This year’s Division I district championships for boys and girls soccer and volleyball were held on Halloween, but there was nothing spooky about the results for a handful of county teams.
Just the opposite, actually.
Olentangy Berlin’s boys soccer team captured a district crown, the first in program history, with a 2-1 win over visiting Westerville Central. Olentangy’s girls soccer team won its second district title in the last three years with a 1-0 decision over host Olentangy Orange and the Olentangy Orange and Olentangy Liberty volleyball teams won district titles to punch tickets to this week’s regional rung of competition.
Things didn’t look great for the Bears, at least early, but they turned around quickly. Berlin trailed Central by a goal at halftime, but came out on a mission in the second half.
After Kyle Rinehart poked a header just over the crossbar five minutes into the second half, Mason Morris deposited the equalizer into the back of the net off a feed from Kaden Foreman a minute later.
Less than 10 minutes later, Gavin Kiener won a 50-50 ball at the top of the box, turned and ripped a laser by the diving Central keeper, Sam Rojanasakdakul, to give the Bears a lead they never relinquished.
Next up, Berlin will take on host Thomas Worthington in Wednesday’s regional semifinal. Action is set to start at 7 p.m.
On the girls’ side, Olentangy’s Audrey Oliver found the back of the net off a feed from Lauren Hughes in the last 10 minutes of the first half.
Keeper Katie Scott, who finished with nine saves, and the Braves’ defense took care of the rest. It was the second time this season Olentangy blanked Orange — a team that won an OCC championship and finished 14-3-3.
Olentangy will travel to Upper Arlington to take on the Golden Bears in today’s regional semifinals. First kick is set for 7 p.m.
In Saturday’s district volleyball finals, top-seeded Orange beat visiting and eighth-seeded Westerville Central in straight sets while Liberty outlasted second-seeded Dublin Scioto in five.
The Pioneers, who won 25-16, 25-9, 25-13, were powered by Tazmin Appiah, Hanna Borer and Addie Evans. Appiah finished with a game-high 16 kills to go with three blocks, Borer facilitated the offense with 27 assists and Evans anchored the defense with 19 digs.
The Patriots won the first set of their showdown against the host Irish by a 25-20 margin and, after dropping the second and third by respective scores of 20-25 and 22-25, eked out a 25-23 win in the fourth and took the fifth 15-10 to seal the deal.
McKenna Cook collected a team-best 21 kills while Ali Sebenoler had 12 of her own. Other Liberty standouts included Logan Flaugh, who had 60 assists and a pair of aces; Madison Tinsley, who finished with 27 digs; and Katherine Donahue, who had 10 blocks in the win.
Both teams return to action in the regional semifinals Thursday at Hilliard Darby. Orange will play St. Francis DeSales at 5:30 p.m. while Liberty will take on Bishop Watterson at 7:30 p.m.
Olentangy Liberty’s boys and girls soccer teams, meanwhile, both saw stellar seasons come to close over the weekend. The girls lost 3-1 to second-seeded Bishop Watterson in their district final while the boys fell 1-0 to fourth-seeded Pickerington North. The Patriots’ Quinn Casey buried a free kick to even things up with 25 seconds left in the first half of the girls’ game.
The host Eagles scored a pair of second-half goals to advance, though.