Notes: Thomas Worthington volleyball team eclipses 2019 win total

STEPHEN BORGNA
ThisWeekSPORTS.com
Wakaya Wilson of the Thomas girls volleyball team bumps the ball during a match against Olentangy on Sept. 15. The Cardinals were 7-2 overall and 1-2 in the OCC-Cardinal entering a league match at Hilliard Darby on Sept. 22.

The Thomas Worthington girls volleyball team has made last year's 4-19 finish a distant memory.

Heading into an OCC-Cardinal Division match Sept. 22 against Hilliard Darby, the Cardinals were 7-2 overall and 1-2 in the league.

Coach Natalie Walter said the Cardinals are playing with more energy and passion this year, even as they have been forced to adapt to new protocols because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

"This year we've been really fortunate that these girls have come in with a different mentality than we've had in years past," she said. "I think a lot of that has to do with the pandemic and everything that's going on. They have a greater appreciation for this opportunity and you can just see it when they're out there on the court. They're doing what they love and it shows."

The Cardinals defeated Marysville 22-25, 25-17, 25-18, 25-16 on Sept. 17 to earn their first league victory. They won their first six matches of the season, beating Groveport, Upper Arlington, Central Crossing, Hilliard Bradley, New Albany and Mount Vernon before losing to Dublin Jerome and Olentangy.

Before playing Darby, Wakaya Wilson was averaging 3.2 kills per set and nine digs per match and had 109 kills for the season. Lily Beier was averaging three kills per set and had 18 aces and 89 kills, and Alayna Johnson was averaging three blocks per match and had 55 kills.

*The Kilbourne boys soccer team tied Upper Arlington at 1 on Sept. 17 to move to 5-4-1 overall.

Gabe Porter scored for the Wolves. Porter and Chris Guerra led the Wolves with six goals each through 10 games.

Kilbourne won 1-0 at Westerville Central on Aug. 21 and at DeSales on Aug. 25. It also recorded a 2-0 win at West Chester Lakota West on Aug. 29, a 3-1 win at Canal Winchester on Sept. 1 to open OCC-Capital play and a 5-0 victory over Delaware on Sept. 15 in league play.

"The season has been a challenging one so far," coach Jon Sprunger said. "We have made numerous changes in the first two weeks of September and are satisfied with the current system of play. The identity of the 2020 team is emerging and we are just now hitting our stride."

Kilbourne was 2-1 in the OCC-Capital before playing Big Walnut on Sept. 22. It will play at Dublin Jerome on Thursday, Sept. 24.

*The Thomas boys soccer team improved to 4-4 overall with a 2-1 win over St. Charles on Sept. 17.

The Cardinals also have recorded a 1-0 win over Reynoldsburg on Aug. 25, a 7-0 win against Lancaster on Aug. 27 and a 4-2 victory over Kilbourne on Sept. 3.

They were 0-1 in the OCC-Cardinal before facing Olentangy on Sept. 22 and will play Thursday, Sept. 24, at DeSales.

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve

Kilbourne's Brandon Kim and Thomas' Omar Mares battle for the ball during the host Cardinals' 4-2 victory Sept. 3.