Playing for district championships is starting to become a trend for Olentangy Orange volleyball team, which won a semifinal over 19th-seeded Lancaster Tuesday at Franklin Heights to punch a ticket to its second straight Division I district final.
The fourth-seeded Pioneers won the first set 25-10 before taking the next two by respective scores of 25-14 and 25-12.
“I think the girls’ focus and maturity has been good,” Orange coach Katie Duy said. “And the experience of last year (has been key).”
The Pioneers, then a No. 5 seed, won a hard-fought match over Bishop Watterson 25-23, 25-22, 25-19 to capture a district title last fall.
As good as that team was, it wasn’t as balanced as this year’s edition. Duy said that balance will be key come Saturday’s district final against fifth-seeded Pickerington North.
“We have a very balanced team with six girls over 100 kills, so I think continuing to get everyone involved, our ball control and serving will be key,” she said.
Big Walnut earned a spot in its third straight district final, using three second-half goals to pull away from visiting Bishop Hartley and notch a 3-0 win in Tuesday’s Division II district semifinal in Sunbury.
Morgan Bodker, Alexis Schone and Alle English had the goals while the defense, which notched its 13th shutout of the season, took care of the rest.
“The defense continues to be a force,” BW coach Drew Pitzer said. “They are a very tight-knit group and take it very personal if they give up a goal. They work really hard to be in the right place and use their experience to their advantage. They work well as a unit and are really tough to break down.”
Next up, second-seeded Big Walnut will take on top-seeded Granville in Saturday’s district championship at a site and time to be announced.
Olentangy 2, Westerville North 1
Kayla Primm and Olivia Neidhardt found the back of the net to lead the Braves past the visiting Warriors in Tuesday’s Division I district semifinal in Lewis Center.
With the win, sixth-seeded Olentangy advances to Saturday’s district final against fourth-seeded Dublin Jerome at a site and time to be announced.
Olentangy Liberty 1, Worthington Kilbourne 0; Thomas Worthington 10, Olentangy 0.