Big Walnut girls volleyball coach Ron Lehman wants to challenge his team — which is why the Golden Eagles are playing tough competition, like St. Francis DeSales, in a stretch of three matches in three days.
The Stallions, who won a district title last season, handled BW in straight sets (25-15, 25-18, 25-14) in non-league action Wednesday night in Columbus.
“We just need to be more consistent … just keep working hard to get better,” Lehman said. “Our biggest issue is passing — we’ve got to get better at passing. When we were passing, we were competing with them.”
BW played its best in the second set, but struggled early to a 13-4 deficit before rallying back to as close as 19-17 before running out of gas.
Ally DeLozier led with 11 kills, Diana Brown had 14 assists, Amy Feltz had 12 assists and Tiara Teague had four blocks for DeSales (5-2), which picked up its third consecutive win and fourth in five games.
“We want to challenge them … we’re not going to get better if we don’t play good competition,” Lehman said.
Kelsey Imertreijs led the Eagles with eight kills and Emma Urhammer added six. Meredith Thomas led BW (3-6) with 14 digs.
The Eagles swept Newark in three sets in OCC-Capital action Tuesday night to start this difficult run of games. They will continue league play at home today against Franklin Heights before playing three at Pickerington North Saturday.
“It’s just hard to get all of the matches in that you want to play,” Lehman said. “When we try to go outside the league, Monday’s and Wednesday’s become the time (that’s available). We don’t like to play Wednesday matches, but you don’t have a lot of choice.”
Olentangy won the battle and Liberty won the war as both teams walked away with some bragging rights after the fourth and final OCC-Buckeye Division match Wednesday at Darby Creek.
The Braves won the match with a 305, finishing second in league play with a 17-3 record. The Patriots, meanwhile, fired a 308 to finish second in the match, but win the conference championship with a 19-1 mark. They won each of the previous three league showdowns.
Garrett Varanelli led Olentangy with a 72. Other contributors included Matt Homza (73), Cameron Casto (77) and Luke Boerner (83).
Liberty was led by Kyle Mitchell’s 71. Other Patriot scorers included Cole Corder (76), Ronnie Foth (80) and Trey Rath (81).
Hayes and Big Walnut were also in action in OCC finales. The Pacers, powered by Luke Gazarek’s 88, fired a 361 at Apple Valley. The Golden Eagles, meanwhile, finished second in their league thanks to a 304 at Turnberry.
Austin Schone led Big Walnut, nabbing medalist honors with a 70. The Eagles earned runner-up honors in the league with a 16-4 record.
Other BW scorers included Michael Ford (77), Nick Dimitroff (78) and Parker Imertreijs (79).
Hayes 3, Reynoldsburg 2.
Orange picked up wins over Lancaster and Thomas Worthington, carding a combined 162 Wednesday at Blackhawk.
The Pioneers’ Ashley Au and Riley Dean earned co-medalist honors for their 39s.
Hannah Lower scored the game’s lone goal as Orange picked up a gritty 1-0 win over host Bishop Hartley Wednesday in Columbus.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.