The process of building a new program has been boiled down to its essence for Olentangy Berlin girls volleyball coach Dana Stearns.
She wants her team to focus on limiting mistakes and not beating itself more than focusing on the result of the match.
Well, the host Bears limited their mistakes and overcame a hard-charging Delaware Christian team in a 25-22, 25-22, 25-19 win in non-league play Saturday morning in Delaware.
“We are still focusing on controlling our own mistakes,” Stearns said. “This is a good test. I’m proud of our team every time we get a win because this year we’re going to be scrapping for absolutely every win that we get. So, it’s a good boost that we’re heading in the right direction and the girls are putting the pieces together.”
Lauren Young had four kills and a block in a rally that helped the Bears (3-7) build a 15-8 lead in the second set.
“Our goal is trying to get her the ball more because she’s stepping into that middle position – she’s kind of new at that position,” Stearns said. “We know that she’s a good hitter.”
But, Lyssi Snouffer reeled off six kills as DCS came storming back to take a 19-18 lead.
“I feel like she’s as good as any of the hitters we’ve seen this season,” Stearns said. “That’s a good test for us … to see if we can stop a player of that caliber.”
Berlin got a Young tip shot and a Taylor Walker kill before Heather Higgins sealed the set with an ace after another small spurt by the Eagles.
The first was a set of runs. Berlin ran off seven straight points to take a 7-3 lead. DCS came back with a 9-1 run to take a three-point lead before the Bears used another seven-point rally to gain the lead again.
Elise Brown and Megan Lenix each had a pair of aces to pace Berlin in both of its early runs and Snouffer led the Eagles’ comeback with three kills.
“We’ve worked a lot on not looking at mistakes we’ve made and moving on,” Brown said. “We do a lot of drills at practice about digging ourselves out of holes. We do a ton of serve receive so when we’re down – we’re able to get some passes up. We practice these situations so that we can come back in a game.”
Berlin built a nine-point lead in the final set using solid contributions from Lenix, Brown and Higgins.
The Eagles rallied to get as close as five, but the hole was too big.
“I thought our setters didn’t make the best decisions today,” DCS coach Jackie Boggs said. “But, they fought and didn’t let up. We were right there for the first two games and even made it a game in the third game. But, just bad decisions at the end (of sets).”
Snouffer finished with 19 kills and 14 digs, Maggie Broadfoot led with 17 digs and Grace Williams had 17 assists to pace the Eagles (6-4).
“I thought we got a lot of production out of our other outside Maggie Broadfoot,” Boggs said. “She was one of our best passers today.”
Both teams return to action tonight. DCS hosts Fredericktown at 6:30 p.m. and Berlin visits Mount Vernon at 6:45 p.m.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.