A quick post-game check of Archbold volleyball coach Debbie Culler showed a relieved smile and maybe not as high a blood pressure as she had some 75 minutes previously as her Blue Streaks fought off a multitude of first-set serving errors, then a mess of third-set miscommunications to knock off Delta 18-25, 25-15, 25-14, 25-18 in an NWOAL match at Delta Tuesday night.
“We did not have a clean and crisp game tonight,” stated Culler. “We really did not.
“But we did have sections of the game where we played very well so I know we are in the right direction. We will keep repping things in practice which is what we need. But sometimes, like early on tonight, it’s OK to remind the girls that they had better come to play.”
Brooklyn and Braelyn Wymer each scored at the net and Brooklyn Green added a block to give Delta an early 3-0 lead.
Carsyn Hagans’ shot from the right side put the Streaks up one but then came the series of misfires — six in all — that hindered Archbold in the first set.
“You wouldn’t know it, but we really did a lot of serving yesterday,” expressed Culler.
Addi Ziegler’s reverse tip knotted the score at 9-9, but a serve that was long, Reagan Rouleau’s push, Braelyn Wymer’s block and another Rouleau kill from the middle helped boost Delta to a 15-11 lead.
Hadley Galvan’s left-side kill got the Streaks back to 15-13 but three straight attacks that missed brought the Delta lead back to five.
Chaney Brodbeck stuck a shot down the sideline to make it 22-18 but another muffed serving chance and two more miscues ended the first set.
As stale as Archbold was in the first set, they became just as sharp in the second.
Hagans’ back-to-back shots gave the Streaks an early four-point lead.
That lead grew to 11-3 when Olivia Liechty scored on a left-side swing and then aced the Panthers, and Ella Bowman followed with a dunk off an overpass and a middle kill.
Rouleau tried to bring the Panthers back with two kills and two aces to make it 15-9 but Bowman blew away a lot of the first-set serving woes with four straight aces to help blast the lead to 21-9 and put the set away.
Delta broke away from a 4-4 tie in the third — thanks to Rouleau’s deep push and no less than three miscues by the Streaks.
However, again the Jekyll and Hyde like night turned back to the good side with the Panthers holding a 12-11 lead.
Hagans’ kill began an 8-0 run that included four aces from Brodbeck, Galvan’s first-ball bullet and Bowman’s slam from the middle for a comfortable 19-12 lead from where Archbold coasted to a 2-1 advantage.
Galvan’s athletic recovery kill of a bad set gave Archbold a 6-5 lead they never gave up in the deciding set.
The senior hitter also nailed a pair of aces while Bowman and Brodbeck each had one during a 12-3 salvo.
Brodbeck, Hagans, Bowman and Galvan each had kills during the assault that ended with a 21-10 Blue Streak lead.
“We have multiple threats,” explained Culler. “And it saves us many times. But you can’t run all those plays without a pass so I felt like our defense and serve receive wasn’t too shabby tonight; we can definitely improve on that but our next thing is our coverage. We probably have to make some tweaks on our covers.”
Rouleau had one more answer with a shot from the middle and a block to cut halfway through the Archbold lead but Ziegler scored for the second time of the night on an acrobatic reverse tip going left-to-right to put Archbold up 22-14, setting up Kiera Gensler’s game-clinching kill.
“She has been working on those tips,” Culler said of Ziegler’s moves at the net. “The best thing about Addi Ziegler is she reads the other side of the court. She knows what is happening over there and when you need her to step up and make those smart plays she’ll do it.”
Archbold moves to 3-0 in the NWOAL while Delta fell to 0-3.
Reach Joe Blystone at email@example.com