Girls Volleyball: Regional semifinals roundup

ThisWeek Sports Staff
ThisWeekSPORTS.com
Clockwise from far left, Olentangy Orange's Hanna Borer, Skylar Kelso, Olivia McAtee, Laruen Berend, Kate Moorhead, Makenzie Moll and Molly Shomock celebrate after defeating DeSales in a Division I regional semifinal Nov. 5 at Hilliard Darby.

Olentangy Orange 3, DeSales 0

Olentangy Orange girls volleyball coach Katie Duy lauded her players’ abilities to control a match and themselves after advancing within one win of the program’s first regional championship.

The same could be said of how the Pioneers dominated a Division I regional semifinal Nov. 5 against DeSales, as they never trailed after early in the first game on the way to a 25-21, 25-9, 25-16 win at Hilliard Darby.

“This senior class has shown a lot of maturity and they don’t let the younger girls get comfortable. They set the tone in August and have kept it up,” Duy said. “(DeSales has) a great program and a nice group of seniors that won a state championship last year. We have been competitive with them the last couple years and I’m proud of the way our girls approached that match.”

Tazmin Appiah and Olivia McAtee each had eight kills, Molly Shomock added seven and Addie Evans recorded 13 digs as Orange improved to 21-3 and advanced into a regional final against Watterson on Nov. 7 at Darby.

Hanna Borer also had 25 assists for the Pioneers, who went on a 9-1 run after trailing 9-5 in the first game and led for all but one point the rest of the match.

Saje Washington had six kills, Bridget Javitch had 16 digs and Ashleigh Zehala added 16 assists for the Stallions, who finished 10-8.

“We didn’t control first contacts well at all,” DeSales coach Brenden Pence said. “We were playing a little tight. We could see early that the nerves had set in. We were playing a little of what I call ‘hero ball,’ trying to do too much instead of doing your own job. We gave them too many free balls and we weren’t going to beat them giving them free balls.”

--Dave Purpura

Watterson's Sophie Mangold makes a diving attempt in a Division I regional semifinal against Olentangy Liberty on Nov. 5 at Hilliard Darby. The Eagles won the match three games to none.

Watterson 3, Olentangy Liberty 0

Watterson had to survive a marathon second game Nov. 5 at Darby on its way to moving into a Division I regional final.

After also beating Olentangy Liberty in the regular season, the Eagles won 25-10, 33-31, 25-17 in a regional semifinal to set up a matchup with Orange for the regional title Nov. 7 at Darby.

Watterson improved to 16-6 while the Patriots finished 13-6.

The Eagles lost in regional semifinals each of the past two seasons.

"It was just a show of emotion and how we have dreamt of being in this moment the past two years because we've always lost in (the regional semifinal)," senior Olyvia Kennedy said. "We've been in these situations before and knew we could do it."

Kennedy finished with 14 kills, Sydney Taylor had 16 kills and Gina Grden added eight kills for the Eagles, who lost to Orange 25-18, 25-23, 25-20 on Oct. 12. That match, however, took place the day after Watterson completed a two-week COVID-19 quarantine.

--Jarrod Ulrey

Hartley's Lauren Johnson disagrees with an official's call late in the fifth game against Gates Mills Gilmour Academy in a Division II regional semifinal Nov. 5 at Lexington. The Hawks lost the match 25-18, 23-25, 24-26, 25-15, 15-8.

Gates Mills Gilmour Academy 3, Hartley 2

In a Division II regional semifinal Nov. 5 at Lexington, Hartley couldn't hang on to a two games to one lead and lost to Gates Mills Gilmour Academy 25-18, 23-25, 24-26, 25-15, 15-8.

The Hawks finished 15-3 while Gilmour improved to 20-1. 

The Lancers were state semifinalists last season.

--Jarrod Ulrey

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