 35th, 93).
"We were playing really well a couple weeks ago, so to see what they could do today, I couldn't be more proud," coach Zac Hess said. "They were tough all day and didn't let a bad shot get the best of them.
"We bring back a lot next year, which I'm excited about. We made some really good steps in maturity and game management."
Girls golf team losing three seniors
Of the five players who competed for the girls golf team during the postseason, three are seniors.
Junior Rena So is expected to be the top returnee next year after shooting an 80 to place fifth in the Division II district tournament Sept. 30 at Darby Creek.
Worthington Christian finished last (402) in the six-team district tournament behind champion CSG (350) and Lakewood's Ella Wigal was medalist with a 74, as only the championship team and the lowest-scoring individual not on the championship team advanced to state.
Also competing at district were seniors Natalie Opava (100), Anna Opava (109) and Naysa Dunlap (130) and junior Zoe Holston (113).
Below are the coming schedules for the Worthington Christian cross country, boys soccer and girls soccer teams:
Oct. 12 -- MSL-Ohio meet at Buckeye Valley
Oct. 10 -- At Hartley
*Oct. 12 -- Home vs. Columbus Academy
Oct. 21 -- Home vs. 16th-seeded Patriot Prep or 18th-seeded Granville Christian in second round of Division III district tournament. The Warriors are the top seed.
Oct. 14 -- Home vs. 14th-seeded Madison Plains in first round of Division III district tournament. The Warriors are seeded third.