Upper Arlington girls volleyball coach Chris Van Arsdale took his time in assessing what junior libero Macy Medors means to the Golden Bears, calling her impact “hard to quantify.”
How Medors fits into the overall makeup of the team might be what pleases Van Arsdale the most as his team hoped to turn the page from a challenging OCC-Central Division schedule into the Division I district tournament that began this week.
“I’m not one to single out my kids. They all contribute a lot to the team in terms of makeup, personality and chemistry, but Macy has a quality about her when it comes to her sense of calm (and) her sense of being unflappable,” Van Arsdale said. “She’s never rattled. She’s always ready for the next play. She never gets too excited and she never gets down.
“That sense of calm and poise is something that’s infectious and helps the team a lot. Obviously it helps that she’s tremendously skilled as well. She does her job as well as anybody I see play at her position.”
After missing most of her entire sophomore season because of a back injury, Medors led the Bears in digs (156) and serve receives (212) and was fourth in aces (18) through 18 matches. UA was 5-13 overall and 2-6 in the OCC-Central before finishing the regular season Oct. 15 against Hilliard Davidson.
“My defense has gotten more aggressive. I’ve been going after more stuff to see what I can touch,” Medors said. “I think I bring energy. I want everyone to go for everything. I just want to see a drive from our team and I want myself to produce, too. I take a lot of pride in that (role). My teammates make it easy because they’re open-minded people. They want to win just as bad as I do.”
Medors led the team with 213 digs and 314 serve receives – committing only 18 errors – as a freshman but made it only two matches into her sophomore season before a recurring back injury became too much to play through.
She and Van Arsdale discussed sitting out either the high school or club season, and Medors opted to wait until club before resuming play while every attending UA match and practice.
This season, Medors has teamed with seniors Carly Ness and Hannah Sprouse – who took over libero duties in her absence last year – in the back row. Medors entered the week with one offer, from Toledo, but has talked to several schools.
“She reads plays incredibly well. Her movement to the ball is outstanding,” Van Arsdale said. “So much of that comes from what happens before the ball is hit and the way she sees the entire offensive play developing and what the hitter does.”
UA is seeded 27th in the 41-team Division I district tournament and visited 10th-seeded Pickerington Central for a first-round match Oct. 20. The winner will face 13th-seeded Thomas Worthington in the second round Thursday, Oct. 22, at the home of the higher seed.
That winner will take on ninth-seeded Worthington Kilbourne and 29th-seeded Marysville in a district semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 28, at the home of the better seed.
Doubles teams advance to state
The girls tennis team’s doubles pairings of Megan Basil and Ella Hazelbaker and Noah Mizer and Ava Richard will compete in the Division I state tournament this weekend, and the Bears entered the week still alive for a second consecutive appearance in the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association state team tournament.
Both doubles teams won their first two matches at district Oct. 15 at Reynoldsburg to earn berths to state Friday, Oct. 23, and Saturday, Oct. 24, at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
Basil and Hazelbaker clinched their berth with a 6-0, 6-1 win over New Albany’s Demi Shostak and Helen Wang, while Mizer and Richard beat Pickerington North’s Tasha Miller and Corinna Moesle 6-1, 6-0 to advance.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to state.
Also competing but failing to advance in singles were Ellis Mizer and Isabella Roth, who both lost in the first round.
Basil and Hazelbaker won the doubles title in UA’s home sectional that concluded Oct. 10. Noah Mizer and Richard finished third, and in singles Roth finished second and Ellis Mizer fourth.
UA improved to 15-2 in dual matches with a 4-0 win at Pickerington Central in an OTCA district semifinal Oct. 12. The Bears reached the OTCA district final Oct. 20 at Olentangy Liberty, and the winner will advance to state Sunday, Oct. 25, at Reynoldsburg.
Golf seasons end at district
The girls golf team finished short of its second consecutive Division I state tournament appearance, as it placed fourth (328) at district Oct. 13 at New Albany Links behind champion New Albany (294).
Senior Reagan Nolan shot a 79 to lead the Bears, ahead of classmate Julia Rabadam (80), junior Eileen Murray (83) and senior Emily Zhang (86). Freshman Mary Murray added an 87.
The top two teams and two individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to state Friday, Oct. 23, and Saturday, Oct. 24, at Ohio State’s Gray Course.
Rabadam is a Cincinnati commit who helped UA to a second-place finish at state last year behind New Albany.
“They played really well and were in high spirits. I couldn’t have asked for a better day,” coach Andrew Hoobler said. “The weather dictated a lot of scores, and course management was important. The girls put the work in and we got out of this what we wanted to. They put themselves in position to make a run (at a state berth).”
That same day in the boys district tournament at Apple Valley, UA finished seventh (317) behind champion Olentangy Orange (298).
Junior Daniel Goldberg shot a 73 to finish one shot shy of an individual state berth. The top two teams and two individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to state.
Also scoring for UA were senior Jud Turner (78), freshman Brady Catalano (82) and sophomore Dylan Cullman (84). Senior Jack McLaughlin shot an 87.
•OCC-Central standings: Olentangy Liberty and Olentangy Orange (both 18-2), Dublin Coffman (11-9), Upper Arlington (8-12), Hilliard Davidson (5-15), Hilliard Bradley (0-20)
•Seniors lost: Joey Holland, Jack McLaughlin, Nick Porter and Jud Turner
•Key returnees: Brady Catalano, Dylan Cullman and Daniel Goldberg
•Postseason: Third (315) at sectional behind champion St. Charles (297); seventh (317) at district behind champion Orange (298) GIRLS GOLF
•OCC-Central standings: New Albany (19-1), Coffman (16-4), UA (13-7), Marysville (8-12), Canal Winchester (3-17), Davidson (1-19) •Seniors lost: Reagan Nolan, Julia Rabadam and Emily Zhang
•Key returnees: Eileen Murray and Mary Murray
•Postseason: Second (340) at sectional behind champion Dublin Jerome (322); fourth (328) at district behind champion New Albany (294)