Erika Brown seems as much at home on the volleyball court as she would be texting or checking Facebook.

Erika Brown seems as much at home on the volleyball court as she would be texting or checking Facebook.

A junior outside hitter for the DeSales High School girls volleyball team, Brown is one of several reasons the Stallions went 19-2 during the regular season, including 6-2 in the CCL, and are the No. 1 seed in the Division II district tournament.

Her 227 kills during the regular season led a team that has three players with more than 190 - Kenya Cason had 203 and Tyler Craig 196.

But a year ago, there were times Brown didn't feel comfortable on the court.

She was hit by a car the afternoon of Aug. 29, 2010, the day before the Stallions' season opener. She needed 24 stitches - nine internal and 15 external - to repair a wound to her right knee from which a horseshoe-shaped scar remains.

"Luckily, I wasn't really injured; it was just a big chunk of skin that came off. No ligaments or muscles or anything was damaged. I just had to rehab because my leg had been straight for a while and so I lost all that muscle mass," Brown said. "When I started practicing, my coaches noticed I was being tentative. They knew it was from my accident and they wanted me to practice going for a ball instead of being hesitant to go for it. I was hesitant to dive for a ball I might have had another time."

Coach Kelly Morgan doesn't want to think about where the Stallions might be without Brown, but she's pretty sure they wouldn't be 21-2 overall with two postseason wins under their belt entering a Division II district semifinal against Eastmoor Academy or Buckeye Valley at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, at Olentangy Liberty.

"She's a confident kid on the outside; she can hit and she can block, and we leave her in because she's capable of passing well," Morgan said. "Most people wouldn't like to leave a 6-foot-tall passer in the back row, but Erika can handle the challenge. Both my outside hitters (Brown and Craig) stay in all the time. We look to them for more than just hitting; we need them to play well in all aspects of their game."

Brown finished the regular season 190-for-210 serving with 111 points, 26 aces and 126 digs.

DeSales breezed through the first two rounds of the tournament, defeating Linden-McKinley 25-3, 25-2, 25-3 on Oct. 19 at Pickerington North and Caledonia River Valley 25-17, 25-8, 25-5 on Oct. 22 at Worthington Christian Middle School.

The district semifinal winner plays Big Walnut or Jonathan Alder in a district final at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at Liberty. The district champion will play Celina, Pemberville Eastwood, Napoleon or Wapakoneta in a regional semifinal Nov. 3 at Ontario.

DeSales did not play Buckeye Valley or Big Walnut during the regular season, but it defeated Jonathan Alder 25-21, 21-25, 29-27, 25-22 on Sept. 6.

Morgan expects a competitive tournament, especially considering that 16 of the district's 26 teams had winning records at the time of the tournament draw Oct. 9.

"You can probably pick five teams from our district that have played some competitive teams and they're here to knock whoever off," Morgan said. "We're the No. 1 seed, so we're the top target, and the three and four seeds (Big Walnut and Jonathan Alder) followed us. We enjoy that challenge, that chase, and we look forward to playing whoever whenever we have to face them."

•All junior My Linh Li of the girls tennis team wanted this season was to reach at least a semifinal of the Division II state tournament, and she got her goal.

Li finished third in the tournament Oct. 21 and 22 at Elysium Tennis Center in Plain City. She won her first two matches, 6-3, 6-1 against Aliza Williams of Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy and 6-3, 7-6 (6-4) against Ottawa Hills' Drew Fillis, before losing in a semifinal to Millersburg West Holmes' Rachel Nelson, 6-1, 6-3.

Li placed third with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 win over Danielle Wolf of Cincinnati Country Day in the consolation match.

"I felt so strong after beating (Fillis)," Li said. "I was up 4-1 (in the second set), she came to back to lead 5-4, I got to 5-5 and pulled out the tiebreaker. I thought all year this was a realistic goal. I just hope to earn a better finish next year. I'm already thinking about it."

•The boys cross country team scored 68 points to finish third in the Division II, district 2 meet Oct. 22 at Watkins Memorial and earn a berth in the regional meet Saturday, Oct. 29, at Troy.

Senior Pete Ryan continued a torrid start to his cross country career, winning his fourth race in as many tries with a time of 17 minutes, 3.59 seconds.

Lakewood's David Briggs was runner-up in 17:17.77.

"My strategy was to trail the lead pack until about the last half-mile and that's what I was able to do," said Ryan, who also plays on the boys soccer team and didn't join the cross country team until mid-September. "I tried not to do too much; I controlled my breathing well and didn't go out any faster or slower than I wanted."

Luke Howard was fourth in 17:35.51, followed by Ian Lawson (10th, 17:56.78), Dylan Griffin (19th, 18:37.22), Mark Omlor (34th, 19:28.38), Jesse Faulkner (45th, 20:01.7) and Anthony Hayes (52nd, 20:26.49).

DeSales behind Lakewood (58) and Centennial (59). The top four teams and top 16 individuals advanced to regional.

•The girls cross country team's season ended with an 11th-place finish in the Division I, district 2 meet on Oct. 22 at Watkins Memorial.

The top five teams and top 20 individuals advanced to the regional meet Saturday, Oct. 29, at Pickerington North.

Led by Erica Davis' 30th-place finish (21:33.93), the Stallions scored 276 points to place behind regional-qualifiers Dublin Scioto (29), Liberty (80), Gahanna (102), Marietta (107) and Thomas Worthington (120).

Davis was followed by Rachel Braun (60th, 23:09.2), Kristin Faulkner (73rd, 23:59.87), Addie Rupert (74th, 24:00.68) and Katya Barrett (76th, 25:10.17).

•The boys soccer team beat visiting Heath 9-0 in a Division II second-round tournament game Oct. 20. The Stallions were 9-6-2 before playing Walnut Ridge in a district semifinal Oct. 25. DeSales didn't score more than four goals in a game during the regular season.

The semifinal winner will play top-seeded Big Walnut or ninth-seeded Hartley in a district final at noon Saturday, Oct. 29, at Thomas Worthington. The Stallions did not play Big Walnut during the regular season but tied CCL-rival Hartley at 1 on Sept. 20.

The district champion will play Circleville, Greenfield McClain, Marietta, Vincent Warren or Waverly in a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1, at Logan.

•The girls soccer team cruised through the first week of the postseason, defeating River Valley 10-0 on Oct. 19 and Amanda-Clearcreek 8-0 on Oct. 22 in the first two rounds of the Division II district tournament.

The Stallions were 12-4-2 before playing host to fourth-seeded Bexley in a district semifinal Oct. 26. The winner plays host to second-seeded Jonathan Alder or third-seeded Granville in the district final at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29.

The district champion advances to a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, against Chillicothe, Chillicothe Unioto, Circleville or Vincent Warren at a site to be announced.