According to coach Chris Byrum, one of the Ready girls soccer team's best games this season was a 2-1 loss to Grandview on Sept. 21.

The Silver Knights, who were seeded eighth for the Division III district tournament, earned a rematch with the top-seeded Bobcats on Oct. 19 by beating ninth-seeded Fisher Catholic 3-0 in a first-round home game Oct. 14.

Strong defensive play has helped Ready hover close to .500 all season.

The win over Fisher Catholic was the Knights' fifth shutout of the season and improved them to 7-8-1 before playing Grandview.

Junior goalkeeper Alyssa Sanders has been supported on defense by sophomore center back Caroline Buendia and junior defensive midfielder Ava Hurd.

"Without them, we'd be giving up a lot more goals," Byrum said. "(We have been) defending very well."

Ready and Fisher Catholic were scoreless at halftime before the Knights broke through.

Senior forwards Genesis Lopez and Lexie Siemer were among the offensive standouts in the game.

The Grandview-Ready winner plays third-seeded Worthington Christian or 10th-seeded Johnstown in a district semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 22, at the home of the better seed, with the winner to play in a district final Saturday, Oct. 26, at a neutral site.

While Ready last reached a district semifinal in 2013, the Bobcats are two-time defending district champions.

The 22nd-seeded boys soccer team opened the Division III district tournament Oct. 17 at fifth-seeded Amanda-Clearcreek, with the winner playing host to 23rd-seeded Madison Plains on Monday, Oct. 21, in a second-round game.

The winner of that contest plays top-seeded Worthington Christian, 16th-seeded Patriot Prep or 18th-seeded Granville Christian in a district semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 23, at the home of the better seed, with the district final set for Saturday, Oct. 26, at a neutral site.

Ready was 1-13-1 heading into the postseason, having defeated Walnut Ridge 3-1 on Oct. 8 in its regular-season finale.

Football team looks for strong finish

After falling to Harvest Prep 21-15 in overtime Oct. 11, the football tried to snap a two-game losing streak when it played Oct. 18 at Whitehall.

Ready, which is playing all of the teams in the MSL-Ohio Division for the third consecutive season, was 3-4 before facing the Rams.

Before playing Whitehall, the Knights were 16th in computer points in Division V, Region 19 with games remaining Friday, Oct. 25, against Bexley and Nov. 1 against Grandview, both at Fortress Obetz. The top eight teams make the playoffs.

Against Harvest Prep, Ready got a 30-yard touchdown pass from Darius Parham to Tyrese Hudson and a two-point conversion from Parham to force overtime.

"We had a really good week of practice (before the Harvest Prep game)," coach Joel Cutler said. "It got really chippy and we competed extremely hard, so I'm really proud of that. We just came (up) short ... but I'm so proud of our kids' effort."

Bexley was 3-4 under first-year coach Mike Golden before facing Harvest Prep on Oct. 18.

Cutler was an assistant at Upper Arlington from 1999-2011 while Golden was the Golden Bears' head coach from 2005-13. Cutler then was Ready's coach from 2012-13 before returning to UA to take over for Golden in 2014, a tenure that lasted five seasons.

Runners open postseason action

The boys and girls cross country teams opened the postseason by competing in district meets Oct. 19 at Hilliard Darby.

The girls were in the Division III meet, from which the top six teams and top 24 individuals advanced to the regional Saturday, Oct. 26, at Pickerington North.

The boys were in the Division II, district 1 meet, where the top three teams and top 12 individuals qualified for regional.

In the CCL meet Oct. 12 at Westerville Community Center, the girls scored 119 points to finish behind Watterson (37), DeSales (38) and Hartley (53) and the boys scored 155 to place behind Watterson (35), Hartley (46), St. Charles (59) and DeSales (71).

Addison Whitmer led the girls team with a 21st-place finish (23 minutes, 31.94 seconds), followed by Allison Bair (23rd, 24:16.12), Lindsey Bair (24th, 24:34.03), Ava Hurd (25th, 25:32.51) and Kate Radwanski (26th, 26:44.73).

Erik Rodriguez led the boys team with a 29th-place finish (19:30.74), followed by Austin Burgoon (30th, 21:29.18), Zachary Swierz (31st, 22:36.78) and Ben Johns (32nd, 23:34.54).

Volleyball season ends with tight loss

Despite being seeded 15th of 20 teams for the Division III district tournament, the girls volleyball team gave second-seeded and host Cardington a scare before falling 25-23, 25-19, 22-25, 25-22 on Oct. 15 in a first-round match.

In the fourth set, Ready took a 21-19 lead on a block by freshman outside hitter Jayden Deal before the Pirates scored the next five points to seize control.

"We had them on the ropes," coach Mike Kusan said. "I knew we would (battle them)."

Ready contended with the Pirates despite not having two of its middle hitters in sophomores Megan Chesser and Kaitlyn Lancia, who were out with injury.

There were no seniors on the Knights' roster as they went 6-17 overall and 0-6 in the CCL but split their last eight matches.

Junior outside hitter Bella Illig should join Chesser, Deal and Lancia as top returnees.

Sophomores Simone Daniel (middle hitter), Kaitlan Harlan (libero) and Claire Larger (setter) and freshman Bryn Whitmer (right-side hitter) also were key players.

Others eligible to return include juniors Mercy Avila (defensive specialist) and Madison Reyes (defensive specialist), sophomores Rebecca Daugherty (defensive specialist), Katie Englebrecht (outside hitter) and Lane Miller (middle hitter) and freshmen Adrianna Agostino (outside hitter), Caleigh Cheatham (setter), Cece Muraco (right-side hitter), Ava Peoples (outside hitter) and Kaylee Wheaton (middle hitter).

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek