Dublin Scioto High School boys volleyball coach Doug Arden reflected on his team's season following its loss in a Division II state semifinal June 3 at Capital University.
Making their first state tournament appearance since 2003, the Irish fell to Akron Hoban 25-20, 25-23, 23-25, 25-14 to finish 20-4 overall.
In 2003, Scioto lost to Hilliard Darby 15-9, 13-15, 15-6 in a state quarterfinal.
"The (10) seniors took this program a big step forward," said Arden, who returned to coach the Irish this season after coaching them for nine years from 2005-13. "They gave all (our fans) a big thrill, not just today, but the last several days. It's tough to say goodbye to them."
Senior setter Ross Esterline had 25 assists and senior outside hitter Derek Topp had 10 kills against Hoban. Senior outside hitter/defensive specialist Cameron Balla added six kills and senior middle hitter James Chappelear had four kills.
"We talked at the start of the year about the biggest successes in life," Arden said. "You can't get those really big successes without investing enough that if it doesn't go right, it's going to really hurt and everything could go wrong. If it didn't hurt today, it meant we didn't invest. They went all-in, they did everything we asked them to. They have a lot to be proud of."
Hoban went on to lose to Kettering Alter 28-26, 25-21, 15-25, 20-25, 15-4 in the state final June 4 at Capital.
Scioto reached state by rallying to defeat third-seeded Mount Vernon 19-25, 29-27, 25-23, 25-17 in the East Region final May 26 at Westerville Central.
After a first-round bye, the top-seeded Irish defeated seventh-seeded Watterson 25-18, 25-22, 25-15 in the second round May 20 and fourth-seeded DeSales 25-14, 25-8, 25-12 in a semifinal May 23.
"I'm definitely proud of this team. We made a good run in the end," said Topp, who finished the season with 243 kills, 64 aces and 25 blocks and was named region Player of the Year and first-team all-OCC-Cardinal Division. "This is what I worked for every day. You can't be angry with a (match) like this. Hoban was a really good team and they just gave it everything."
Scioto went 10-2 in the OCC-Cardinal to place second, behind Darby (12-0) and ahead of Jerome (8-4), Hilliard Bradley (6-6), Worthington Kilbourne (4-8), Delaware (2-10) and Thomas Worthington (0-12).
Darby lost to Cleveland St. Ignatius 25-18, 26-24, 25-19 in the Division I state final June 4 at Capital.
Esterline, who had 451 assists, 30 aces and 14 blocks, was named first-team all-region and all-league, and senior Pace Brunswick (libero/defensive specialist) was second-team all-region and all-league.
Balla, who had 111 kills and 17 aces, was honorable mention all-region and special mention all-league, and senior Toshiki Nakao (middle hitter/right-side hitter) was honorable mention all-league.
Junior Cole Hussey (outside hitter) and sophomore Cameron Gastaldo (setter) are eligible to return next season.
Boys lacrosse team
produced six wins
Boys lacrosse coach Drew Sraver said his team didn't reach its goals this season.
Scioto lost to top-seeded Upper Arlington 17-2 in a Division I, Region 3 quarterfinal May 20 to finish 6-12 overall. Seeded ninth, the Irish defeated eighth-seeded Westerville North 14-7 in the first round May 17.
The Irish went 2-4 in the OCC-Cardinal to finish fifth, behind Jerome (6-0), Delaware (5-1), Kilbourne (4-2) and Thomas (3-3) and ahead of Bradley (1-5) and Darby (0-6).
"When you look at this season, we didn't get the results that we wanted," Sraver said. "The details that create success, we didn't have nearly enough attention to detail on the little things that you can use to build success on the field."
Senior goalkeeper Evan Hutras, a four-year starter, was named league Player of the Year and first-team all-region. He finished the season with 234 saves and led the team in ground balls with 90.
Junior midfielder Spencer Cogan was first-team all-league and senior defender Sean Hrelec was honorable mention all-league.
Junior attacker Ben Gawronski had 33 goals and 28 assists for 61 points and Cogan had 36 goals and 15 assists for 51 points.
Other players eligible to return are juniors Sam Andoh (defender), Dakotah Marshall (attacker), Jaden Penn (midfielder), Evan Philipp (midfielder) and Gavin Umboh (defender), sophomores Jeremy Chapman (defender), Scott Swain (defender) and Logan Williams (midfielder) and freshmen Josh Chun (midfielder), Aiden Ekis (defender), Pete Hrelec (midfielder), Alex Mar (goalie) and Max Whited (midfielder).
"We saw some growth out of some key guys and most notably was our faceoff guy, Logan Williams," Sraver said.