It was hard to find drama in Delaware Christian’s straight-set victory at Berne Union in the second round of the Division IV volleyball district tournament Saturday in Sugar Grove.
The fourth-seeded Eagles overcame slow starts in the first and second sets and built a big lead in the third to earn a convincing win on the third-seeded Rockets’ home floor.
The most dramatic moments came late in the second set with the Eagles already at set point. Lyssi Snouffer tried to touch the ball over the net and it got caught, rolling along the top of the net before falling back onto the DCS side of the floor to keep BU alive.
Whitney Evans served up back-to-back aces to pull the Rockets within one. But, her third attempt hit the net, giving DCS a 25-23 win.
“I wasn’t too uncomfortable,” DCS coach Jackie Boggs said. “(But) I really didn’t want to go four with them on their home floor.”
The Eagles started 9-1 in the third and while BU threatened to get back into it, the Rockets never got closer than four as DCS turned in a 25-15 win.
“We’re such a close team that even when we’re not confident we try to build each other up,” said senior Maggie Broadfoot, who had back-to-back aces in the Eagles’ 9-1 start to the third. “We play for the Lord and we play for each other and that’s how we play against a team like that. We don’t focus on ourselves.”
Broadfoot also had a pair of kills and an ace during an 8-1 run in the first set that not only gave the Eagles the lead, but control on their way to a 25-16 victory to set the tone.
Snouffer, who led DCS with 19 kills and four aces and was second on the team with 16 digs, played a big part in keeping the Eagles afloat early in the first set. She had five kills early in the set and added four more in a set-clinching 5-0 run.
“She needed six kills to get 400 (for the season),” Boggs said. “She’s just had a really good season. What’s been so impressive about her – since we’ve been so up and down – is she’s been steady. It’s been fun to watch that.”
Nikki Sneddon led the Eagles (15-9) with 20 digs, Grace Williams had 13 assists, Abby Mauer added 11 helpers and tied Allison Grover with a team-high three blocks.
“It’s been fun to see different people step up,” Boggs said. “Grace has been really solid for us this year. Abby did well today (too) … she set a better ball today. Allison is just a really quiet player and when she’s on – she’s really good. She’s kind of a key for us to get to regionals. If she can keep doing what she’s been doing – I think we’re going to be OK.”
Natalie Holter had eight kills, Hannah Parker had six solo blocks and assisted on three others, Emily Blevins had 11 digs and Kaitlyn Fredrick had 15 assists to lead the Rockets (18-5), who were ranked 20th in the final Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association state poll.
“We thought we had a plan to stop Snouffer, but it didn’t work,” BU coach Mike Miller said. “She’s a good player and they’re well-coached. I’ve got (almost) everybody back … six juniors, four sophomores and a great incoming freshman class.”
DCS advances to the district semifinal where it faces second-seeded Shekinah Christian. The semi is Thursday night at 6 p.m. at Worthington Christian Middle School.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.