The Hilliard Darby girls volleyball team recently added two new players to its lineup and it sparked a couple of late-season wins.
Junior Lexi Capka moved into the lineup as a left-side hitter and freshman Kaitlyn Swartz moved up from junior varsity as a defensive specialist.
"The new changes are getting better and better," coach Stephanie Dietrich said. "(Capka) has been doing great. As a freshman, (Swartz) is a very good passer."
The Panthers closed the regular season with a 25-15, 25-22, 25-20 loss at Bradley to fall to 10-12 overall and finish 6-8 in the OCC-Cardinal Division, but they won their previous two matches, beating Central Crossing 25-19, 25-23, 25-9 on Oct. 1 and Thomas Worthington 25-12, 25-22, 25-19 on Oct. 3.
Darby tied Dublin Jerome for fourth place in the OCC-Cardinal behind co-champions Bradley and Dublin Scioto (both 13-1) as well as Worthington Kilbourne (10-4).
"I think we played well (against Central Crossing and Thomas)," Dietrich said.
"We had good enthusiasm. Even though we lost (to Jonathan Alder 25-20, 25-22, 25-20 on Sept. 28), we played hard, so I think we're doing well and we've got some momentum going here."
Through 21 matches, Olivia Zawadski had 145 kills and 40 aces, Sophia Iosue had 275 digs, Elise Neighbarger had 250 assists and Olivia Krumpke had 85 blocks.
"Olivia Krumpke played well (against Thomas)," Dietrich said. "She blocked well and hit really, really well. Olivia Zawadski always plays tough. She's really consistent and is on every time."
The Panthers are seeded 22nd in the Division I district tournament and faced 21st-seeded Newark in a second-round match Oct. 16. The winner plays second-seeded DeSales or 26th-seeded Licking Heights in a district semifinal Saturday, Oct. 22, at Whitehall.
The district final is Oct. 26.
Runners prep for district meet
The cross country teams are preparing to play host to the Division I district meet Saturday, Oct. 19.
The boys are competing in district 3 and the girls are in district 2. The top six teams and top 24 runners from both races advance to regional Oct. 26 at Pickerington North.
The girls finished fourth (91 points) in the OCC-Cardinal meet Oct. 12 at Davidson, behind Thomas (51), Worthington Kilbourne (64) and Olentangy Berlin (79) and ahead of Jerome (99), Scioto (161), Delaware (204) and Bradley (217).
Daniella Santos turned in a dominating performance, finishing first of 71 runners in 17 minutes, 40.5 seconds, well ahead of runner-up Carina Napoleon of Thomas (18:29.6). Other runners for the Panthers included Alivia Cannon (10th, 19:58.8), Jane Vulic (22nd, 20:34.2) and Krystal Singh (26th, 20:58.9).
The boys finished seventh in the league meet, behind Thomas (59), Jerome (72), Scioto (94), Kilbourne (97), Bradley (108) and Berlin (125) and ahead of Delaware (182).
Sam Carney placed third of 74 runners in 15:51.5 to lead the Panthers. Other runners for Darby included Balaji Kurapati (24th, 17:08.5), Tyler Hessenauer (29th, 17:16.1) and Isaac Becker (33rd, 17:21).
Boys golfers end season at district
The boys golf team shot a 339 to finish last of 12 teams in the district tournament Oct. 8 at Apple Valley, behind champion Jerome (300).
"Obviously, we were excited to be here," coach Brent Bower said. "It took us 12 years to make it to districts and to see the level of golf in central Ohio and to be here is exciting and it's an honor. I couldn't prouder of those boys. They're great kids, they're great students and they're great golfers, too."
Sophomore Jared Wells shot an 80 to lead the Panthers. Also competing were senior Adam Tivin (85), junior Zach Brandiwie (85), senior Marcus Hunter (89) and junior Nick Stern (100).
"Jared has moved into our No. 1 spot and he did it again (at Apple Valley)," Bower said. "It's great to see them accomplish this, to see what they've done, and it's great to think that we could be here again next year.
"We will miss Adam, Marcus and (senior) Michael (Beard). Those seniors have done great for us. Without them, we don't get here."
Season also ends for girls golfers
The girls golf team shot 414 to finish last of nine teams in the Division I district tournament Oct. 8 at New Albany Links, behind champion New Albany (305).
"It was pretty tough," coach Clay Rice said. "It was a pretty windy day and cold to start. We didn't play as well as we wanted. We got off to a slow start early all around and it was a little hard to catch up."
Junior Maria Hayes shot a 98 to lead the Panthers. Also competing were freshmen Zaria Hampton (100), Lexy Aurand (106) and Aimee Hayes (110) and senior Morgan Bair (114).
It marked Darby's first district tournament appearance since the program began in 2004.
"I think once we got down a little bit, we tried to force some shots," Rice said. "Overall, I was proud of them and the way they battled throughout the day. We were super happy to be there and to be one of the nine best teams in the district. It was great to see all of that hard work pay off."
Below are the coming schedules for the Darby cross country, boys soccer and girls soccer teams:
Oct. 19 -- Division I district meet at Hilliard Darby. The boys are in district 3 and the girls are in district 2. The top six teams and top 24 runners from both races advance to regional Oct. 26 at Pickerington North.
Oct. 15 -- Played 18th-seeded Westerville North in first round of Division I district tournament. Winner plays 13th-seeded Dublin Coffman or 51st-seeded Briggs in second round Oct. 19. Second-round winner plays fifth-seeded Dublin Scioto, sixth-seeded Davidson or 28th-seeded Canal Winchester in district semifinal at home of better seed. The Panthers are seeded 26th.
Oct. 16 -- Played 37th-seeded Central Crossing in first round of Division I district tournament. Winner plays 18th-seeded Thomas Worthington in second round Oct. 19. Second-round winner plays sixth-seeded Watterson, 32nd-seeded Logan and 33rd-seeded Lancaster in district semifinal Oct. 23 at home of better seed. The Panthers are seeded 19th.