DeSales High School boys volleyball coach Andy Feltz believes his team has what it takes to make sure its appearance in the Division II state tournament wasn't a one-time deal.

DeSales High School boys volleyball coach Andy Feltz believes his team has what it takes to make sure its appearance in the Division II state tournament wasn't a one-time deal.

The Stallions were game in a state semifinal May 25, but came up short against Middletown Fenwick in a 25-22, 25-10, 25-20 loss at Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit.

"We knew we were the underdog," Feltz said. "They have more experience and they have better athletes. We just wanted to compete. We didn't bring our 'A' game, more like our 'B' or 'B-plus' game as far as rhythm and timing and we could not afford to do that."
Fenwick took leads of 11-3 and 22-9 in the second game, but DeSales recovered in the third to hang close. The Stallions forced a 15-all tie, but fell behind 20-17 and didn't lead again.

Sophomore outside hitter Evan Feltz had nine kills and two aces to lead DeSales, which finished 21-4. Junior setter Keegan Crawford had 18 assists and four digs.

Senior middle hitter Nathan Wourms' 10 kills, three digs, two aces and 1.5 blocks led the Falcons, who were the top-ranked team in the final state coaches poll just ahead of DeSales. Junior outside hitter Jeff Fiorenza added 17 assists, eight digs, seven kills and two blocks, but coach Feltz credited junior outside hitter Ryan Koehlke's powerful, line-drive serves with keeping the Stallions off balance.

"He had the serving game of his life," Feltz said. "We had a tough time picking those serves up; they almost curved sideways. It got to the point where we had to call a timeout just to try to stop the momentum, but unfortunately we didn't have enough timeouts to completely do that. We countered the best we could."

Fenwick also defeated DeSales 25-21, 25-16 in the Greater Catholic League Challenge on April 13.

"We're still young," Feltz said. "Right now, we have one guy who has been in the program three years (Crawford). They had five seniors and three juniors. They're heads and shoulders above everybody else, and when they're on it's very tough to stop them."

Miscues doom softball team in district final

The softball team largely depended on its defense to win 14 games this season, but three errors and a few miscues on bunts in a Division II district final May 25 helped Licking Valley defeat DeSales 4-2 at Pickerington Central.

Panthers sophomore catcher Kori Caughenbaugh's two-run single in the bottom of the sixth provided third-seeded Licking Valley the winning runs, capping an inning opened by outfielder Shelby Robinson's double to center field. That was followed by two sacrifices and a fielder's choice that loaded the bases.

"They have some big hitters," said coach Julie Barber, whose team finished 14-11. "We were aggressive. We hurt ourselves with some poor baserunning, something that's typically a staple for us. We just didn't execute. And our bunt defense gave us trouble today. They picked it apart."

DeSales' streak of four consecutive district titles was snapped. The Stallions were seeded ninth in the tournament.

Licking Valley took a 2-1 lead in the third on DeSales' third error and two sacrifices, and the Stallions tied it in the sixth on consecutive doubles by senior third baseman Anna Gentile and junior infielder Chloe Biskner.

Stallions senior pitcher Kate Miltko struck out two and walked five in six innings.

DeSales advanced to the final by upsetting second-seeded Lakewood 10-6 in a semifinal May 20.

Track teams sprint into regional

Five individuals and six relays from the boys and girls track and field teams finished in the top four of their district events to advance to regional meets this week.

In the Division II, district 1 meet that concluded May 25 at Westerville South, the boys got a win from their 800-meter relay (1 minute, 30.25 seconds) of seniors Breyon Bowman, Tristan Caldwell, LaShaun Sanders and Tyler West. Bowman, Caldwell and juniors Taz Collins and Sayyid Kanu led the 400 relay to second place (45.66), and sophomore Adam Acquista, junior Kyle Bennett, junior Ian Lawson and West led the 3,200 relay to third place (8:32.07).

The 1,600 relay also was second (3:28.67) with Bowman, Sanders, Caldwell and West.

Also advancing were West in the 800 (second, 2:00.6), Acquista in the 800 (fourth, 2:02.04), Bowman in the 200 (third, 22.61) and Lawson in the 3,200 (third, 10:48.27).

The Stallions were fifth (55) behind champion Independence (91) as 13 teams scored.

In the Division I, district 2 meet that concluded May 25 at Hilliard Darby, junior Ashli Pope was second in the 200 (25.45) and fourth in the 100 (12.69). She also was on the second-place 800 relay (1:45.11) and third-place 400 relay (50.12) with junior Erin Kuisti and seniors Sierra Mergliano and Leah Selmek.

The girls scored 33 points to place eighth behind champion Gahanna (141.5) as 15 teams scored.

The boys' Division II regional takes place Thursday, May 30, and Saturday, June 1, at Lexington. Division I at Pickerington North began May 29 and concludes Friday, May 31.

Boys lacrosse team advances

The boys lacrosse team got off to a strong start defending its Division II state championship, routing visiting Akron Hoban 20-3 in a first-round Central Region tournament game May 24.

Top-seeded DeSales, which improved to 9-4, played host to fourth-seeded Granville in a regional semifinal May 29. The semifinal winner will play host to second-seeded Watterson or third-seeded New Albany in a regional final Saturday, June 1.

Of those teams, DeSales defeated New Albany 9-8 in overtime April 24 and Watterson 14-9 on May 3.

The regional champion will play Cincinnati Indian Hill, Cincinnati Mariemont, Cincinnati Summit Country Day or Cincinnati Turpin in a state semifinal Wednesday, June 5, at a neutral site, with the winner advancing to the state final June 8 at Upper Arlington.

DiMichaelangelo loses at district

Junior Sonny DiMichaelangelo of the boys tennis team went 0-1 in the Division II district tournament May 24 at Columbus Academy, falling short of a state berth.

DiMichaelangelo lost to Watterson senior Ryan Bibo 6-2, 6-2. Bibo also defeated DiMichaelangelo 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 in a CCL match April 23.

The top two finishers in singles and doubles advanced to the state tournament Friday, May 31, and Saturday, June 1, at Ohio State.

Baseball team fallsin district final

The baseball team's quest for a third consecutive Division II state championship came to an end May 22 with a 6-5 loss to top-seeded Granville at Beavers Field in Lancaster.

Seeded 11th, DeSales finished 14-17 overall.

"(Granville) swung the bats well and did a nice job offensively," coach Tom Neubert said. "Unfortunately, it took us awhile to get our bats going. We had a lot of opportunities early on and we missed them."

DeSales advanced to a district final by defeating 19th-seeded Brookhaven 10-0 in the first round May 14 and pulling two upsets, beating ninth-seeded Sparta Highland 7-1 in the second round May 16 and fifth-seeded Big Walnut 3-2 in a district semifinal May 20.

The Stallions went 4-4 in the CCL to tie Watterson for second behind St. Charles (7-1) and ahead of Ready (3-5) and Hartley (2-6).

DeSales loses five seniors, including Alex Perrine (P/INF), who was named first-team all-district.

Among those expected to return are juniors Nic Danner (1B), Connor Golden (1B/P), Sean Hoban (SS/P), Aaron Kienzle (OF/P), Keagan Lipak (C/INF), Bryan Stopar (P/INF) and Justin Thompson (OF) and sophomore Justin Borghese (P/INF).

Stopar was named first-team all-district. Kienzle was second-team all-district and Danner and Golden were honorable mention all-district. Thompson and Borghese were first- and second-team all-league, respectively.

"Everyone knows we have a quality product we put on the field, and this year it took us a lot more games to get it going," Neubert said. "Going into the tournament, I guess maybe people were shocked at what we did, but anybody who knows Central District baseball knows that makes sense."

Season ends forgirls lacrosse team

The girls lacrosse team's season ended May 16 with a 16-6 loss at Cincinnati Mariemont in the second round of the Division II South/Central Region tournament.

DeSales finished 12-5-1 overall and went 4-2-1 in the Central Independent League to place third, behind Academy (7-0) and Bexley (5-2) and ahead of CSG (4-3), Hartley (3-4), Watterson (2-4-1), Granville (2-5) and Wellington (0-7).

The Stallions beat Cincinnati Mother of Mercy 12-4 in the first round of the regional tournament May 13 before losing to Mariemont.

"(The girls) worked their butts off in the preseason," coach Joe Finotti said. "It was just glimpses (of how much better they could be). They just started to believe."

The Stallions won only five games in 2011 and eight last year.

Senior attacker Paige Plesich, who was a four-year letterwinner and has committed to Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia, led the team with 40 goals and 29 assists and was named first-team all-league and second-team all-region.

Junior midfielder Ali Cargin had 34 goals and was first-team all-league and second-team all-region and senior attacker Mallory Janszen had 30 goals and 11 assists and was second-team all-league. Junior attacker Toni Halter was honorable mention all-league and senior goalkeeper Meredith Lloyd saved 179 of 326 shots (54.9 percent) and made second-team all-league and honorable mention all-region.