Delaware Hayes Roundup: Driven Hayley Dye continues to pace girls golf team

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group
Delaware Hayes junior Hayley Dye follows a tee shot during the second round of the OCC-Cardinal tournament Aug. 19 at Blacklick Woods. Dye earned her third consecutive league Player of the Year award.

In her third year with the Delaware Hayes girls golf team, Hayley Dye continues to set the standard for the Pacers.   

The junior shot in the 70s in all four rounds of OCC-Cardinal Division play this season to lead Delaware to a 24-4 record and second place (353 average) in the league behind Dublin Jerome (28-0, 323.5).   

Dye led the Pacers in each round of the tournament, shooting 77 at Mental Memorial, 75 at Blacklick Woods, 75 at Royal American and 75 at New Albany Links. Postseason honors were based on each player’s top three rounds, so Dye shared OCC-Cardinal Player of the Year honors with Jerome’s Audrey Ryu with a 75 average.  

Being the league’s medalist isn’t new to Dye. This was her third year in a row earning the award after winning it her freshman and sophomore seasons with averages of 75.3 and 74.5, respectively, in league play.   

“It feels pretty good,” she said. “It’s always nice to accomplish things like that.”  

Coach Nick Kitts has been impressed with Dye’s consistency and work ethic. 

“Honestly, she’s the hardest-working kid I’ve ever seen,” Kitts said. “She truly wants to be the best.”  

Dye said her scores have stayed consistently low throughout her prep career because she works to improve not only her skills but her decision making.  

“Over the years, I’ve really become a lot better at course management. So even if I have a triple or a double (bogey), I can still keep my score where I want it,” she said. “And I would say I’ve been staying calmer this year and just trying to mentally focus on hitting the best shot I can.”   

The way Kitts describes Dye’s play, she has the ability to serve as her own coach. 

“She’s thinking about her own swings. She’s analyzing her own swings. She’s gotten so much better technically versus ‘see ball, hit ball,’ ” Kitts said. “She’s now more capable of understanding ‘OK, today I’m hitting the ball a slight fade. What do I need to adjust there to get the ball back on target?’ She’s so much more technical than she was as a freshman.”  

Knowing her game so well, Dye feels she’s hitting the ball well off the tee and putting with more confidence. 

“Definitely my driving (is what I excel at). It’s definitely been the best part of my game this year. I’ve really improved on that from last year,” she said. “And I’d also say my putting has been really strong this year. Last year that was a weakness of mine, so I made sure to improve on that in the offseason and make that better.”  

She considers her short game to be lacking and something she’s still trying to improve.   

“Chipping mainly. I’m still working on correcting that, that’s still the weakest part of my game,” Dye said. “I’ve just been doing a lot of drills and definitely talking to my coach a lot about different situations while chipping. Just trying to improve on my management while chipping and just trying to hit consistent chips all the time.”  

Kitts said that technical focus on improvement is why Dye has been at the top of her game.   

“She’s constantly at the course. She eats, breathes and sleeps golf,” Kitts said. “She understands getting on a range isn’t going to get her where she needs to be. She needs that time on the course to work golf, to work on positioning. She knows golf is more than just hitting the ball straight.”  

Senior Faith Eden finished as runner-up to Dye on the Pacers with an 85.7 average over her top three OCC-Cardinal rounds, and junior Lauren Girouard averaged 93.7 for her top three rounds. Eden was second-team all-league and Girouard was honorable mention.  

The Pacers begin the Division I postseason with a sectional Oct. 6 at Royal American. 

Girls volleyball team playing well 

The girls volleyball team has been enjoying a strong season.  

After going 11-13 last year, the Pacers improved to 7-4 overall and 4-3 in the OCC-Capital with a 25-22, 25-13, 25-12 victory over visiting Big Walnut on Sept. 22.   

Anna Johnson had six digs, seven kills and 10 assists, Natalie Davis had seven kills and seven digs, Chloe Jeffers had 14 assists and 10 digs and Ally Gray had 19 digs.   

“I’m really pleased with how we are coming together as a team. We realize there is still room for growth and we want to get better every day we have the opportunity,” coach Raynard Martin said. “We have learned from a couple of tough losses earlier in the year, have made some good adjustments and are on a good winning streak currently.”  

Before facing Thomas Worthington on Sept. 24, the Pacers were on a four-match winning streak with a 21-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-21 victory at Canal Winchester on Sept. 15, an 11-25, 25-22, 25-21, 15-25, 15-12 victory at Olentangy Berlin on Sept. 16, a 25-7, 25-12, 25-7 victory over visiting Franklin Heights on Sept. 17 and the win over Big Walnut.   

Johnson had 85 kills, 164 assists and 111 digs through 11 matches. Davis had 111 kills and 103 digs, Jeffers had 167 assists and 110 digs and Gray had 212 digs. 

The Pacers play at Hilliard Davidson on Monday, Sept. 28.   

Boys soccer team falls to South   

The boys soccer team lost at Westerville South 6-0 on Sept. 22 to fall to 3-5-1 overall and 0-4 in the OCC-Capital. 

Dylan Ashworth was leading the Pacers through nine games with four goals and three assists, followed by Cade Franklin and Abdul Kawa with two goals each.   

Goalie Doug Heckert was leading with 13 saves. 

The Pacers played at Teays Valley on Sept. 26 and play at Johnstown on Tuesday, Sept. 29.   

sborgna@thisweeknews.com  

@ThisWeekSteve