A fast start helped the Dublin Coffman High School girls volleyball team land its third consecutive berth in the Division I state tournament.

The Shamrocks won their 15th consecutive match by sweeping DeSales 25-13, 25-18, 25-21 in a regional final Nov. 4 at Worthington Kilbourne.

“We were ready and we just played as we can play,” Coffman coach Mary Anne Souder said. “We were just focused on our side of the court rather than the other side. We (stay) calm before we start the match, and that gets us through the ups and downs.”

Coffman improved to 25-2 and will play Cincinnati Ursuline Academy in a state semifinal at 2 p.m. Nov. 9 at Wright State University.

The Shamrocks lost to Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame in the state tournament the past two seasons, falling in the final in 2015 and in a semifinal last year.

Senior setter Jennifer Schulze scored match point against DeSales off a serve by senior libero Dana Axner.

The Stallions, who lost in a regional semifinal a year ago, finished 20-4.

DeSales tried to use senior setter Diana Brown, an Illinois commit, in multiple roles in an attempt to turn around the match after the slow start.

“(Coffman) defended really well and were relentless,” Stallions coach Brenden Pence said. “I thought we brought a lot of good effort, and they just kept defending and did not back down at all, and that kind of rattled us and got us out of our comfort zone. We made the adjustments we were hoping to make, but their defense got the better of us.”

DIVISION II

Big Walnut 3, Granville 1

Big Walnut is heading to state for the first time since 2010 after beating Granville 25-23, 23-25, 25-21, 25-23 in a Division II regional final Nov. 4 at Zanesville.

The Golden Eagles improved to 24-3 with their 13th consecutive win and will face Kettering Alter in a state semifinal at 6 p.m. Nov. 10 at Wright State.

In 2010, Big Walnut lost to Mentor Lake Catholic in the state final.

“The fact that we haven’t been to state in a while is a really big deal for all of us,” said junior setter Mac Podraza, who along with junior Sammi Bickley have been the Golden Eagles’ leaders in assists all season.

Granville, which finished 26-3, also lost to Big Walnut during the regular season, falling 21-25, 25-21, 25-16 as part of a tri-match Sept. 16.

“We’d just been practicing setting up for how we could beat Granville,” Podraza said. “(Granville middle hitter Erin Shomaker) is a good player and we set up our defense to hold her down. We did a good job.”

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek