For the 14th time in its 15 seasons, the Dublin Jerome High School girls golf team has captured a league championship.

This one came in dominant fashion, despite the Celtics having one of their most inexperienced lineups.

There are no seniors in the program, and only juniors Ash Abhang and Caitlin Yant returned from last season, when Jerome finished fourth in the Division I state tournament.

"It means a great deal to all of us to extend the streak," Yant said. "We have three new varsity members and it's a pretty young team. All of us are working hard to improve. It's truly a great accomplishment for us."

The Celtics will decide which sectional to compete in during the coming postseason at the tournament draw Sunday, Sept. 16.

Also still on tap are the Toledo St. Ursula Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 15, at Highland Meadows, the Upper Arlington Invitational on Sept. 20 at Brookside and the St. Angela Invitational on Sept. 22 at Maketewah as Jerome looks to continue its progression.

The Celtics have made seven consecutive state tournament appearances. Coach C.D. Butcher expects it to be a challenge for Jerome to continue that streak, but he'll take the growth he's been seeing from a lineup that also includes sophomores Izzy Adams and Lindsay Mayo and freshman Emma Sparling.

"The girls are playing well," Butcher said. "We're real young, but they're working hard and they're fun to be around. We're a year away from being competitive with the best teams in the state. ... We're definitely in the top 10.

"Emma Sparling is a freshman who I think is our next big player. When she hits it, it has that sound, but she is just now picking the game up. Her swing is perfect, but she just needs to play rounds of golf. ... Caitlin and Ash have been there the past two years and have seen what (2018 graduates) Abby (Kiefer) and Taby (Robinson) did as leaders, and they're doing it. It's really fun. We just need better scores."

Yant finished as runner-up in the four-round OCC-Cardinal Division tournament with a 75.8 average, behind Delaware freshman Hayley Dye (75.3), and Abhang finished third (78.3).

Both Yant and Abhang made first-team all-league as Jerome finished 19-0, ahead of Delaware (15-4), Hilliard Bradley (11-8), Scioto (7-12), Hilliard Darby (2-13) and Worthington Kilbourne (1-18).

Thomas Worthington and first-year Olentangy Berlin did not register a team score in any of the four rounds.

Sparling had an 88.5 league average, followed by Mayo (89.0) and Adams (96.3). All three were second-team all-league.

"My season is going well," Yant said. "I'm still trying to improve every day. With the postseason coming up, I hope to fine-tune my game to eliminate mistakes and stay focused."

Tennis team gets shot at league title

On Sept. 11, the girls tennis team had a chance to extend its string of 14 consecutive league titles when it closed OCC-Cardinal action against Scioto.

The Celtics were 6-0 in the OCC-Cardinal before facing the Irish, winning each of their first six league matches by a 5-0 score.

Winning in a 5-0 league victory over Delaware on Sept. 4 were Reagan Resor at first singles, Kavya Alagappan at second singles, Sudi Pelleru at third singles, Sophie Williams and Katie Yao at first doubles and Sanjana Mangaporum and Sumedha Vadlamanai at second doubles.

Jerome lost to Mason 3-2 and Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown 5-0 on Sept. 8 and fell to 7-4 overall with a 3-2 loss to Olentangy Orange on Sept. 10.

Girls soccer team starts to hit stride

After losing a pair of games to out-of-area opponents, the girls soccer team rode a four-game winning streak into its matchup Sept. 11 at Coffman.

Jerome, which was 5-2 overall before placing the Shamrocks, opened Aug. 20 with a 4-1 loss to Beavercreek, a Division I district runner-up last season. The Celtics rebounded to beat DeSales 3-1 on Aug. 23 but lost 5-1 on Aug. 25 to Strongsville, a Division I regional runner-up a season ago.

Among Jerome's next four wins was a 3-2 decision Aug. 30 over Olentangy Liberty, a Division I state semifinalist a season ago.

During the winning streak, Emma Sears, Riley Mullady and Sophie Magilligan each had three goals and Bronwen Sears scored two while goalkeeper Natalie Coontz made 35 saves.

Jerome is 2-0 in the OCC-Cardinal entering its game Thursday, Sept. 13, at first-year Berlin.

Volleyball team starts strong

The girls volleyball team was 8-1 overall and took a five-match winning streak into its contest Sept. 11 at Westerville Central.

The Celtics lost to Kilbourne 25-12, 25-16, 25-12 in their OCC-Cardinal opener Aug. 21, but are 5-1 in the league heading into their match Thursday, Sept. 13, at home against Scioto.

Through nine matches, Jaci Carpenter was leading Jerome in kills with 99, followed by Lauren Gilbert (69) and Kendall Poach (54). Carpenter led the team in serving aces (20), Kylie Carpenter led in digs (72) and Shefali Srinivasan led in assists (146) and was second in aces (19).

julrey@thisweeknews.com

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