Senior Kayla Mayer will represent the Hilliard Darby High School girls cross country team in the Division I state meet Saturday, Nov. 5, at National Trail Raceway.

Senior Kayla Mayer will represent the Hilliard Darby High School girls cross country team in the Division I state meet Saturday, Nov. 5, at National Trail Raceway.

Mayer placed 20th (20 minutes, 16.25 seconds) of 117 runners in the regional meet Oct. 29 at Pickerington North to earn the last individual state berth.

The Panthers finished 10th (247 points) of 16 teams, behind champion Gahanna (97), as the top five teams advanced.

Daniela Santos (29th, 20:31.82) was next for Darby, followed by Abby Cannon (52nd, 20:57.67), Erin Cowen (81st, 21:57.64), Lydia Rohrer (95th, 22:26.01) and Victoria McLaughlin (96th, 22:32.81).

Senior Ellis Farson represented the boys team at regional, placing 44th (17:11.23) of 117 runners.

Season ends for volleyball team

The girls volleyball team won the first game against ninth-seeded DeSales, but lost 21-25, 25-18, 25-15, 25-13 to the Stallions in a Division I district semifinal Oct. 27 at Whitehall to finish 21-4 overall.

It marked the third consecutive season in which Darby lost in a district semifinal.

The Panthers were seeded fourth and won their first two postseason matches at home, beating 39th-seeded Briggs 25-9, 25-6, 25-20 in the first round Oct. 18 and 32nd-seeded Westerville Central 24-26, 25-21, 25-20, 27-25 in the second round Oct. 19.

Darby won the OCC-Cardinal Division title, going 12-0 to finish ahead of Worthington Kilbourne (8-4), Bradley and Dublin Scioto (both 6-6), Delaware and Dublin Jerome (both 4-8) and Thomas Worthington (2-10).

The Panthers also lost to DeSales during the regular season, falling 25-21, 25-17, 25-14 on Oct. 12. Their other losses came against Davidson (23-25, 25-18, 25-23 in the Sharon Huesman quad at Davidson on Aug. 27) and Toledo St. Ursula Academy (25-12, 25-16 in the Perrysburg Invitational on Sept. 24).

Darby is losing two seniors in setter Kali Apelt and middle blocker Erin Kowalski. Apelt was a four-year starter who has committed to Ashland University.

Expected to return are juniors Abbey Ansel (defensive specialist), Lauren Chance (middle blocker), Quinn Coppess (middle blocker), Cambron Hampton (defensive specialist), Emma Konkus (outside hitter), Paige Kucinic (outside hitter), Emily Nolan (defensive specialist), Anita Perie (defensive specialist), Madison Smith (outside hitter) and Jamie Walters (defensive specialist), sophomores Annie Rauch (middle blocker) and Stacia Rispress (outside hitter) and freshman Olivia Zawadzki (outside hitter).

Coppess, a starter as a sophomore, missed the season with a torn ACL.

Boys soccer team falls in district final

The boys soccer team lost to top-seeded St. Charles 3-0 in a Division I district final Oct. 29 to finish 10-4-5 overall.

Senior goalkeeper Alex Botsko had nine saves for the 11th-seeded Panthers. St. Charles was ranked second in the final state poll.

"This is my first year here and it's our first time in a district final since 2012," coach Kyle Reichle said. "We're pleased to have gotten here, but we fell short to a very good team."

Darby beat 16th-seeded Kilbourne 1-0 in overtime in the second round Oct. 22 and 21st-seeded Marysville 3-1 in a semifinal Oct. 26. Both games were at home.

Against Kilbourne, senior forward Jacob Tivin scored on a header two minutes into overtime, while senior forward Ross Baumer, junior midfielder Blake Sawicki and Tivin scored against Marysville.

The Panthers went 3-2-1 in the OCC-Cardinal to tie Dela-ware and Bradley for second, behind Jerome (5-1) and ahead of Kilbourne (2-2-2), Thomas (2-3-1) and Scioto (0-6).

Other senior starters were Tre' Boger (defender), Jake Bowman (forward), Tavo Huey (midfielder), Kevin Kasprzak (defender) and Wyatt Lee (midfielder).

"We lose a good portion of the team," Reichle said. "We expect to have five seniors next year and four returning starters. Even though we'll be a young team, we should be competitive."

Among the expected return-ees are Sawicki, juniors Jason Fleischman (forward), Jack Gearhiser (midfielder) and Josh Govine (defender) and sophomores Dan Djelmis (defender) and Jackson Janetski (forward).

Girls soccer team set record for wins

The girls soccer team got off to a great start in its Division I district final against third-seeded Pickerington North on Oct. 29 at Hartley, as senior forward Gabby Iosue scored in the first minute.

But North scored three unanswered goals to eliminate the Panthers 3-1. Seventh-seeded Darby finished 14-4-1 overall, setting the school record for victories.

Darby also fell to North in a district final last season, losing 3-2.

"Set pieces were the difference in the game, honestly," coach Dan Brady said. "When you do that well with set pieces, it is a big advantage. As far as the game, ultimately I thought we possessed a little bit better than Pickerington North, but we just weren't getting the quality shots we hoped to get."

The Panthers won two home games to reach the district final, beating 31st-seeded Newark 8-0 in the second round Oct. 22 and 12th-seeded DeSales 2-1 in a semifinal Oct. 25.

Junior forward Emily Radcliffe scored three goals and junior midfielder Blair Cowan added two against Newark.

Senior goalie Nicole Burke had two saves against Newark, which was Darby's 10th shutout of the season.

The Panthers went 4-1-1 in the OCC-Cardinal to finish second, behind Jerome (6-0) and ahead of Thomas (3-2-1), Delaware and Bradley (both 2-4) and Scioto and Kilbourne (both 1-4-1).

Darby is losing six senior starters in Iosue, Burke, defenders Abby Kunze and Jenna Ward, midfielder Haley Simpson and forward Kenzie O'Brien. Iosue has committed to Akron and Burke has committed to La Salle.

Among the expected return-ees are Cowan, Radcliffe, Walters, junior Hannah Knobloch (defender), sophomores Natalie Brown (defender) and Allison Williams (midfielder) and freshman Naomi Walters (forward).

"We had some great seniors and some great younger players," Brady said. "I have a feeling we will be strong next year, too. The future looks bright at Darby."

bemerine@thisweeknews.com

@Brad_ThisWeek