Olentangy Orange athletics had a day to remember, winning a pair of Division I district championships Oct. 26.
The third-seeded girls soccer team won its first district title by defeating sixth-seeded Watterson 2-0 at Dublin Jerome. It was the team's third consecutive appearance in a district final, after losing to Olentangy 2-1 last year and Liberty 3-1 in 2017.
The girls volleyball team captured its fourth consecutive district championship. The top-seeded Pioneers defeated 14th-seeded Grove City 25-14, 25-21, 25-17 at Central Crossing, giving them three postseason wins in three-game sweeps.
Seniors lead soccer squad to regional
Senior midfielders Sophia Leonetti and Grace Poorbaugh scored in the girls soccer team's win over Watterson.
"It's exciting," coach Tim Lawrence said. "It's a senior group that's been driven and they have been strong leaders. I give all the credit to them. (We've) been in the district championship game three years in a row."
The Pioneers were 14-2-4 before playing Marysville in a regional semifinal Oct. 29, with the winner advancing to a regional final Saturday, Nov. 2, at a neutral site against eighth-ranked Dublin Coffman or Westerville North. Orange defeated North 1-0 on Oct. 10 in OCC-Buckeye Division play and lost to Coffman 2-0 on Aug. 27.
The regional champion plays in a state semifinal Tuesday, Nov. 5, at a neutral site against top-ranked Beavercreek, fourth-ranked West Chester Lakota West, Cincinnati Seton or Loveland.
Against Watterson, Leonetti scored the Pioneers' first goal with five minutes left in the second half.
"It's been a long run and so much fun with this team," she said. "We just wanted this one so bad and just came in and took it."
Poorbaugh gave Orange some breathing room, scoring with one minute to play.
"It means a lot (to win a district title)," she said. "In the past two years we've lost in this game and to win our senior year is exciting. We have great team unity. We're very close this year."
Goalkeeper Amanda Poorbaugh had six saves.
The host Pioneers defeated 13th-seeded Big Walnut 4-1 on Oct. 23 in a district semifinal. Abby Faulkner, Maia Kaufman, Payton Kaufman and Grace Poorbaugh all scored.
Volleyball team aiming for state
The girls volleyball team has reached a regional semifinal for the fourth consecutive season, but now the players want to take the next step and break through to a state semifinal.
They have two obstacles in their path, the first being Liberty on Thursday, Oct. 31, at Worthington Kilbourne. Last season, the Patriots defeated Orange 31-29, 21-25, 25-17, 13-25, 15-13 in a regional final.
"We're definitely hungry for more," said senior outside hitter Madison Moll, whose team is 21-4. "I think because we play Liberty in (the OCC-Buckeye), we know them better and know what they do well. We know they are a good team with a lot of good players."
The eighth-ranked Pioneers swept through the OCC-Buckeye to win the league championship, beating Liberty 25-22, 22-25, 21-25, 25-20, 15-13 on Sept. 3 and 25-18, 25-18, 25-16 on Sept. 19.
The Orange-Liberty winner plays sixth-ranked DeSales or Watterson in a regional final Saturday, Nov. 2, at Kilbourne. The Pioneers lost to DeSales 25-19, 25-18, 25-22 on Oct. 5 and fell to Watterson 25-23, 26-24, 25-27, 25-18 on Oct. 12.
Orange also defeated 24th-seeded Pickerington Central 25-10, 25-12, 25-17 on Oct. 23 in a district semifinal at Central Crossing.
"It's been really cool being part of Orange volleyball and winning district for the last four years," Moll said. "(Coach Katie Duy) congratulated us on all of our hard work and told us to get ready for more."
London Davis leads Orange with 259 kills, Hanna Borer has a team-high 688 assists and Addie Evans leads with 372 digs. Arianna Jackson has a team-leading 38 blocks and Maya Hendricks has a team-high 42 aces.
Boys, girls runners qualify for state
The boys and girls cross country teams both qualified for the Division I state meet Saturday, Nov. 2, at National Trail Raceway.
The boys were third (154 points) behind Gahanna (100) and Hilliard Davidson (130) in the regional meet Oct. 26 at Pickerington North. Alex Kenish was 22nd (16:36.2), followed by Bryan King (29th, 16:47.5), Jake Etheridge (30th, 16:47.7), Brant Yocum (38th, 16:51.6), Cody Moore (68th, 17:17.4) and Jay Shin (96th, 17:44.3).
The girls were fifth (193) behind champion Davidson (36). Abby Schroff was 21st (19:21.4), followed by Paige Benecke (27th, 19:46.5), Corinne Hazel (40th, 20:13.9), Allison Clifford (68th, 20:37.2), Media Patria (78th, 20:44.1), Olivia Dieckmann (87th, 20:54.4) and Abby Wells (122nd, 22:11.5).
Boys soccer team falls in district semi
The eighth-seeded boys soccer team lost at 14th-seeded New Albany 1-0 on Oct. 22 in a Division I district semifinal.
The Pioneers finished 12-5-2.
"We were really pleased with the season and the things we accomplished," first-year coach Brett Weiss said. "The (district semifinal) loss was tough, but to only think of that last game and not think of the positives this team had would be unfair. They worked so hard and came so far."
Midfielder Jack Kossoudji (second-team all-league), defender Cole Lewis (special mention all-league), goalie Kellen Sargent (second-team all-league), defender Jason Stewart (first-team all-district and all-league) and forward Jason Stewart (first-team all-league) led a nine-player senior class.
Junior midfielder Alex James (second-team all-league) and junior defender Nate Hoang (honorable mention all-league) lead the players expected to return along with juniors Jerry Ashmeade (midfielder), Zach Blendick (forward), Baracah Gimei (midfielder), Justin Nichols (defender), Spencer Rose (midfielder) and Hayden Vu (midfielder).
Field hockey team loses to third seed
The field hockey team finished 9-7-2, losing at third-seeded Watterson 6-0 on Oct. 22 in a district semifinal.
Junior goalie Chloe Fuller had 15 saves for the eighth-seeded Pioneers.
"I think we improved immensely from beginning to end, but the result tonight may not show that," first-year coach Ashley Oracewski said. "We had great overall team effort. They have improved individually and then they ended up utilizing that and working together as a team.
"They came a long way in trusting one another. This is a team sport. It's not individualized and it's something they need to remember going forward."
Senior midfielder Josie Vance was the leading scorer with five goals and four assists. Senior midfielder Hannah Brown (first-team all-league) scored five goals, and senior defender Mia Jakubowski had five goals and one assist.
Junior midfielder Sidney Lowry (second-team all-league) had two goals and two assists, and Fuller (honorable mention all-league) had 92 saves. Freshman midfielder Haylie Sucharski scored four goals.