The DeSales High School girls volleyball team appears to have turned the corner in a rebuilding process five years in the making.

The DeSales High School girls volleyball team appears to have turned the corner in a rebuilding process five years in the making.

Since reaching a Division II state semifinal in 2004, the Stallions have had some solid seasons, including district final appearances in 2006 and 2008, but they haven't been on that same level.

They may not be considered that kind of team this year, but in coach Kelly Morgan's second season, DeSales has reason to believe they are returning to past form. After winning 10 of their first 11 matches the Stallions appear to have new life.

"We have a lot of strong players this year and a lot of good coaching," said senior Kristina Hoying, a three-year varsity player. "A lot of the team chemistry this year is a lot better than in the past. We've definitely pushed through (rough times) and pulled out ahead."

Hoying would know a lot about from where the Stallions have come. They were 12-12 her sophomore year in 2008 before losing to Hartley in a district final. The season was considered a success and a big improvement from the 5-21 season the year before.

Since finishing 23-5 in 2004, the Stallions have hovered around .500. They finished 13-11 in 2005 and 14-11 in 2006.

After Erin Scott resigned following the 2008 season, Morgan became DeSales' third coach in four years and led the team to a 13-12 record.

There were signs last year that the team was headed in the right direction. Hartley, which has been a state semifinalist for the past three seasons, needed five games to beat the Stallions 25-12, 28-30, 23-25, 25-16, 15-12 in a district semifinal last year.

The Stallions finished third in the CCL at 4-6 a year ago. They haven't placed better than that since winning the league in 2004.

They're looking to break that trend this year after beating Watterson 14-25, 21-25, 26-24, 28-26, 15-12 on Sept. 16. That was DeSales' first win over the Eagles since 2004.

"As coaches, it was amazing (to end the drought against Watterson)," Morgan said. "We were thinking what we were going to do to kill them in practice (after going down two games to none). They came back and in games four and five, to see the excitement on their faces and on the faces of the parents in the stands, to watch that emotion was priceless."

DeSales parlayed that momentum into a first-place finish at the Granville Tournament two days later. There, the Stallions beat Caledonia River Valley 23-25, 25-16, 25-22 and Northridge 25-19, 25-14 before taking care of New Albany 25-18, 25-19 in the final.

What makes the team more optimistic about the future is its youth. The Stallions have just two seniors on the roster as well as six juniors, six sophomores and two freshmen.

"A lot of (the team's success is that) the upperclassmen really stepped up and have been really encouraging to our underclassmen," junior setter Kelly Linsenmayer said. "It's been a lot of hard work and working together."


At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the DeSales boys soccer, girls soccer and girls tennis teams:

BOYS SOCCER

*Sept. 21 - Tied Hartley at 0. A.J. Tresoline had eight saves.

Sept. 23 - Lost to Hilliard Bradley 3-2

*Last Tuesday - Played Watterson

Today - Home vs. Upper Arlington. The teams played to a scoreless tie last year.

*Tuesday - Home vs. St. Charles. The Stallions won 1-0 last year.

Of note: The Stallions were 3-4-3 overall and 1-0-1 in the CCL before last Tuesday.

GIRLS SOCCER

*Sept. 21 - Defeated Hartley 5-0

Sept 23 - Lost to Worthington Kilbourne 1-0

Last Saturday - Def. Beavercreek 3-0. Danielle Kaylor, Alvi Shivley and Mary Wickert scored.

Last Tuesday - Played Beavercreek

Today - At Pickerington North. The Stallions tied North at 1 last year.

Saturday - At Granville

*Tuesday - At Watterson. The Stallions lost 2-1 last year.

Of note: The Stallions were 7-1-1 overall before last Tuesday and are 3-0 in the CCL.

GIRLS TENNIS

*Sept. 21 - Lost to Columbus School for Girls 5-0

Last Monday - Match vs. Westerville North canceled because of bad weather

Today - At Bexley

Tuesday - At Worthington Christian

Of note: The Stallions are 3-6 overall2-2 in the CCL.

*CCL contest

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the DeSales cross country, football, boys golf, girls golf and girls volleyball teams:

CROSS COUNTRY

Saturday - Erin L. Nance Distance Classic at London Country Club

FOOTBALL

Last Friday - Lost to Orchard Lake (Mich.) St. Mary's 24-0

*Friday - Home vs. St. Charles in CCL-Silver opener. The Stallions won 10-0 last year.

Of note: The Stallions are 3-2.

BOYS GOLF

Sept. 20 - Lost to Grove City 161-167. Chad Ransom (36) was medalist.

Last Saturday - Finished eighth (339) at 20-team Hilliard Invitational, behind champion Dublin Coffman (303)

Last Monday - Finished second (172) behind Westerville North (167) and ahead of Westerville South (173) and Watterson (181)

Last Tuesday - Competed in Division II sectional tournament at Granville Golf Course. The top three teams and top three individuals not on a qualifying team advanced to the district tournament on Tuesday at Cumberland Trail.

GIRLS GOLF

Sept. 20 - Lost to Gahanna 160-171

Sept. 23 - Lost to New Albany 179-193

Last Saturday - Watterson Tournament was canceled

Tuesday - Division II sectional tournament at Foxfire. The top three teams and top three individuals not on a qualifying team advance to the district tournament on Oct. 12 at Bent Tree.

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

*Sept. 23 - Lost to Hartley 25-17, 25-19, 25-9

Last Saturday - Def. Athens 25-16, 26-24, 15-25, 17-25, 15-10

*Last Tuesday - Played CSG

*Today - Home vs. Ready. The Stallions lost 27-17, 25-20, 25-20 on Sept. 14.

Saturday - At Westerville South

*Tuesday - At Watterson. The Stallions won 14-25, 21-25, 26-24, 27-25, 15-12 on Sept. 16

Of note: The Stallions were 11-2 overall and 2-2 in the CCL before last Tuesday.

*CCL contest