It’s a good news, bad news situation for the Delaware Hayes girls volleyball team.
The bad news is that the Pacers lost their third straight game: 25-22, 25-22, 25-23 to Dublin Jerome Thursday night in Delaware. They fell two games back in the OCC-Cardinal race.
The good news is that Hayes has played right with league leaders Jerome, Dublin Scioto and Worthington Kilbourne … and isn’t out of the title picture yet.
“That’s the first (league opponent) that we didn’t take at least a set off of,” Hayes coach Raynard Martin said. “We’re playing the good teams tough.”
That’s really good news because the Pacers don’t appear to be quitting any time soon.
If there was ever a time to quit, it would have been down 22-14 in the third already down two sets.
Hayes used a 9-1 rally to pull even before it ran out of gas, falling on back-to-back kills by Katie McKibbon and Jaci Carpenter.
Carpenter, a sophomore, came up big with a pair for the Celtics in the second set as they scored eight of the final 11 points to rally from behind.
“She passes really well, she plays really good defense … she’s a really good volleyball player,” Jerome coach Randy Cline said. “She leads our team in kills.”
Jerome used a 9-3 rally to take control in the first set, led by Kendall Poach with a pair of kills in that stretch.
“Jerome was able to keep about every ball up on their side,” Martin said. “We’d get a pretty good swing and they would get an awkward touch at the net and get the ball back up. They were able to get a good second-touch on their side … they just battered the ball all night long.”
Carpenter led with 12 kills and four aces, Poach added nine with four blocks, Shefali Sriniavasan had four aces and Lauren Gilbert added three to lead the Celtics (8-1, 5-1).
“One of our players (Lauren Gilbert) is milking (a hip injury), but she’s playing through it,” Cline said. “Kendall, our senior in the middle, does a great job for us. But, Jaci – at least right now for us – has been a go-to (player).”
Sydney Krewson had 10 kills and 13 digs, Mia Thompson had a team-high 20 digs, Kaiden Murphy led with four blocks, Becca Rocassin led with 18 assists to go with seven kills and Anna Johnson added 14 assists and seven kills for the Pacers (6-5, 3-3).
“I think Syd did a really nice job as far as the touches she had tonight,” Martin said. “She played really smart as far as her attacking. She’s a senior so you sort of expect that out of her.”
Next up, Hayes hosts Marion Harding in non-league play Saturday at 11:45 a.m.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.