DeSales Roundup: Bridget Javitch's milestone highlights girls volleyball team's run

Dave Purpura
ThisWeek group
DeSales senior libero Bridget Javitch surpassed 1,000 career digs during the Stallions' 25-23, 25-23, 25-22 win at Watkins Memorial on Oct. 31 in a Division I district final. She finished her career with 1,017.

Bridget Javitch knew she was nearing 1,000 career digs entering a Division I district final Oct. 31 at Watkins Memorial, and the senior libero for the DeSales girls volleyball team reached the milestone just as coach Brenden Pence expected.

“She got it in typical Bridget fashion, overachieving,” Pence said with a laugh. “She’s never seen a ball she doesn’t think she can dig. She has an overabundance of tenacity.”

Javitch and Pence agreed they could say the same for their team, which picked up where it had left off after a two-week quarantine related to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The sixth-seeded Stallions swept each of their first three postseason matches, including a 25-23, 25-23, 25-22 win over the host and fourth-seeded Warriors in the district final, before falling to Olentangy Orange 25-21, 25-9, 25-16 in a regional semifinal Nov. 5 at Hilliard Darby to finish 10-8. 

“Going in, we just didn’t know how many matches we could play and then with our quarantine, it’s been a crazy season,” said Javitch, who needed 18 digs entering the district final to surpass 1,000, recorded 19 and finished her career with 1,017. “That was a big goal for me that I worked really hard for. It means a lot. My teammates have been super supportive.

“I’d kind of been tracking it, but I didn’t think I got it because I didn’t feel like I’d touched a lot on defense, but when coach said I got it, I was pretty happy.”

Saje Washington had 16 kills, Gabby D’Amico added eight kills and 18 digs and Ashleigh Zehala had 29 assists and 11 digs to power DeSales to its ninth district championship in 10 years and 17th overall.

“We refocused on serving and passing and then our pin hitters, we spent a lot of time on getting them more consistent on off-speed and bailout shots,” Pence said. “The pin hitters really stepped up and rose to the challenge.”

Washington said last year's state championship run paid off for this year’s team.

“Having the experience of playing in this kind of setting helps me help keep my teammates calm and get used to that stage and get through situations,” she said.

Boys soccer team 

falls in regional semi

Coming off winning its sixth Division II district championship in seven years and 24th overall, the boys soccer team’s season came to an end Nov. 4 with a 3-0 loss at defending state champion Tipp City Tippecanoe in a regional semifinal. 

The Stallions, who fell behind 2-0 in the first 14 minutes, finished 10-9-1. Goalie Gabe Weikert made 17 saves. 

In the district final Oct. 31, third-seeded DeSales got a goal from Andrew Shaffer with less than 15 minutes left to edge visiting and sixth-seeded Watterson 2-1.

Alex Shaffer scored the team’s first goal nine minutes in and Weikert made eight saves.

Cross country season

ends at regional

Cross country coach Amy Schockling emphasized that this season was another step in the program’s maturation after the boys team and freshman Mary McAllister of the girls squad fell short of competing at state.

In the Division II regional meet Oct. 31 at Pickerington North, the boys finished 13th (293 points) behind champion Chillicothe Unioto (75) as 21 teams scored.

Sophomore Adam Weithman led with a 55th-place finish (17:51.4). Also scoring were freshman Luke Aaron (61st, 17:56.4), sophomore Owen Eckstein (74th, 18:10.3), senior Nick Schetter (79th, 18:15.2) and sophomore Aidan Shannon (98th, 18:29.8).

“This is the start of something,” Schockling said. “We’re building on the legacy that the upperclassmen started, but with having so many underclassmen, we’re completely looking up at this point.”

Senior Isaiah Rush (118th, 18:47) and freshman Neal Ritchie (130th, 19:13.6) also competed.

Later that day in the Division I regional, McAllister finished 86th (21:27.4) out of 135 individuals.

“It was the biggest race she’d ever been a part of,” Schockling said. “It was different for her being the only (member of the team) out there. Being a freshman, it’s a huge achievement for her to get this far. She’s very athletic and a hard worker … and has such a positive attitude.”

The regional ended a season in which DeSales swept the CCL meet for the first time.

Five of the girls team’s top seven are eligible to return, a group rounded out by juniors Audrey Callahan and Monica Sullivan and sophomores Josie Dages and Ellie Reash.

Defense paced 

girls soccer team

Girls soccer coach Chris Froehlich called a 2-0 loss at sixth-seeded Olentangy Liberty in a Division I district semifinal Oct. 28 “easily our team’s best performance all season,” largely because of how the Stallions played after falling behind by two goals within the first 10 minutes.

“After that, we stepped up big time (and) went at Liberty with everything we had, but with a few goal-line stands Liberty was able to keep the shutout going,” Froehlich said. “We created plenty of scoring chances and on that night it just wasn’t meant to be for us to score.”

DeSales, which was seeded 26th, finished 5-10-2. The Stallions, who improved by one win from 2019, got seven goals and two assists from senior forward Stefanie Karras as well as four goals and two assists each from junior midfielders Kylie Hast and Sophia Hipolite.

“We competed in every game and with every game our play got a little bit better and the results started to show that,” Froehlich said.

Other players eligible to return include juniors Katie Farina (forward), Abby Groff (goalie), Maddie McNamara (defender) and Phoebe Kraus (defender) and sophomores Ava Kreuzer (midfielder), Jen Mitevski (forward) and Atenas Ramirez (midfielder).

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave

CROSS COUNTRY

CCL standings: Boys — DeSales (44), Watterson (45), St. Charles (56), Hartley (94), Ready (140); Girls — DeSales (33), Watterson (34), Hartley (59), Ready (113)

Seniors lost: Boys — Isaiah Rush, Nick Schetter and Adam Weithman; Girls — Bre Callahan, Hannah Pekarcik, Megan Shuey and Gracey Wilson

Key returnees: Boys — Luke Aaron, Owen Eckstein, Neal Ritchie and Aidan Shannon; Girls — Audrey Callahan, Josie Dages, Mary McAllister, Ellie Reash and Monica Sullivan

Postseason: Boys — Second (71) at district behind Watterson (64), 13th (293) at regional behind champion Chillicothe Unioto (75); Girls — Sixth (143) at district behind champion Hilliard Davidson (19)

GIRLS SOCCER

Record: 5-10-2 overall

CCL standings: Watterson (3-0), Hartley (1-1-1), DeSales (1-2), Ready (0-2-1)

Seniors lost: Carmela Cua, Gabby Mahaffey, Mattea Romanelli, Stefanie Karras, Haley Weis and Gracey Wilson

Key returnees: Abby Groff, Kylie Hast, Sophia Hipolite and Maddie McNamara

Postseason: Defeated Canal Winchester 2-1 (4-2 shootout); lost to Olentangy Liberty 2-0 in Division I district semifinal