COLUMBUS – The Olentangy Orange girls volleyball team forced a fourth set, but ultimately ran out of gas in a 27-25, 25-16, 26-28, 25-22 loss to St. Francis DeSales in a Division I regional final Saturday afternoon at Worthington Kilbourne.
London Davis had a kill to save the Pioneers from match point in the third set and added two more later in the frame, including the set-clincher to force the fourth.
The Pioneers jumped out an 11-4 lead in the fourth on the strength of Davis, who had five kills and a block.
“It could have been easy to walk away and give up,” Orange coach Katie Duy said. “They showed a lot of grit and that’s something we’ve pressed on this season. You never give up on anything. As a coaching staff – that’s all we can ask from them. We were proud of that.”
But the Stallions used an 18-6 run to take control before putting it away.
“Our game plan was just to maintain our composure and win our side of the net,” DeSales coach Brenden Pence said. “I thought we did a good job of that. The third set we got punched a little bit and didn’t respond real well. The fourth set the message was just to regain our composure and put pressure on them whenever we can.”
Davis had 19 kills and three blocks overall while Molly Shomock had 10 kills and four blocks to lead the Pioneers (22-5).
Addie Evans had 38 digs and Maya Hendricks had 25, Hanna Borer had 34 assists and Abby Deshazo had three aces for Orange.
Emma Brown had 14 kills, 12 digs and three aces, Bella D’Amico had 35 assists and 22 digs and Maryanne Boyle added 13 kills and 4 blocks to lead the Stallions (25-2).
“They have three really good seniors and they really took control at the end,” Duy said. “They’re seasoned and they made a couple of big plays at the end.”
The Pioneers made it to the regional final for the second consecutive year. They had a lot of question marks coming into the year after losing six seniors off of last year’s squad.
“Molly Shomock had a great game – she’s only a sophomore,” Duy said. “Hanna is doing well and we have both of our middles (Ariana Jackson and Tazmin Appiah) back. We have most of our kids back. We had a lot of question marks last year and they were answered in a good way. Those were some of the kids that stepped up for us today.”
Hendrix, defensive specialist Nina Marin and outside hitter Madison Moll are the only seniors on the team.
Bridget Javitch had 24 digs, Saje Washington had 12 kills and Avery Boyd had nine blocks for DeSales.
“(Orange) has some ridiculously good hitters and they cover well,” Pence said. “You just hope to frustrate them with your serve and your block and side out well and we did that.”
DeSales meets Solon in a state semifinal Friday at noon at Wright State University’s Nutter Center.
The Olentangy Orange girls soccer team fought back from a two-goal deficit with a pair of first-half goals to tie Dublin Coffman.
But Simon Rivard-Roberts finally broke a long scoring drought with 10:13 left in the second overtime to give the Shamrocks a 3-2 win over the Pioneers in Division I regional final Saturday afternoon at Westerville Central.
Coffman’s Emma Barthel scored the first goal just over five minutes into the game. She had the assist on Rivard-Roberts’ game-winner. Lara Schrober added the second goal with 22:46 remaining in the opening frame.
Sophia Leonetti scored on a penalty kick with 19:11 left in the half and Secora Johnson provided the equalizer less than seven minutes later for the Pioneers (15-3-5).
Amanda Poorbaugh stopped five shots in goal for Orange and Olivia Alford likewise for the Rocks (15-1-5).
Coffman plays West Chester Lakota West in a state semifinal today at 7 p.m. at Springfield.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at email@example.com.