2015 - Final Thoughts


New member
With the season over, I just have to say that this years state finals have been incredible. The greats fall (X, Walsh, Moeller) and the underdogs rose to the occasion (Darby, Creek, DeSales). Every match was very exciting and out of all my years of watching Ohio Boys Volleyball, this years state championships has to be one of the greatest and most eventful Ive ever witnessed. Some of my thoughts throughout the tournament

X has been the best team for the past few years and still has not been able to do it. At this point it seems to me that it could be a coaching error. Talbot and Beer are great players but it seems that they cannot handle the pressure of being great in the tournament. Still, props to X for having a great season and being at the top of the GCL.

Walsh stunned me. Walsh vs Alter went down exactly how the D1 state finals went down last year. If you remember, it was St X vs Elder and X, the favored team (Just like Walsh this year) was up 23-17 in set 1 and blew it. When a team blows a game like that, especially since Walsh kept playing until it went to 32, you are so disappointed in yourself that its hard to go on. And just as X did in 2014 finals, Walsh was out of it in set 2 and 3 and they didn't ever make too much noise after losing the first set. That was first time Walsh has ever been played like that according to their schedule. Still, props to Walsh for staying strong all season and proving themselves as one of the best. Also thank you to Walsh for bringing something to the table from the North this year.

Beavercreek was much better than we thought. Creek took out Walsh and Alter during the regular season and even though neither teams were at full strength (both missing a starter), beating top notch teams like Walsh and Alter is a great feat. For creek to go down 2-0 against Moeller and come back was fantastic, and the fight those kids have shown this season has been great. Creek was a big factor in making this years state tournament one to remember. Props for making it to the finals and really making some noise in the tournament.

When Darbys on, they're on. When you see Darby go to 5 with a team like Gahanna Lincoln before they go to states, you aren't going to expect much out of them. But grinding through 3 five set matches (out of their last 4) and proving themselves as a true competitor was amazing. Darbys 2015 run will be remembered not because they were the best team, but because they showed the most fight as an underdog. Thank you to Darby on making this years tournament extra interesting as well.

St Francis DeSales proved that they can play on Sunday. They got beat by Mt Vernon during the season, swept by Walsh, and it took them 5 sets to beat Roger Bacon in the semis, and when you see all of this you cannot expect them to put up a fight with Alter or Walsh. But on Sunday they really showed that they deserved to be up at #3 in the ranking and that they can play with the best of the best. Even though they did not pull it off, props to DeSales for making some noise in the tournament this year. They are another team that helped make states ecstatic this year. And thank you to Evan Feltz for 4 great years who has made Ohio volleyball so proud. He will always be remembered as one of the best.

Roger Bacon really impressed me. I thought that DeSales would 3-0 them easily but they really showed that they are not a pushover d2 team from the south. Props also go to Roger Bacon for showing some pride and giving DeSales a fantastic 5 set Semi-Final match.

St. Ignatius even made things a little interesting with their quarter final match against centerville. Ignatius is not a great team according to record and does not have much size at all, but they really showed their strengths and pride for their program. I was glad to see them take a set from Centerville and almost take the match to 5 sets.

Centerville did not have too great of a showing since they had an easy quarter final match and since they got 3-0d by Darby in the semis. Although this is true, I am glad to see that Centerville has gotten back on track since their dominance in the old days and that they returned to states this year. I expect more to come from the centerville underclassmen in the coming years.

St. Edward did not put up a fight against Beavercreek which I was disappointed about. Shows how weak the North is, at least in d1 this season.

Alter was fantastic this weekend. They played a great match against Walsh and played as hard as they possibly could have. Nobody was supposed to take down Walsh and Alter managed to do it. And even though it was closer than it should have been, they closed it out against DeSales in 5. This team truly is a dynasty in division 2 and they have made their school proud.

Hilliard Davidson sort of disappointed me. They have all the potential to take out Moeller and didn't put up too much fight. I was also disappointed to finally find out who Jake Russell (D1 POY) was and watch him play. He did not look like, IMO, the right choice for player of the year. It is evident now that Davidson shouldn't have been ranked higher than Darby coming in.

Overall, I think this has been a great state tournament and a great year for Ohio Volleyball in general. Excited to see the program move forward in years to come.
First off congrats to Darby and Alter, as well as the rest of the teams in the tournament for even making it that far. A big shout out to Capital for hosting this wonderful tournament in such a nice gym. I completely agree that the level was so high and very entertaining to watch. But, I would like to point out that many teams struggle to win because they are afraid to hit the ball. Boys volleyball is a game of power, not like the women's game where it is much more ball control. Take Darby for example, that coaching staff is very successful because they teach their players to hit the ball, HARD, almost all of the time. As good as Beavercreek, DeSales, and Alter were, I still believe that they tip the ball too much and afraid to take a winning swing. I also believe this is why Ohio has struggled for years to compete in club with Illinois, Penn, NY, etc they all are trained to swing for the fences, but I think Ohio players do a poor job of this and I think this stems from coaches instructing their players to "just keep it in". I would like to see coaches and players become more aggressive which I believe can raise Ohio's level of competition even further, and within a few short years. But again, congrats to all teams for quite the showing this past weekend!
I was just looking at the OHSVBA website, and this was the first year since 2002 that one of the big three were not in the state finals. (Centerville def. Watterson) which is even more impressive for Darby and Beavercreek. Also, since 1997 there has been at least one of the big three schools in the finals, except for 2001, 2002, and 2015. (Centerville x2, Darby)
I was just looking at the OHSVBA website, and this was the first year since 2002 that one of the big three were not in the state finals. (Centerville def. Watterson) which is even more impressive for Darby and Beavercreek.

There have been too many years of Elder vs X, X vs Moeller, Elder vs Moeller. The big 3 have dominated boys volleyball for a long time. It makes the season much more exciting when other teams are legitimately challenging them.
There have been too many years of Elder vs X, X vs Moeller, Elder vs Moeller. The big 3 have dominated boys volleyball for a long time. It makes the season much more exciting when other teams are legitimately challenging them.

I think Darby has earned the 'right' (so to speak) to be there in that conversation with X, Moeller and Elder. They have numerous final four appearances and more importantly, three out of the last four years they've been in the state title game, winning twice in three years now.
I think it was great for boys volleyball especially D1 to have a school like Beavercreek make it to the Finals. Darby while surprising has been there several times before, but having a team like Creek beat Moeller the way they did and then push Darby to 5 in the Finals just shows the parity of the sport this season. Even if it seemed like it was going to be a runaway show for the GCLS teams.

It would have been great to see someone new win the title in D1, but their effort in just being there and then pushing a power in Darby to 5 was great to see.
Take away moments for me from the tournament:

Best venue ever. Something about it being on a college campus just adds a different feel. The crowds filled the place, making it an electric atmosphere.

Best comeback: Beavercreek over Moeller was an awesome match to watch live on Sunday.

Biggest upset: Darby over St. X on Saturday, especially after getting blown out in sets 2 & 3

Gut check: DeSales down 3-8 in 5th set vs. Bacon goes on 10-2 run to flip the game and end up winning 15-12.

Killer mentality: Darby's young guns swing hard down the stretch in the DI final.

Ice cold efficiency: Alter with unstoppable side out game in the last half of game 5 in DII final.

Tear jerker: Coach Feltz hugging his son after the DII final. Can't imagine what an emotional end to a high school career that must have been.

Can't wait to re-watch the broadcasts on line for commentary.
I'm a bit biased because of the 5-6 finals I've been to 2 have been here, but I really enjoy the finals at the dome up in Walsh Jesuit. Also, last season at Hamilton was an electric atmosphere for both Alter-Watterson and Elder-St X.

I thought I heard on broadcasts that they will be returning to Capital next season for the Championships? Sucks because Cincinnati/SWO was next in line rotation wise.
I thought Hamilton's gym was one of the best gyms I have ever stepped in (it does help that the school was recently donated ~$60M). I have heard rumors going around that Columbus is set to host it every year. I am not opposed to this as it keeps Cincinnati/Cleveland from having to travel 3-4 hours every other year by traveling to the other, this way everyone would consistently be 1-2 hours away. Plus central Ohio is the biggest region, and Columbus being the state's Capital, I think it would be a smart move. As far as colleges hosting the tournament, I am a big fan of that because I agree, I thought playing in a college gym brought a higher level of competition. Plus it keeps these kids out of semi decent high school gyms that they have probably played in dozens of times.