The Hilliard Davidson High School boys volleyball team is hoping the momentum of winning a second consecutive OCC-Central Division title carries into the postseason.
The Wildcats secured their latest league title with a 25-19, 23-25, 27-25, 25-22 win at Gahanna on May 8 to finish 10-2 in the league, ahead of runner-up Gahanna (9-3). It is the program's sixth league title.
"We're really proud of that," coach Rusty Herring said. "We played Gahanna for the outright championship and it was an awesome, competitive match and we took Gahanna."
The Wildcats are 15-8 overall and enter the postseason on a five-match winning streak.
"We're really excited for the postseason," Herring said.
Davidson is seeded third of 20 teams in the Division I East Region tournament and has a first-round bye. It plays 17th-seeded Reynoldsburg or 18th-seeded Westerville South in a quarterfinal Saturday, May 19, at Darby. The winner plays fifth-seeded Dublin Jerome or 14th-seeded Olentangy Orange in a regional semifinal Tuesday, May 22, at Darby.
"We're on our way to state," senior middle blocker D'Angelo Boehner said. "I believe with our chemistry we can make it pretty far. We can probably beat every team if we have the right mindset and keep our energy up."
Through 21 matches, Nathan Cassell led the team in kills with 90, followed by Boehner (71) and Ataa Carroll (58). Owen Fetty led in assists (243), Luke Petersen led in digs (224) and Boehner led in aces (36) and blocks (28).
Davidson closed the regular season by defeating Thomas Worthington 25-4, 25-14, 25-17 on May 10 and Olentangy Liberty 25-16, 25-16, 25-14 on May 11.
The Cardinals are coached by former Davidson freshman coach Brian Lawless. The 2008 Davidson graduate is in his first season at Thomas.
"I always loved Hilliard, I love Davidson," Lawless said. "I get to see players that I coached and it was good to see the guys that started out with me and see how much they've developed and how good they are. I will always love this place, so it was good to be back."
For Herring, the match was an opportunity to coach against a former player.
"I love that kid," Herring said. "I've coached him and he was our freshman coach. He was an all-conference setter for us when I was an assistant coach ... It's fantastic. It's a bittersweet thing to see your kid graduate from high school and someone you coached, then (was) your coach who is now a head coach."
Track teams win league titles
The boys and girls track and field teams both won OCC-Central titles May 10 and 12 at Dublin Coffman.
The boys scored 159 points to finish ahead of Upper Arlington (117), Coffman (105), Marysville (72), Central Crossing (53) and Westland (15).
Winning titles were Joshua Burton in the 100 meters (11.04 seconds), 200 (22.57) and 400 (49.72), Andrew Tighe in the 1,600 (4:12.92), Conner Johanssen in the 3,200 (9:52.65), the 3,200 relay of Johanssen, Tighe, Max LeClair and Andrew Taylor (8:02.79) and Christian Gillian in the high jump (6 feet, 2 inches)
The girls scored 201 points to finish ahead of UA (124), Coffman (108), Marysville (79), Westland (6) and Central Crossing (4).
Winning titles were Sophie Lewis in the 1,600 (5:07.46), Ellie Tighe in the 3.200 (11:46.5), the 400 relay of Klaire Kazmerzak, Lydia Baumgartner, Alyssa Markarian and Sydney Ryan (50.24), the 1,600 relay of Lewis, Isabella Manken, Meghan Sculli and Lindsay Stull (4:05.5), the 3,200 relay of Tighe, Lewis, Sculli and Stull (9:24.91), Emilee Fecht in the shot put (39-1/4), Sarah Shevelow in the discus (110-1) and Ryan in the long jump (16-1).
Both teams are competing in the Division I district meet this week at Darby. The boys are in district 2, which began May 15, continued May 16 and concludes Saturday, May 19, while the girls are in district 3, which began May 16, continues Thursday, May 17, and concludes May 19.
The top four finishers in each event advance to regional Wednesday, May 23, and May 25 at Pickerington North. At regional, the top four finishers in each event advance to state June 1 and 2 at Ohio State.
Elliott wins singles title at sectional
Senior Noah Elliott of the boys tennis team earned a Division I district tournament berth by winning a sectional title.
Elliott went 5-0 at the sectional held May 10 and 12 at Bradley, defeating Dublin Jerome's Anish Patel 7-5, 6-2 in the final.
Elliott will compete at district Thursday, May 17, at Bradley, and Saturday, May 19, at UA, with the top four finishers in singles and doubles advancing to state May 25 and 26 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
"It shows he has maintained his drive and passion for the game throughout his four years," coach Steve De Dent said. "Secondly, by winning the sectional, it shows the hard work he has put in during the four years to continue to improve and not become complacent with his game and his desire to achieve to be the finest player he can be."
Last season, Elliott and 2017 graduate Chris Codogni went 1-1 in doubles at district.
Also in singles at sectional, Ethan Clark went 2-1 and fell one win shy of qualifying for district, and Jack Kamnikar went 0-1.
In doubles, Justin Wingenfield and Ryan Woodford also came within one win of qualifying for district, as they went 1-1 after a first-round bye. Timothy Liou and Uday Patel also went 1-1.
Boys lacrosse team wins Hilliard Cup
The boys lacrosse team won the Hilliard Cup for the second consecutive season with a 9-4 win over Darby on May 11.
Davidson defeated Bradley 10-0 on May 4.
The fifth-seeded Wildcats were 10-8 before playing host to 19th-seeded Newark in the second round of the Division I, Region 3 tournament May 15. The winner plays host to sixth-seeded Westerville Central or seventh-seeded Darby in a regional quarterfinal Friday, May 18. That winner visits top-seeded UA, 10th-seeded Pickerington North, 13th-seeded Beavercreek or 16th-seeded Miamisburg in a regional semifinal Tuesday, May 22.
The regional final is May 25 at a neutral site.
Davidson defeated North 16-3 on April 17 and Central 12-7 on April 27 but lost to UA 12-3 on April 24.
Girls lacrosse team opens postseason
The 13th-seeded girls lacrosse team was 7-7 before playing at fourth-seeded Springboro in the second round of the Division I, Region 3 tournament May 15.
The winner plays host to sixth-seeded Dublin Scioto or 10th-seeded Darby in a regional quarterfinal Friday, May 18. That winner plays at top-seeded UA, eighth-seeded Pickerington North, 11th-seeded Centerville or 12th-seeded Beavercreek in a regional semifinal Monday, May 21.
The regional final is May 24 at a neutral site.
Davidson lost to Darby 14-3 on April 19, Scioto 14-5 on May 3, UA 21-1 on April 23 and North 12-3 on April 17.
The Wildcats defeated Whetstone 17-2 on May 10.
Season ends for baseball team
The baseball team saw its season come to an end with a 9-7 loss to 17th-seeded Jerome in the second round of the Division I district tournament May 9 at home.
The fourth-seeded Wildcats, who had a first-round bye, finished 18-7 overall.
"Obviously, it's unfortunate that (the season) ended before we wanted it to, but you can't take away 18 wins and back-to-back OCC champs," coach Justin Swallie said. "That's a heck of an accomplishment considering the teams in our division and doing that two years in a row."
Davidson won its second consecutive OCC-Central championship, going 13-2 in the league to finish ahead of UA (10-5), Marysville (9-6), Coffman (8-7), Central Crossing (5-10) and Westland (0-15).
The Wildcats are losing nine seniors, including Ben Wright (OF), who batted .407 with a team-high 15 RBI and was named first-team all-league and second-team all-district.
Senior Carson Curnutte (P/1B) was 4-2 on the mound with a 1.86 ERA, 23 strikeouts and eight walks in 37 2/3 innings and was first-team all-league and honorable mention all-district, while senior Andrew Steele (OF) batted .303 and was special mention all-league.
"It was a heck of a run for our seniors," Swallie said. "They're a great group of guys."
Junior Christian Sweet (C) hit .353 with 14 RBI and was first-team all-league and second-team all-district.
Sophomore Nick Dymek (SS/P) and junior Austin Conrad (P) were second-team all-league. Dymek was 4-1 with a 1.29 ERA, 27 strikeouts and six walks in 38 innings and Conrad was 4-3 with a 3.37 ERA, 21 strikeouts and 12 walks in 33 1/3 innings.
Others eligible to return are juniors Jason Harris (3B/P), Efrain Lopez (1B/P), David May (OF), Chase Miles (3B), Nate Porter (INF), Joey Sheets (OF/P), Jack Vellky (OF) and Drew Yoder (1B).