When the ball comes off Lyssi Snouffer’s hand, it’s like a bullet coming out of a gun.
The Delaware Christian junior volleyballer is about as well-rounded as one can be in the sport.
She has the reaction time and athleticism to be able to handle the back row, the finesse to be a setter and the power to be an outside hitter. She couples that power with enough finesse to keep opposing defenses on their toes.
It was fitting that she displayed that power to pick up her 1,000th-career kill in the second set of the Eagles’ straight-set loss at Delaware Hayes in non-league play Saturday morning in Delaware.
She joked afterwards that DCS coach Jackie Boggs told her teammates to stop setting her in the Eagles’ previous game – a win over Granville Christian Thursday night.
They wanted her to get the record at Hayes.
“It’s close to home,” Snouffer said. “I’m very excited, obviously, for the 1,000 kills. I’m grateful and thankful for that.”
There’s history to the historical milestone after all. Snouffer’s grandfather Richard was the principal at Hayes from 1966 to 1982 and her father Chet, a graduate, served as the school’s gymnastics coach from 1979 to 1999.
“It actually means a lot because he was the principal here for a while and the Snouffer’s are all from Delaware,” she said. “All three siblings I have went to Delaware Christian, but we always loved playing Delaware Hayes because it’s close to home, it’s the local high school and it’s always fun going against a D-I school.”
Boggs was already focused on Snouffer’s next individual goals.
“She got it today, so now that it’s over with and done she can move on to 1,500 because that’s happening,” Boggs said. “It will happen.”
“Oh, my – she’s got high hopes,” Snouffer said.
Snouffer is 25 digs away from her 1,000th, which will probably happen soon.
“I think she’s one of the best players in Central Ohio,” Boggs said. “It’s pretty amazing that she has it this early in her career. She’s an all-around player. We rely on her too much sometimes, but I think she handles it well.
Hayes’ Emily Gray had a standout second set at the serve with a couple of aces and another that led to an error on three consecutive points.
Her strategy was simple – hit it where they ain’t. More specifically: hit it where Snouffer ain’t.
“I wasn’t hitting it at Lyssi,” Gray said. “We play club together on the same team – so, I didn’t hit it to her. I try to aim so that I don’t hit it right at them. I want to hit to their side, so that they have to move.”
That was pretty much the Pacers’ strategy according to Hayes coach Raynard Martin, whose team won 25-17, 25-17, 25-19.
“(Snouffer) is a great player – it was really cool to see her get her 1,000th today,” he said. “We had to keep the ball away from her for us to succeed today. Anytime they got her the ball – good things usually happened (for them).”
The Pacers served up 12 aces as a team, led by Sydney Krewson with five. Gray and Anna Johnson had two apiece.
Becca Rocassin had eight kills, nine assists and two blocks, Johnson finished with 13 assists and eight digs, Mia Thompson added 14 digs, Krewson dug out 11 balls and Kaiden Murphy had a pair of blocks to lead the Pacers (11-5), who picked up their fifth straight victory.
“When our passing is that consistent – you can do a lot offensively,” Martin said. “We served them tough and kept them out of system. When you can do those two things – good things happen.”
While Boggs was thrilled for Snouffer’s achievement, she couldn’t help but be disappointed with the team’s result.
“It’s too bad because we are pretty talented and I know we can play with them,” she said.
Snouffer and Sloane Dellipoala led the Eagles (9-7) with five kills and three blocks apiece.
Dellipoala landed awkwardly and suffered an ankle injury in the third set.
“Sloane played one of her best games of the season,” Boggs said. “She blocked well and hit well. I hope we don’t lose her for too long.”
Snouffer also led with 13 digs and three blocks and Grace Williams helped out with 10 digs and seven aces.
Next up, both teams return to league play Tuesday night. DCS hosts Northside Christian in MOCAL action, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Hayes visits Dublin Scioto in OCC-Cardinal play at 6:45 p.m.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at [email protected]