By Ben Stroup
Erin McCullough collected 16 digs and 13 kills and Brianna Blackburn ran the offense with 28 assists as the Delaware Christian volleyball team handled visiting Hayes in three sets Saturday in Delaware.
The Eagles, who improved to 12-3 with the win, won the first set 25-20 before sealing the deal with respective wins of 25-13 and 25-21 in the second and third.
Liz Sullivan backed McCullough with 12 digs and six kills while Abbey Evans (13 digs, six kills and two aces), Sarah Rosato (five kills and three blocks) and Anna Fuller (10 digs and three aces) were also solid in the win.
Julia Kaylor paced Hayes with 10 kills, six assists, a block and four digs. Audrey Hannahs was also steady, chipping in 10 digs and two aces in the setback.
Also: Liberty def. Centennial 25-13, 25-11; Liberty def. Worthington Kilbourne 25-9, 25-17; Liberty def. Adena 25-22, 25-17; Hilliard Davidson def. Big Walnut 25-23, 14-25, 25-20, 25-17.
Stephen Psyhogios and Luke Bean scored for Liberty while Zach English and Isaac Arefi found the back of the net for Orange as the district rivals battled to a 2-2 tie Saturday in Powell.
As the final score suggests, the game was pretty even, with Liberty (4-2-1) finishing with a 10-7 edge in shots on goal.
Jeremy Karr and Tommy Hlinka combined for five saves in the Patriot goal while Nick Cutler closed with eight saves in the Orange (1-2-4) net.
Orange stayed hot over the weekend, handling a talented Liberty team 3-0 in non-league action Saturday in Powell.
Delaney Earl scored a pair of goals while Brynna Johnson notched another to smooth out the scoring summary.
Hannah Sargent finished with a game-high five saves in the Pioneer net while Emma Campbell stopped two shots for the Patriots.
Olentangy 2, Watterson 0
Ireland Fallona and Maddy Bull scored and the defense took care of the rest, leading the Braves to 2-0 non-league win over the visiting Eagles Saturday in Lewis Center.
Sarah Markel and Julia Francis were credited with assists in the win while Kelsey Hill anchored the defense with eight saves.
Also: Big Walnut 3, Lexington 0.
Olentangy’s girls cross country team posted a top-10 finish and Hayes’ closed 20th during Saturday’s Galion CC Festival.
The Braves finished seventh with 229 points while the Pacers had 547 points to account for their spot in the standings.
Lexi Brookshire led Olentangy, finishing 12th among individuals in 19:15.2.
Melina Endsley was also solid for the Braves, finishing 30th in 19:57.9, while Hayes’ Alicia Rittenour finished 52nd out of 165 runners thanks to a season-best time of 20:30.
In boys’ action, Liberty finished eighth (222) in the Division I varsity race, Olentangy closed 13th (368) and Hayes finished 26th (748).
The Braves’ Anthony Sasso led the list of local runners, finishing 17th among the 176 individuals in action with a time of 16:20.1. Liberty’s Mitchell Towne wasn’t far behind, finishing 22nd overall in 16:23.6, while the Patriots’ Logan Boone and John Ropchock finished 33rd and 34th in respective times of 16:41.9 and 16:44.1.
Alex Garner finished with Olentangy’s second-best time, closing 54th in 17:02.1, while Hayes was led by Seth Kern’s 130th-place finish (18:11.9). Kern’s mark set his fourth PR of the season.
Improvement was the name of the game Saturday in Westerville as a combined 22 Barons set overall career PRs at the Otterbein Invitational.
“I was pleased with this race,” Buckeye Valley coach Nate Ritz said. “Our training is beginning to kick in higher gear for the end-of-season meets and I think we’ll continue to see more (time) drops as we progress through the season.”
The boys, led by Zach Kreft’s first-place performance, nabbed runner-up honors as a team. Kreft won in 15:42.9, breaking his own school record in the process.
The Baron girls, led by Kennedy Cramer’s 14th-place finish (22:05.2), closed fifth.
Big Walnut was also in action at Otterbein. The girls finished third and the boys closed fifth.
Lexi Murnieks paced the BW girls with a sixth-place performance (21:02.9) while Matt Halbakken led the Golden Eagle boys, finishing seventh overall (17:08.8).
Orange’s boys represented themselves quite well Saturday, finishing 13th among 23 elite teams at the Valkyrie Invitational in Louisville, Ky.
Hunter Moore led the Pioneers, finishing eighth among individuals with a personal-best time of 15:41.25.
Central Ohio CC Invitational
The Liberty and Orange girls cross country teams highlighted Saturday’s Central Ohio CC Invitational hosted by Bishop Hartley, finishing first and fifth, respectively, while nabbing each of the top four individual times.
The Patriots, who won the meet with 31 points, were led by Emma Bower and Gracie Sprankle. Bower captured top honors in 18:21.52, Sprankle finished second in 18:36.63 and teammate Claire Linn finished fourth in 19:26.17.
The only thing preventing a Liberty top-three sweep was Orange freshman Allison Guagenti, who finished third in 19:16.96.
Liberty 1, Mount Notre Dame 0.
Follow Ben Stroup on Twitter @delgazette_ben.