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Posted on 6/2/2017 at 8:07 a.m.

GCL South Sends Two Teams To Saturday’s Quarterfinal Matches

Greater Catholic League South Division members Elder and St. Xavier captured regional championships Saturday and are now preparing for their quarterfinal matches Saturday in the Ohio High School Boys’ State Volleyball Tournament  at Capital University in Columbus.   Both will play schools from the Greater Western Ohio Conference, with St. Xavier taking on Centerville at 11:45 a.m., followed by Elder meting Beavercreek at 1:30.

If St. Xavier is victorious, the Bombers will advance to play either Cleveland St. Ignatius or Westerville South in the state semifinals at 10 a.m. Sunday.  If Elder wins, the Panthers will oppose the winner of top-ranked Hilliard Darby and Lakewood St. Edward in the semifinals at noon.  The state final is set for 4 p.m. Sunday.

The GCL South has been well represented in the state rankings all season, with Darby holding down the top spot followed by Moeller, Elder and St. Xavier in the final Division I state rankings.  St. Xavier (21-3) defeated GCL South regular-season champion Moeller in five sets Saturday at Elder to win the South #1 Region and earn a berth in the Final Four.  Moeller and St. Xavier split their two matches during the regular season, with each going five sets.  The Bombers’ losses this season are to Elder (twice) and Moeller.

Elder, which won state volleyball championships in 2014 and last season (beating Moeller in the state final), followed that match with a straight-set victory over rival Oak Hills to claim the South #2 Region title and move to the state tournament.  The Panthers (22-4) have won seven straight matches.  Their only losses this season are to Moeller (twice), Darby and Northmont.  Elder is led by GCL South Player of the Year in senior Mark Klusman.

Posted on 6/1/2017 at 8:06 a.m.

Crusaders Defeat Upper Arlington For Ninth Consecutive Win

What started earlier this month with an 8-7 victory over Upper Arlington continued Wednesday night, as Moeller kept its winning streak alive and again edged the defending state champion Golden Bears by one goal – this time earning a 10-9 victory in a Division I state semifinal match of the first sanctioned Ohio High School Athletic Association Boys’ Lacrosse State Tournament played at Roger Glass Stadium at Chaminade-Julienne High School in downtown Dayton.

The win was the ninth straight for Moeller (16-7), which advances to meet Cleveland St. Ignatius in the state final at 7 p.m. Saturday at Selby Stadium on the Ohio Wesleyan University campus in Delaware.  The Crusaders defeated St. Ignatius, 8-7, in a home match back on March 25.  St. Ignatius (14-7) advanced to the state championship with a 5-3 win over Powell Olentangy Liberty in Wednesday’s other state semifinal at Wooster High School. 

Coach Sean McGinnis’ team was led against Upper Arlington (20-3), which had won six straight matches, by three goals from sophomore attacker Brendan Sigurdson.  The score was tied at 6 early in the fourth quarter before goals by seniors Conner Rice and Lucas Klever gave Moeller a two-goal advantage.  Upper Arlington continued to apply pressure into the final seconds of the match, with senior goalkeeper Paxton Kreger turning in another outstanding performance to send Moeller to the state final for the first time since 1993.

Posted on 5/31/2017 at 9:05 a.m.

Crusaders Riding Eight-Match Winning Streak Into Semifinals

Moeller has won its share of state championships in baseball, basketball and football, but the Crusaders are just two wins away from earning the school’s first state title in lacrosse.  Fresh off consecutive victories over Mason and Greater Catholic League South Division rival St. Xavier in the regional semifinals and final, Moeller streaks into tonight’s state semifinal match in the first sanctioned Ohio High School Athletic Association State Lacrosse Tournament riding an eight-match winning streak.

But to get to the state final, the streaking Crusaders will have to get past defending champion Upper Arlington. Tonight’s match is set for 7:30 at Roger Glass Stadium at Chaminade-Julienne High School in downtown Dayton. Moeller (15-7) began its current winning streak with an 8-7 victory over Upper Arlington (20-2) back on May 6 at home.  Cleveland St. Ignatius (13-7) meets Olentangy Liberty in the other state semifinal at 7:15 tonight at Wooster High School.

The semifinal winners meet in the state final at 7 p.m. Saturday at Ohio Wesleyan University’s Selby Stadium in Delaware.  This is the first year that the state tournament has been sanctioned by the OHSAA.  Previous boys’ and girls’ tournaments were under the guidance of the Ohio High School Lacrosse Association.

After losing consecutive close matches to Mason, 11-9, and Loveland, 11-10, Moeller was sitting at 7-7 entering a match with the defending state champion Upper Arlington.  But, after a one-goal win at home that day, the Crusaders have not lost since.  The current streak includes five straight victories in the postseason, including a 10-5 win at Mason in the regional semifinals followed up with the win over No. 1 seed St. Xavier, which also was ranked NO. 1 in the Midwest by Laxpower.com, last Saturday at Anderson High School’s Brown Stadium.

The match was tied 7-7 before Moeller’ junior midfielder Logan Dieball scored the go-ahead goal with 3:29 remaining, and goals from seniors Lucas Klever and Will Sturgis in the final minutes helped Moeller emerge with the victory.  Klever finished with two goals and two assists.  Saturday’s win was also career victory No. 100 for Moeller coach Sean McGinnis, who took over the Crusaders’ lacrosse program entering the 2014 season.

Posted on 5/27/2017 at 7:05 a.m.

State Tournament Berths On Line In Both Regional Championships

It will be a busy start to the Memorial Day weekend for the Greater Catholic League South Division, as member schools compete in both the lacrosse and volleyball regional finals with a berth in both state tournaments on the line in both sports.  Moeller and St. Xavier will meet in regional finals in both sports, while Elder will play in a regional final in volleyball as the league prepares to send representatives to the state tournament in two spring team sports.

Moeller, which defeated Mason, 10-5, in a semifinal lacrosse match that started Wednesday and then was completed Thursday after inclement weather forced completion a day later, meets St. Xavier, which knocked off Milford, 21-11, in Tuesday’s semifinals, in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division I, Region 4 lacrosse final at 3:30 p.m. today at Anderson High School’s Brown Stadium.  The winner advances to the first sanctioned OIHSAA State Lacrosse Tournament that Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware.

St. Xavier won the only meeting between the two schools, earning a 15-9 victory on April 7.  Moeller, however, is playing its best lacrosse of the season – having posted seven consecutive victories.  St. Xavier is the No. 1 seed in the 19-team region, entering its final match with a 17-4 record that includes three postseason wins by a combined 73-19 score.

The GCL is guaranteed at least one representative in the Ohio High School Boys’ Volleyball Association State Tournament, with Moeller and St. Xavier facing each other in the South Region #1 final at 5:30 p.m. today at Elder High School.  The winner advances to the OHSBVA event that will be held June 3-4 at Capital University in Columbus.  The two schools split close matches during the regular season, with St. Xavier (20-4) winning in five sets in the opener back on March 28.

Moeller (14-7) won in five sets on May 1.

Elder (21-4) will oppose neighborhood rival Oak Hills in the Region #2 final at 7 tonight at Elder.  Led by GCL South Player of the Year Mark Klusman, the Panthers enter the match holding down the state’s No. 3 ranking.  Hilliard Darby is the state’s top-ranked Division I team, followed by the three GCL schools – with Moeller and St. Xavier at Nos. 2 and 4, respectively.  Elder defeated Oak Hills in straight sets at Oak Hills back on April 7.  Oak Hills advanced to the regional final with a win over Fairfield.

Posted on 5/27/2017 at 7:00 a.m.

Bombers End Memorable Season with Stellar 22-5 Record

Lakota West sophomore Max Kiker allowed just six hits, striking out two, in recording his first complete game of the season to help Lakota West edge St. Xavier, 2-1, in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division I, Region 4 championship game Friday evening at University of Cincinnati’s Marge Schott Stadium.  The victory earned the Firebirds a berth in the state tournament.  West, the Greater Miami Conference winner this spring, last won the state baseball championship back in 2007.

The one-run loss ends St. Xavier’s outstanding season in the regional final, where the Bombers also lost to West, 4-2, in 2007.  St. Xavier (22-5) was vying for its first berth in the state semifinals since 2003 – when the Bombers won their last state baseball title.  It wasn’t to be, however, as West managed to score single runs in the first and third innings and – behind solid defense and Kiker – was able to limit the Bombers’ strong offense on this day.  Kiker retired the final nine hitters he faced in order.

The victory moves West (25-5), winner of six straight games, into the semifinals where the Firebirds will face either Massillon Jackson or Mentor at 4 [p.m. next Friday at Huntington Park in downtown Columbus.  Sam Kendall was the tough-luck loser for St. Xavier, suffering his first defeat of the season in seven decisions despite allowing just four hits.  Michael Cleary and Pete Fisher each had two hits for St. Xavier, with Cleary driving in the Bombers’ lone run.

Coach Bob Sherlock’s team wrapped up a season to remember that included St. Xavier’s first outright Greater Catholic League South Division championship since 1999, sectional and district championships, and an appearance in the regional final.  Sherlock was voted the GCL South Coach of the Year by his peers, while junior right-hander Nathan Kappers was named the league’s Pitcher of the Year after turning in an outstanding regular season.

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