New Albany Roundup: Victor Orsinelli goes out on high note for Eagles track team

Dave Purpura
ThisWeek group
New Albany senior Victor Orsinelli competes in the 1,600 meters during the Division I state meet June 5 at Hilliard Darby. He finished eighth in 4 minutes, 15.66 seconds.

Victor Orsinelli earned one point for the New Albany boys track and field team in the Division I state meet, and it was a point the senior will not forget as he heads into the next stage of his running career. 

Orsinelli, who will be on the cross country and track teams at Miami University, finished eighth in the 1,600 meters (4 minutes, 15.66 seconds) at state June 5 at Hilliard Darby. That capped a year that also saw him finish 21st in the state cross country meet Nov. 7 at Fortress Obetz.

It was the first time Orsinelli had qualified for state in either sport.

“It was a good race,” he said. “I made a choice to go at the first 100 with the leaders and I think that set me up well. If not I would have gotten boxed. I think I raced a pretty even split. I got dropped a little in the last lap but everyone was giving their all.”

Cincinnati St. Xavier’s Nathan Mountain won in 4:06.84.

Orsinelli, who was OCC-Ohio Division champion in the 1,600 before finishing second in district 2 and third at regional, was the boys team’s only state qualifier.

New Albany tied for 72nd place behind champion and league rival Pickerington North (43) as 84 teams scored.

Led by junior Caroline Ebert’s 11th-place finish in the high jump (5 feet, 2 inches), the girls team did not score at state. Senior Nicole Stewart was 11th in the 200 (25.65) and 15th in the 100 (12.55) and was on the 12th-place 400 relay (49.32) with classmate Jayla Reese, junior Kate Partridge and sophomore Olivia Gaines.

Nine of the boys team’s 11 regional qualifiers are eligible to return in juniors Xavian Andrews (sprints), Will Benseler (distance), Eric Dehmer (distance), Jesse Gordon (sprints), Brock Kidwell (hurdles, sprints) and Julian Meacham-Dean (jumps, sprints), sophomores Lleyton Axline (distance) and Josh Richardson (jumps, sprints) and freshman Ser Torres-Lofton (sprints).

From left, New Albany's Hayden Gray, Andrew Rakocy, Om Patel, Gabe Lowden, Owen Troutman and Carlos Polanco-Zaccardi celebrate a point during a home match against Pickerington North on April 8. The Eagles finished 19-4.

Boys volleyball team

enjoys strong season

The boys volleyball team achieved a handful of program firsts, going 19-4 for the first winning season in its three-year history and earning a postseason victory before losing 25-15, 25-14, 23-25, 26-24 at second-seeded Hilliard Bradley in a Division I East Region semifinal May 25.

New Albany, which also went 12-2 in the OCC-Ohio, was seeded eighth.

“(We) set the bar high. We knew going into our first matches that we had something special and that we would have to work hard to prove it. Finishing the season 19-4 shows the grit and determination of this team,” coach Jessica Florea said. “It is hard to lose seven seniors who have grown this program over the last few years, but I am very proud of the legacy that they leave behind. We have a lot of talent in the remaining varsity letterwinners and much to look forward to.”

Senior outside hitter Hayden Gray led the Eagles in kills (237) and was second in digs (229) and third in aces (38) to earn honorable mention all-state honors. Senior outside hitter Carlos Polanco-Zaccardi, a Rio Grande recruit, had 187 kills, a team-high 90 aces and 197 digs and senior libero Owen Troutman had 300 digs.

Junior setter Gabe Lowden finished with 54 kills, 59 aces and 193 digs.

Also eligible to return are junior Om Patel (right-side hitter), sophomore Alex Noreikis (defensive specialist) and freshman Andrew Rakocy (middle blocker).

Boys lacrosse team

seeks new coach

The boys lacrosse team will have a new coach in 2022 after Danny Gibson resigned May 26.

Gibson, who went 40-19 in three seasons, cited the upcoming birth of his first child in October as the primary factor in his resignation.

The Eagles are coming off a season in which they went 10-8 overall and 5-0 in the OCC-Ohio to win their first league championship since 2015.

Seeded sixth in the Division I, Region 3 tournament, New Albany lost 18-8 at second-seeded Worthington Kilbourne in a quarterfinal May 21.

“Throughout my time at New Albany and coaching in general, we’ve always asked the boys to do the hard thing because generally the hard thing to do in any moment is the right thing,” Gibson said in a statement on Twitter. “We have asked the boys to put their loved ones first and care more about our team than any team we compete with.”

Gibson went 34-37-1 in four seasons at Pickerington North before coming to New Albany.

Senior Grayson Passias (attacker) was first-team all-region and honorable mention all-state, and junior Henry Briggs (long-stick midfielder) and sophomore Zack Siegfried (faceoff specialist) were second-team all-region.

Other players eligible to return include juniors Matthew Doran (defender) and Jack Vannoy (faceoff specialist) and sophomore Ian Epstein (goalie).

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave

BOYS LACROSSE

Record: 10-8 overall

OCC-Ohio standings: New Albany (5-0), Pickerington North (4-1), Westerville Central (3-2), Pickerington Central (2-3), Gahanna (1-4), Newark (0-5)

Seniors lost: Max Dupler, Daniel Kahana, Grayson Passias, Storm Smitherman and Braydon Wong

Key returnees: Henry Briggs, Matthew Doran, Ian Epstein, Zach Siegfried and Jack Vannoy

Postseason: Defeated Xenia 19-1; lost to Worthington Kilbourne 18-8 in Division I, Region 3 quarterfinal

TRACK & FIELD

OCC-Ohio standings: Boys — Gahanna (143), North (131), Westerville Central (106), New Albany (88), Grove City (16), Westland (8); Girls — Gahanna (207), North (114), New Albany (81), Central (76), Grove City (44), Westland (1)

•Seniors lost: Boys — Jakob Bering, Christion Files, Sam Kovach, Ethan McNichols, Gianni Nocera, Victor Orsinelli, Bobby Petty, Sebastian Ramirez, Nathaniel Shnider and Colin Swincicki; Girls — Kiara Crumbley, Alexis Curren, Anvita Dandu, Alex Hurt, Sidney Mackey, Katherine Meslow, Nalaijah Penn, Jayla Reese and Nicole Stewart

Key returnees: Boys — Xavian Andrews, Lleyton Axline, Eric Dehmer, Brock Kidwell and Julian Meacham-Dean; Girls — Caroline Ebert, Olivia Gaines and Kate Partridge

Postseason: Boys — Fifth (66) at district behind champion North (121), tied for 15th (15) at regional behind champion Hilliard Darby (68), tied for 72nd (1) at state behind champion North (43); Girls — Seventh (45) at district behind champion Gahanna (154), 16th (17.5) at regional behind champion Gahanna (84), did not score at state

BOYS VOLLEYBALL

Record: 19-4 overall

OCC-Ohio standings: Gahanna (14-0), New Albany (12-2), Pickerington Central (10-4), North (7-7), Westerville Central (7-7), Reynoldsburg (3-11), Delaware (2-12), Westerville South (0-12)

Seniors lost: Joe Adams, Gavin Fancher, Hayden Gray, Liam Humphrey, Carlos Polanco-Zaccardi, Parker Smith and Owen Troutman

Key returnees: Gabe Lowden, Alex Noreikis, Om Patel and Andrew Rakocy

Postseason: Def. Pickerington Central 25-19, 25-15, 25-17; lost to Hilliard Bradley 25-15, 25-14, 23-25, 26-24 in Division I East Region semifinal