The Olentangy Berlin boys and girls soccer teams found success last year in the Division II postseason, with the boys reaching a district final and the girls making a district semifinal.
The second go-round of tournament action will take place in Division I, and the Bears are ready for what lies ahead.
The 10th-seeded boys team opens the postseason Thursday, Oct. 17, with a second-round home game against 11th-seeded Upper Arlington or 50th-seeded Franklin Heights.
"Our team is playing well together. We are continuing to focus on our cohesion, selflessness and hard work," said coach Josh Diehl, whose team is 11-1-4 overall and lost to Bexley 1-0 in a district final last fall.
"These attributes are transferring into how we attack, defend and transition as a team."
The second-round winner advances to a district semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 22, against 17th-seeded Grove City, 19th-seeded Olentangy, 24th-seeded Gahanna or 46th-seeded Newark at the home of the better seed.
The Bears finished third (4-1-2) in the OCC-Cardinal Division behind Dublin Scioto (5-1-1) and Worthington Kilbourne (4-0-3). They defeated Delaware 3-1 on Oct. 10 in their league and regular-season finale as Dominic Antronica, Austin Corley and Will Harrington all scored.
The 15th-seeded girls team also has a first-round bye in the tournament and plays Saturday, Oct. 19, at home against 22nd-seeded Reynoldsburg or 23rd-seeded Scioto in the second round. The Bears defeated Scioto 3-1 on Aug. 27 in OCC-Cardinal play.
"Last year it was a little more difficult (going into district) because we mostly played Division I teams (in the regular season) and we didn't know how we stacked up (in Division II)," said coach Tara Zimmer, whose team is 9-6-1 overall and lost to Granville 7-1 in a district semifinal last fall. "This year we know where we stand and how we have done all season.
"We know what we can achieve."
The second-round winner plays in a district semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 23, against eighth-seeded New Albany, 24th-seeded Kilbourne or 36th-seeded Whetstone at the home of the better seed. Berlin lost to New Albany 1-0 on Aug. 22 and tied Kilbourne at 1 on Oct. 3 in league play.
Cara Susey had two goals and goalkeeper McKinley Hoffmann had seven saves as the Bears defeated Delaware 2-1 on Oct. 10 to close their league and regular-season schedule.
The Bears finished third (4-2-1) in the OCC-Cardinal behind co-champions Dublin Jerome and Hilliard Darby (both 6-1).
Cross country teams prepare for district
The boys and girls cross country teams will compete in Division I district meets Saturday, Oct. 19, at Darby.
The boys are in district 1, with the top five teams and top 20 individuals qualifying for regional Oct. 26 at Pickerington North. The girls are in district 3, where the top six teams and top 24 individuals advance.
Meghan Boggess led the girls team in the OCC-Cardinal meet Oct. 12 at Hilliard Davidson, finishing eighth (19 minutes, 44. 7 seconds) as the Bears were third (79 points) behind Thomas Worthington (51) and Kilbourne (64).
Also scoring were Ada Freeman (13th, 20:15.0), Grace Dahlke (15th, 20:16.7), Rebecca Koppelman (17th, 20:21.2) and Maria Fratianne (27th, 21:01.8).
The boys team finished sixth (125) behind champion Thomas (59) and was led by Corey Rinehart (ninth, 16:31.3). Calvin Davies (23rd, 17:06.6), Grant Schrieber (25th, 17:08.7), Jason Reitz (31st, 17:20.0) and Wyatt Bednar (37th, 17:33.8) also scored.
Girls volleyball team loses district opener
The girls volleyball team lost at 21st-seeded Newark 25-17, 25-18, 25-21 on Oct. 14 in the opening round of the Division I district tournament.
The 33rd-seeded Bears finished 4-19.
Boys golf team falls short at district
The boys golf team ended its season by finishing eighth (317) in the Division I district tournament Oct. 8 at Apple Valley as Jerome (300) and Liberty (303) qualified for state Friday, Oct. 18, and Saturday, Oct. 19 at Oho State's Scarlet Course.
Junior Bryce Reed led the Bears with a 75, followed by sophomore Brady Casto (77), senior Leila Raines (82), senior Tanner Shimp (83) and junior Ethan Hegg (83).
"I put pressure on myself, and you never want to do that," Reed said. "Pushing through this -- even your bad holes -- is a good experience. That can help me next year."
Berlin finished second (22-6) in the OCC-Cardinal behind Jerome (27-1). Reed was the league's Player of the Year with a 70.75 average, Raines (77.75) was second-team all-league, Hegg (80.75) was third-team all-league and Casto (81.33) was honorable mention.
Franz falls in first round of district
Ella Franz lost her singles opener in the Division I district girls tennis tournament Oct. 10 at Reynoldsburg.
The sophomore lost to Olentangy's Nour Khayat 7-5, 6-1 in the first round.
"Ella played very well but came across a really good player," said first-year coach Richard Hunt, whose team finished 12-8 overall and placed second (6-1) in the OCC-Cardinal behind Jerome (7-0). "She played hard and I thought we had good strategy. She lost a close first set and it went from there."
Franz won a sectional title Oct. 5 at Pickerington Central.
Seniors Maddie Reger and Maggie Torlone were 1-1 in doubles at sectional. Junior singles players Emma Reger and Sydney Webb and the doubles team of senior Vidya Puttagunta and junior Janna Harris all lost their opening matches.
Below is the coming schedule for the Berlin field hockey team:
Oct. 15 -- Played top-seeded Columbus Academy in second round of district tournament. Winner plays 11th-seeded Granville or 15th-seeded Columbus School for Girls in district semifinal Oct. 22. The Bears are seeded 18th.