Posted on 5/31/2018 at 10:19 p.m.

Bombers To Play Cleveland St. Ignatius In Title Match 

St. Xavier moved to within one win Wednesday night of keeping the state lacrosse championship trophy in the Greater Catholic League South Division, waiting through a lengthy weather delay to ultimately emerge with an 18-8 victory over Worthington Kilbourne in the semifinals of the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Lacrosse Tournament at Chaminade-Julieene in Dayton.  The victory moves the Bombers into the final match against Cleveland St. Ignatius, which defeated Dublin Coffman, 16-15, in overtime in the other semifinal at Wooster High School. 

The two teams meet at 7 p.m. Saturday at Ohio Wesleyan University’s Selby Stadium.  St. Xavier defeated St. Ignatius (16-7) twice during the regular season, winning by identical scores of 12-11 and setting the stage for what figures to be a great state final.  St. Xavier (18-3) is looking for its second lacrosse state crown in four years, having advanced to the state final and emerged victorious back in 2015.  This, however, is just the second year that boys’ lacrosse has been sponsored by the OHSAA, with GCL South member Moeller winning the first OHSAA state title last spring. 

Previously, the Ohio High School Lacrosse Association had conducted a state tournament. 

The Bombers came out strong against Worthington Kilbourne (17-6), scoring five of the game’s first six goals and maintaining a 7-2 lead after the first quarter.  Kilbourne rallied back in the second quarter to score four goals and narrow the deficit slightly to 10-6 at intermission.  But St. Xavier held its opponent scoreless in the third quarter, increasing its margin to 14-6 entering the final period.  And, despite having to wait through a weather delay that lasted just over two hours, the Bombers were able to increase the lead and move on behind four goals from senior John Holcomb and three from senior Duke Alf.

Posted on 5/29/2018 at 7:07 p.m.

St. Xavier Defeats Elder In Epic Five-Set Match In Region Final

The Greater Catholic League South Division certainly will be well represented at the Ohio High School Boys’ Volleyball Association State Tournament next week at Capital University in Greater Columbus, with three league members earning spots by winning regional finals Saturday at St. Xavier High School.  Moeller easily won its final in straight sets, La Salle came back after losing its first set to win three straight, while St. Xavier needed five sets to eventually emerge with a victory over league rival Elder in what definitely will be a match to remember, prevailing, 22-25, 25-18, 25-23, 32-34 and 15-9 to move on to the state tournament. 

Moeller and St. Xavier will be competing in the OHSBVA Division I bracket, while La Salle will compete at the DII level.  Moeller (23-1), which has only lost to St. Xavier this season and captured the South #1 Region, will play East #2 winner Olentangy in the first round at 11:45 a.m. Saturday.  St. Xavier (20-3), which has won seven straight matches and captured the South #2 crown, will oppose East #1 champ Hilliard Darby in the first match of the day at 10.  La Salle (11-10), which moves into the DII state semifinals with a four-set win against Hamilton Badin in the region final, faces St. Charles from Columbus at 6:45 Saturday evening. 

Moeller, a near-unanimous selection at the top spot in the final OHSBVA state rankings, has coasted through the postseason to date – defeating Fairfield and Loveland in straight sets.  The Crusaders are in search of their first state championships since 2012.   Moeller senior Chris Kiser, the GCL South Player of the Year, also was named the region’s top player.  He was joined on the first team All-South Region by senior Ryan Devolve, while teammate and senior Donovan Reed was selected second team all-region.  Moeller has won seven state volleyball crowns in its history. 

St. Xavier, which won for the third time this season in four matches against Elder (the last GCL South team to win a state title, in 2016), is looking for its third state title and first since 2006.  The Bombers won their first in 2003, with Moeller winning the next two years before they won another state title – giving the GCL South four straight state titles.  Seniors Henry Huber and Kevin McCarthy were both named first team all-region, while senior Ryan Hilvert earned second-team honors. 

La Salle, which was ranked No. 5 in the final DII state rankings, placed junior Zach Harvey on the all-region team.  Senior Brandon Grosleim and junior Zach Guethlein were named second team, while Lancers’ coach Kelly Schumacher was named the DII South Region Coach of the Year after leading the Lancers to a berth in the DII Final Four.   

Elder, which wrapped up its season at 20-6, has won six state championships – including three since 2010 and four since 2008 under coach Sean Tierney.  In its last four state final wins, the Panthers have knocked off a GCL South team in the final – beating Moeller in 2010 and 2016 and St. Xavier in 2008 and 2014.  Elder also was state runner-up in 2009 and 2013 under Tierney, who notched career victory No. 300 earlier this season.

Posted on 5/26/2018 at 9:57 a.m.

Elder-St. Xavier Match Among Regional Finals Set For Today 

All four Greater Catholic League South Division volleyball teams were victorious Friday in regional semifinal matches of the Ohio High School Boys’ Volleyball Association Tournament – moving each team within one victory of earning a berth in the OHSBVA State Tournament scheduled for June 2-3 at Capital University in Greater Columbus.  A maximum of three GCL South schools can advance, though, with Elder meeting St. Xavier in a regional final today at St. Xavier High School’s Berning Gymnasium. 

Moeller (22-1), the No. 1 seed, advanced with a straight-set victory against Fairfield last night at Moeller.  The Crusaders, whose lone setback this season is to St. Xavier, advance to meet Loveland – a straight-set winner over Oak Hills in its semifinal – at 5:30 p.m. today in the South #1 final. 

No. 6 Elder (20-5), the third league team with 20-plus victories after winning its semifinal match in three sets against Milford last night at St. Xavier, will now face the No. 2 seeded Bombers (19-3), who did not lose a set in its home match against Mason.  Elder and St. Xavier will play at 7 tonight in the South #2 final. 

All matches are today at St. Xavier, including the DII final that will match GCL South member La Salle (10-10) against Roger Bacon (13-9), a member of the GCL Co-Ed Division that moved into the final with a straight-set win against Badin in Hamilton last night.  La Salle posted a victory in four sets Friday against host McNicholas in the semifinals. 

Posted on 5/26/2018 at 9:54 a.m.

Top-Seeded Bombers Advance To Division I Lacrosse Final Four 

A year ago, Moeller knocked off St. Xavier in the regional final of the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Lacrosse Tournament as part of a 10-game winning streak that eventually led to the Crusaders winning the Division I state championship.  On Friday night at Mason High School, the same two teams met in the Region 4 title match again with a berth to state on the line, but this time it was No. 1 seed St. Xavier standing firm in a 17-5 victory to earn a trip to Columbus next week needing just two victories to keep the state title in the Greater Catholic League South Division. 

Senior Duke Alf scored three goals and added three assists, while teammates John Holcomb, Jack Kilfoil and Trevor Gilmore each added three goals to lead St. Xavier to its third victory in as many matches this season against No. 2 seed Moeller, earning the Bomber a match against Worthington Kilbourne in the state semifinals at 7 p.m. next Wednesday at Chaminade-Julienne High School in Dayton.  Cleveland St. Ignatius opposes Dublin Coffman in the other semifinal at 7:15 that same night at Wooster High School. 

The state final is at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 2 at Ohio Wesleyan University. 

St. Xavier started fast in Friday’s final, with Kilfoil and Gilmore scoring goals in the first four minutes to give the Bombers a 2-0 edge.  Moeller came back to tie it at 2 before Holcomb, Alf and Kilfoil each scored goals to give St. Xavier a 5-3 lead after one quarter.   The Bombers scored four unanswered goals – two by Alf and Gilmore and Holcomb with one goal each – to take a 9-3 lead and wind up with a 10-4 halftime advantage.  Senior defenders Evan Deters, Andrew Kendall, David Donnelly, Jack Dirksing and goalkeeper Ross Wiseman held Moeller scoreless in the third period and gave up just one goal in the final quarter to preserve the win. 

Junior Brandan Sigurdson scored two goals to pace Moeller (15-7), which turned in another outstanding season that included only two losses by more than two goals – Friday’s final and a 14-10 setback at St. Xavier on April 18.  The Bombers beat Moeller, 11-9, in the final of the Midwest Scholastic League Coaches Association Tournament Championship that was held earlier this month in Columbus. 

St. Xavier (17-3) has been impressive in its four postseason matches, outscoring Anderson, Lebanon, Loveland and Moeller by a combined score of 75-14.  The Bombers take a six-match winning streak into the state semifinals.

Posted on 5/26/2018 at 9:50 a.m.

Crusaders Rally Falls Just Short Against Mason Friday At UC 

One day earlier, Moeller rallied from an early 2-0 deficit against Greater Catholic League rival Elder to emerge with a 3-2 victory in nine innings and earn a berth in the regional final of the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Baseball Tournament.  And early Friday evening, the Crusaders found themselves in a similar position – trailing Mason, 3-0, after just two innings.  Once again, Moeller was able to rally back and make it 3-2 heading to the final three innings, but the Crusaders were unable to overtake the Comets and eventually fall by that score in the Cincinnati Region final at the University of Cincinnati’s Marge Schott Stadium. 

The loss ends Moeller’s winning streak at 16, with the Crusaders (25-7) having not lost previously since a 3-2 setback to Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy on April 20.  The win moves Mason (26-5), champion of the Greater Miami Conference and winner of 10 straight games, to the DI Final Four next weekend at Huntington Park in downtown Columbus.  The Comets – making their first appearance in the state semifinals since 1987 – will play Whitehouse Anthony Wayne  (25-4), the Bowling Green/Parma Region winner after knocking off Strongsville, 10-2, in its regional final.  First pitch is 1 p.m. next Friday. 

Medina Highland (19-9), the Canton Region champion, meets Powell Olentangy Liberty (28-4), the Dublin Region winner, in the first semifinal at 10 a.m.  The state championship game is set for 4 p.m. next Saturday.  

It was another outstanding season for Moeller, which won the GCL South Division championship outright with a 7-2 record, finishing one game ahead of defending champ St. Xavier.  The Crusaders swept the GCL South postseason awards released today, with Tim Held being named Coach of the Year, senior catcher Tyler McDonough voted Player of the Year, and senior right-hander Mo Schaffer receiving Pitcher of the Year honors.  Schaffer pitched all nine innings of the Crusaders’ 3-2 win against Elder in Thursday’s semifinals to end his final season with a perfect 9-0 record. 

Against Mason, Moeller was unable to get much going offensively against starter and winning pitcher Rollie Sheriff – who went five innings and allowed four hits and two runs.  Vanderbilt University signee Nick Northcutt relieved and struck out four in two innings for the save.  Mason scored all the runs it would need in the first two innings.  Evan Haas smacked an RBI single to give the Comets a 1-0 lead in the first inning, and coach Curt Bly’s team scored twice in the second inning – one run on a sacrifice fly by Northcutt and the second on a home run to right field by Harrison Johnson that landed in the Fifth Third Arena construction. 

But Moeller, which entered the postseason ranked No. 2 behind Mason in Greater Cincinnati, came back again – scoring twice in the fourth inning on RBI hits by Ryan Galanie and Schaffer, the Crusaders’ cleanup hitter who made it 3-2.  Taylor Hopkins led off the inning with Moeller’s first hit off Sheriff.    Junior starter Jack Pacetti went the distance for the Crusaders, shutting down Mason after allowing runs in the first and second innings.  He wound up surrendering six hits while striking out five Comet hitters.

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