Girls Volleyball: Dublin Scioto Irish answered questions by winning OCC, reaching district final

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Ashleigh Rothe, left, and sister Karleigh Rothe were among the four seniors for Scioto, which finished 23-2 overall and 14-0 in the OCC-Capital. Karleigh, an outside hitter, was Player of the Year in the district and league and second-team all-state. Ashleigh, an opposite-side hitter, was first-team all-district and all-league. Their sister, freshman middle blocker Alec Rothe, is expected to be one of the team's top returnees.

As the Dublin Scioto girls volleyball team prepared for the season, coach Jackie Wilson was uncertain if her players would reach their potential. 

The Irish responded by going undefeated in OCC-Capital Division play and advancing to a Division I district final for the second consecutive year. 

“Heading into this year, there were definitely a lot of question marks,” said Wilson, who was named the league and district Coach of the Year. “We knew we’d need to rely on some underclassmen and that some of our veterans would need to take on expanded roles. 

“At times, I think we felt some of the pressure to live up to our goals and the success of the 2019 team, but we really hit our stride midseason, found our confidence, and I’m really proud of the team for the season we put together.” 

Last season, Scioto advanced to a district final, losing to Watterson 25-23, 25-21, 25-21. The Irish went 13-1 in the OCC-Cardinal and shared the league title with Hilliard Bradley. 

Seeded second in the district tournament this year, Scioto lost to seventh-seeded Olentangy Liberty 25-20, 20-25, 22-25, 25-23, 15-10 on Oct. 31 at home to finish 23-2 overall. 

The Irish went 14-0 in the OCC-Capital to finish first ahead of runner-up Worthington Kilbourne (11-3). 

Scioto was led by three sisters who each earned postseason recognition. 

That group was led by senior outside hitter Karleigh Rothe, who was named Player of the Year in the district and league and second-team all-state. She led the team in kills (302) and aces (74). 

“With the energy we brought being with each other, we kept pushing each other to from where we started in previous years,” Rothe said. “We knew that we were going to be a force to be reckoned with.” 

Ashleigh Rothe, a senior opposite-side hitter and Karleigh’s twin, was first-team all-district and all-league. She was second on the team in kills (271). 

Freshman middle blocker Alec Rothe was first-team all-league and second-team all-district. She led the team in blocks (67) and added 268 kills. 

Junior libero Ayva Leon was second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district, senior setter Abby Leonard was special mention all-league and sophomore middle blocker Taylor Jenkins was honorable mention all-league. 

Leonard led in assists (883) and holds the program record with 2,147, and Leon led in digs (316). 

Other players eligible to return are juniors Erin Bush (outside hitter) and Madi Comstock (defensive specialist) and freshmen Jayla Collins (outside hitter/middle blocker) and Sophia Schwab (defensive specialist). 

“This team is arguably the best in Scioto’s 26-year history, and I think they’ve definitely left their mark on the program,” Wilson said. “What’s more valuable than the conference championship or tournament run is the everyday enthusiasm they brought to practice, the willingness to learn and improve and the way they played for each other.” 

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com 

@ThisWeekFrank 

•Record: 23-2 overall 

•OCC-Capital standings: Dublin Scioto (14-0), Worthington Kilbourne (11-3), Delaware (10-4), Big Walnut (9-5), Canal Winchester and Westerville South (both 5-9), Westerville North (2-12), Franklin Heights (0-14) 

•Seniors lost: Abby Leonard, Alexis Hoover, Ashleigh Rothe and Karleigh Rothe 

•Key returnees: Taylor Jenkins, Ayva Leon and Alec Rothe 

•Postseason: Defeated Logan 25-15, 25-15, 25-9; def. Hilliard Bradley 25-16, 25-17, 25-11; lost to Olentangy Liberty 25-20, 20-25, 22-25, 25-23, 15-10 in Division I district final