Dublin Scioto Spotlight: Boys soccer, girls volleyball teams repeat as OCC champions

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Scioto’s Abby Leonard helped the Irish finish 14-0 in the OCC-Capital Division for their second consecutive league title. Leonard had a team-high 806 through 23 matches and a program-record 2,070 for her career.

The Dublin Scioto girls volleyball and boys soccer teams each credit a strong work ethic as key to earning back-to-back league titles. 

After sharing the OCC-Cardinal Division title with Hilliard Bradley last season at 13-1, the volleyball team won the outright OCC-Capital championship at 14-0 to capture the program’s fifth league title. 

“Obviously with COVID it’s been a long season, but very worth it,” coach Jackie Wilson said. “This team means everything to me and to do one match better than last year (13-1) and win the league outright means a lot to us.” 

Scioto's Jayden Lunsford (left) heads the ball from Canal Winchester's Kylan Lewis on Sept. 15. Lunsford had a goal in a 2-0 victory over Westerville North on Oct. 13 as the Irish clinched the outright OCC-Capital title at 5-0-2.

The boys soccer team, which won the OCC-Cardinal last season at 5-1-1, finished first in the OCC-Capital at 5-0-2. It also is the program's fifth championship. Worthington Kilbourne finished second the last two seasons.

The seventh-seeded Irish finished 11-1-4 overall after a 2-0 loss to No. 13 Kilbourne 2-0 on Oct. 22 in the second round of the Division I district tournament. The Irish beat the Wolves 1-0 on Sept. 8.

“Everybody always hopes for years like this,” coach Erik Ekis said. “What you hope for is that you get the most out of your team. If you’re playing to your strengths, minimizing weaknesses, then good things can happen.  

“You don’t necessarily go in and say you’re going to win a league championship. That’s certainly everybody’s goal, but you go in saying we’re going to do the best we can.” 

Senior setter Abby Leonard has been a major contributor behind the volleyball team’s balance by spreading the ball among several different teammates. Through 23 matches, Leonard had a team-high 806 assists and a program-record 2,070 for her career. 

“That was definitely one of our goals,” Leonard said of winning a league title. “It feels really good, especially coming back from last year and winning again. It’s just an overall really good feeling and a really good accomplishment for us.  

“We’ve worked really hard at every single practice trying to achieve this goal of going 14-0 in the conference, and all of our hard work has paid off.” 

Leading the Irish in kills are Karleigh Rothe (271) and sisters Ashleigh Rothe (252) and Alec Rothe (238). 

“We also had a fun group last year,” Wilson said. “We’re a little more well-rounded as a team (this season). We have lots of different kids contributing every single night and that’s why I think we’ll go further than last year.” 

The second-seeded Irish opened the Division I district tournament with a 25-15, 25-15, 25-9 win over 36th-seeded Logan in the second round Oct. 21. 

Scioto was 22-1 before playing 25th-seeded Bradley in a semifinal Oct. 27. The winner plays seventh-seeded Olentangy Liberty or 11th-seeded Olentangy in a district final Saturday, Oct. 31, at the site of the higher seed.

The Irish have won three district titles with the last coming in 2007.

Ekis pointed to balanced scoring as a key to the soccer team’s success. 

Andrew Berkebile and Jayden Lunsford each scored in a 2-0 win over Westerville North on Oct. 13 as Scioto to clinched the outright league title. 

Goalie Max Edling had five saves. 

“It’s awesome, back-to-back (league) titles,” Lunsford said. “I’m truly grateful to be a part of it. I’m really thankful for how we got there. All the work we put in and what we created, we just stuck to it throughout the year.”  

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com 

@ThisWeekFrank