Down 10-3 to Wauseon in the first set, an early timeout for Delta gave their coaches a chance to reinforce a pregame message and they fought back to win that game and the match, 25-19, 25-12, 23-25, 25-20 in NWOAL volleyball Tuesday.
“Delta blocked effectively and had more kills than we did,” said Wauseon coach Bill Blanchong on the difference between the two teams that night. “We had too many hitting errors and passing errors. Delta was the better team tonight.”
A Delta serving error gave Wauseon a 3-2 lead, then Wauseon’s Lexi Sauber followed with a block. There was a Panther hitting error, and Karli Penrod scored from the left side for Wauseon before an Indian hitting error ended their rally.
However, they got it going again as the Panthers committed a pair of errors, then Carys Grime knocked home two from the right side to force the Delta timeout in the first set.
“We’ve started a lot of our games like that this year,” said Delta coach Kelly Finnen. “And we talked about that going into the game – what we needed to do to beat Wauseon. That we need to stay in our game and keep our mental part of the game in check versus allowing them to make us respond to everything they do. After that timeout, we talked about that again, and they went back out there and they did exactly what they were supposed to do.”
Mary Miller got the Panther rally going with a shot down the middle and Kinsey Finnen followed from the left side. There were then two Indian errors, Emily Clifton’s ace, and a tip from Miller before Wauseon finally got a point. A pair of Indian miscues knotted the score at 11, then a pair of Kinsey Finnen kills gave Delta the lead and they would not trail the rest of the first set, taking it by a score of 25-19.
The Panthers carried that momentum over into the second set as they opened an 8-1 advantage.
A Wauseon serving error and a hitting error made it 2-0, Kinsey Finnen knocked down an ace, and Darian Elendt hit a shot that caught the back line before Sauber responded with a hit down the middle to put the score at 4-1.
The Indians then followed with two more errors, Elendt fired an ace and another Wauseon miscue made it 8-1. The Panthers never looked back from there, rollng to a 25-12 win to take a 2-0 advantage in the match.
Each team held minimal leads in the third set and with the score tied at 17, a pair of Panther miscues put Wauseon in front. Miller and Wauseon’s Faith Weber then traded kills, but a Delta error gave the Indians a three-point edge.
However, Delta responded with three straight points as Kinsey Finnen scored off the block, the Indians committed an error and Miller’s ace made it 21 apiece. Then, with it tied at 23, the Indians closed it out thanks to a Panther error and Sauber’s block.
“I was a little worried just because our team has been playing up and down all year,” said Kelly Finnen of the Indians winning the third set. “But, I was pretty confident that they (Wauseon) were playing with momentum tonight and we were doing a good job keeping them out of system.”
She would not have to worry much longer as her team erased an early deficit to take game number four.
Wauseon held the early advantage when a pair of Delta errors and Penrod’s tip at the net made it 5-2 in their favor. Then after a kill for Elendt and also an ace, a Panther serving miscue, Grime’s kill and a Panther hitting error made it 8-4.
The key point in the set came when the Panthers scored seven straight to take the lead, forcing an Indian timeout.
A Wauseon error started the rally, then Tatiana Ruiz fired an ace. Then there were a pair of Indian errors, Clifton’s had a shot from the left side, Ruiz’ added an ace and another Indian miscue gave the Panthers a 20-16 lead. They would roll to a 25-20 victory, taking the match in four sets.
Kinsey Finnen paced the Panthers with 15 kills, five aces and 12 digs; Miller fired 12 kills, three aces and five blocks; while Clifton recorded six kills and 13 digs.
Penrod finished with seven kills and four blocks for the Indians, while Sauber and Grime each had six kills.
Delta will now host Start Thursday in non-league action. Wauseon plays host to Bowsher.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010