So much for the Davis High girls lacrosse team’s new-look lineup needing time to gel.
The Blue Devils opened their season with an impressive 15-6 win over University High on Friday night at Brown Stadium.
After a relatively slow start — DHS led 7-4 at halftime — the Devil defense took over in a nearly flawless second-half performance.
“We were slow to start, but slowly gained momentum as the night went on,” explained Davis coach Jenn Morris. “The defense really came up big in the second half.”
Local seniors Liz Leshuk and Chelsey Nickell — a former Blue Devil goalie, who switched to defender for this season — paced that strong defense, while Ally Weir played the entire game in front of the cage and finished with five saves.
Meanwhile, a pair of freshmen excelled in the DHS midfield.
“The freshman midfield duo of Camille Renaud and Nicole Pugh played extremely well on both ends of the field, coming up with big plays, creating turnovers on the defensive end and contributing in the scoring column as well,” Morris said. “I’m really proud of both of them. The first game can be really scary, there is a lot more pressure at the varsity level, but they both handled it well.”
Renaud contributed two goals and an assist, while Pugh had two assists and tallied once. Junior Sarah Bloise led the Devil offense with five goals, a feat she accomplished on just six shots.
The other Davis scoring came on two goals each from junior Delaney Coleman and sophomore Julie Zabala, with single tallies from junior Ellie Meinert along with sophomores Sarah Sherwin and Hannah Denton.
Despite the big victory, Morris knows her time has a lot to work on before games next weekend at Monte Vista (Friday) and home against Foothill (Saturday at noon).
“We have a lot of things to fix before we face Monte Vista next week, but (Friday) was a good way to open up the season,” said the veteran coach. “I expect to see improvement with each game, which is really what makes coaching this sport so much fun.”
DHS boys lacrosse
The visiting Blue Devils jumped on Berkeley High early, scoring six times in the first quarter, then held off the charging Yellowjackets for an 11-8 victory.
DHS (2-1) got it going off the opening face-off, which Jake Hammond won before sending a pass to Mark Bruemmer, who raced around the backside of the crease to feed Jed Arvin for a quick catch and score.
That opened the floodgates as Devils Liam Neville and Griffin McNamara each scored twice — one of McNamara’s goals coming after a nifty dodge of an oncoming defender — and Daniel Rowen added a tally before the first period ended.
Meanwhile, strong defense helped Davis build its early bulge as Connal Hart, Sam Gellen and Liam Condon worked well in front of goalie Connor Spann. By the end of the contest, Ryan Amesbury was the Blue Devil leader with six ground balls, while Hart had three and Gellen added two with one takeaway. Spann made six critical saves.
Still, the hosts wouldn’t go away quietly, turning up the defense to allow just one DHS second-period goal. The tally was a pretty one by Aidan Delplanque, who dodged one defender, jumped past a second, then beat the goalie.
Bruemmer added a score in the third quarter but Berkeley cut the Devil lead down to 8-6. That’s when Hammond made a key play, winning a face-off then navigating through four defenders for a critical goal.
“Hammond was amazing,” said Davis coach Nick Juri. “That goal he scored was huge for us. After the first quarter, the goals were a lot harder to score.”
With the momentum back in the Blue Devils’ favor, McNamara completed his hat trick and Rowen scored his second goal to clinch the victory.
DHS is home for a pair of games this week, starting on Tuesday with a 7:30 p.m. game against Bella Vista. Monta Vista is at Brown Stadium Friday night.
DHS boys tennis
Competing at the California High School Championships tournament, hosted by Buchanan High in Fresno on Friday and Saturday, the Blue Devil doubles teams kept them in matches against some very talented squads.
DHS dropped a pair of 4-3 matches — to Tamalpais on Friday and Redwood on Saturday — and lost to Menlo Atherton, 6-1, on Friday. The Devils didn’t get to play their fourth scheduled match as an opponent pulled out.
At the event, teams played four singles matches and three doubles contests per match.
In all, Davis won six of its nine doubles matches, but managed just one singles victory — Bob Li’s 6-4, 7-5 win over Redwood’s No. 4 player.
In that match, Blue Devil Victor Li teamed with Chase Kellison to capture a 6-3, 6-0 decision at No. 1 doubles and Scott Lucio/Jasper Murphy won (6-1, 6-0) at No. 3.
Lucio was paired with Alex Chan to post DHS’ lone victory (6-3, 6-2) against Menlo Atherton, while the Devils swept doubles against Tamalpais. Wins in that match came from Kellison/Dan Segedin, Chen/Victor Li and James Cole/Cooper Hosley.
“There are a lot of good players at this tournament and its good for the guys to see that,” said DHS coach Dale Hersch. “This is a really good group of kids.”
DHS boys golf
After a below-average first round at the Father Barry Tournament, the Blue Devils responded in a big way on Saturday at the Ancil Hoffman course in Carmichael.
Though teams scores and individual rankings weren’t immediately available, coach Karl Ronning said DHS finished in the middle of the pack with its two-day total of 791. He added that sophomore Sam Yamauchi’s Devil-leading total of 149 could end up being a top-10 performance.
But Ronning was happiest about the way his squad bounced back to play well on Day 2.
“We played much better (Saturday) and that’s what this time of year is all about; improving and learning to play under pressure,” said the veteran coach. “It was really positive. We did better at keeping our focus and just being determined.”
Yamauchi was consistent, shooting a 75 Friday then a 74 Saturday. The rest of the Davis players each made big improvements as Cyrrus Espino went from 86 to 77, Preston Walchli dropped from 82-78 and Andrew Arnheiter went from 84 to 78.
Brandon Strong’s 78 on Friday was the Blue Devils’ only other score in the 70s.
DHS track and field
Event wins by junior Kyle Clancy and sophomore Fiona O’Keeffe highlighted a nice performance by the Blue Devils in Saturday’s Sacramento State High School Classic.
“It was a great early-season meet,” said DHS coach Spencer Elliott. “There were a lot of teams there so there was a lot of good competition.
“And it was a nice day so our kids were fired up.”
None more so than Clancy, who leapt 6-06 to win the high jump with a height that would have qualified him for last year’s state meet. He added a third-place finish in the long jump (21-06).
O’Keeffe outran the competition in the 3,000 meters in a performance that Elliott called “really great, especially early in the year.” Teammates Sophie Meads (third) and Maggie McManis (fifth) also had good showings in that race.
The Devils dominated the pole vault as Danielle Gantar (9-0) was third in the girls division, with Emily Meyer in fifth at the same height and Kaity Honeychurch in seventh. For the Davis boys, Nate Harper (13-06) finished third with Tanner Johnson (seventh) and Joe Blakewell (10th) close behind.
Elliott was especially impressed with Meyer, who is just a freshman.
The Blue Devils found similar success in the girls triple jump where Eva Dicker was second (35-03) followed by Zoe Hunt-Murray (fourth) and Yrenly Yuan (sixth).
Blake Croft (1:56.66 in the 800 meters) and freshman Sofia Castiglioni (4:44.16 in the 1,500 meters) each posted second-place finishes for DHS, while Jasper Laca (3,000), Jeanne-Marie McPherson (2:20.30 in the 800 meters) and high jumpers Ameila Otto-Cutting and Caitlin Mazzeloni each took third in their events. Otto-Cutting and Mazzoleni tied for third at 4-10.
Watney at Cadillac Championship
DHS graduate Nick Watney bounced back from a tough second round — though the entire field struggled on a day of golf Friday — and shot a 1-under 71 Saturday to move into a tie for 14th at the WGC Cadillac Championship in Miami.
Watney’s total of 2-over 218 is six strokes behind leader Patrick Reed and three back of Tiger Woods, who charged into fourth place with a 66 on Saturday.
Watney’s Saturday round included a double bogey on No. 9, but three birdies on the back nine at Doral.