Prep notebook: Northeastern volleyball wins second straight OHC North title

The Northeastern High School volleyball team celebrates after completing a perfect 21-0 regular season after beating Mechanicsburg on Thursday, Oct. 15. The 21-0 Jets are ranked No. 13 in Division III. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER

SPRINGFIELD — In the huddle before each game, Northeastern High School senior Lauren Tuttle provides her teammates with same message:

“We play for each other,” Tuttle said.

Team chemistry has guided Northeastern to a second straight Ohio Heritage Conference North Division championship.

“It’s been a nice ride,” Jets coach Phil Anders said. “We’ve got an all around team that plays offense well, defense well and serves well. The biggest thing is that they’ve just got team chemistry. You can’t buy that. No matter what you do in sports, if you have team chemistry, it will always carry you through.”

The Division III 13th-ranked Jets beat Mechanicsburg 25-11, 25-14, 25-13 on Thursday night in Springfield to complete a perfect 21-0 regular season with a perfect 16-0 mark in the OHC North.

“It’s sweet,” Tuttle said. “We lost a lot of seniors, so everyone was wondering if we were going to be good. We were a family and we worked together as a team. I absolutely love them.”

The Jets have gone 42-1 overall and 24-0 in the OHC over the last two seasons.

“We’ve been playing for three years together,” said senior Janna Straight. “We have that chemistry that a lot of other teams don’t have. We have a lot of trust in each other.”

Jets junior Madison Grimm leads in OHC in both aces (1.35 per game) and assists (9.03 per game), while junior Elizabeth Wiseman leads the league in digs (419) and ranks second in passing points (780). Tuttle ranks third in the conference in kills (222).

“There’s just an understanding on the court of who and where everyone is (going to be),” Tuttle said. “Even if we get moved around, there’s still that experience between us.”

Northeastern junior Elizabeth Wiseman digs the ball during the Jets match against Mechanicsburg on Thursday, Oct. 15. The Jets won in three sets to finish a perfect 21-0 regular season. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER

Now, they hope to make their mark in the postseason. A year ago, the Jets advanced to a D-III sectional final match, but they fell to Arcanum in five sets.

The loss fueled their offseason, Anders said. The Jets worked to make sure each player could play every spot on the floor, he said.

“We have a lot more diversified team,” Anders said. “Last year, we had players that were specific to positions. This year, I can put in any of my players at a lot of different positions and it gives us more flexibility.”

Straight and Tuttle called the postseason loss heartbreaking, but said it lit a fire under them to come back even stronger this season. It also taught them a valuable lesson, Tuttle said.

“We can’t give up,” she said. “Even if we have two sets under our belts, we still have to go in and work just as hard to win that third set. We’ve got to make sure we give our best.”

Boys soccer: Shawnee beat London 1-0 on Oct. 12 to claim the first Central Buckeye Conference championship in the program’s 40-year history. Alan Naranjo-Tellez scored the game-winning goal on an assist from Chris White. Goalkeeper Eben Dewhurst had a penalty kick save as the Braves defense earned its seventh shutout of the season.

The Braves finished the regular season 11-4 and 8-2 in the Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail Division.

● Greenon, ranked 14th in Division III, won its third straight Ohio Heritage Conference championship with a 6-0-1 record. The Knights (13-0-1) earned the No. 1 seed in the D-III North sectional. They’ve won 10 straight since tying Fairbanks 1-1 on Sept. 3.

Girls soccer: Northwestern won five straight games to finish the regular season, claiming its fifth straight Central Buckeye Conference Mad River Division championship. The Warriors (11-4-1, 8-2) have won 11 CBC Mad River titles in the last 12 years.

Girls basketball: Prep girls basketball teams are on track to begin practice Friday, Oct. 23. The season is set to tip-off on Nov. 20.

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