First-year coach Jessica Miser is trying to get the Delaware Christian School girls volleyball team up to speed for a late-season push.

First-year coach Jessica Miser is trying to get the Delaware Christian School girls volleyball team up to speed for a late-season push.

The Eagles followed two opening losses with three consecutive wins, but then lost four of their next five.

"We've struggled to get everyone playing well on the same day," Miser said. "We've been in a bit of a slump recently. Our passing was strong to begin the season, but we haven't been reading the block well lately. It's a matter of us reading the block and getting down low with our passing. That gives you more reaction time for to make the pass."

The Northside Christian match last Thursday signaled the scheduled start of the second round of MOCAL play, although the Pacers have yet to play Tree of Life.

The Eagles will play league matches Tuesday at home against Grove City Christian and Thursday at Fairfield Christian. They beat both in the first round.

"We have played well at times, all of the girls have, but we haven't played well all on the same day," Miser said. "We've been inconsistent. The girls have shown improvement in a couple areas. The communication has been good, the girls have gotten more comfortable in their new positions and they're serving a whole lot better."

Delaware Christian, which will play host Saturday to Village Academy and Granville Christian, has received strong play from middle-hitter Jackie Miser and setter Mary Zimmerman. According to coach Miser, those two have been the most consistent and reliable players thus far.

•After opening 4-1, the boys soccer team lost its next three games by a combined 20-0.

That stretch of games, though, included three of the four toughest tests the Eagles will face all season. They were beaten by Hartley 7-0 on Sept. 6, Grandview 6-0 on Sept. 9 and Tree of Life 7-0 last Tuesday. The other big challenge will be Oct. 2 at Worthington Christian.

"We're pretty disappointed by the last three games," coach Aaron Welsh said before his team played Village Academy to a 1-all tie last Thursday. "But it does help the kids realize the work we need to put into this to be more competitive against those top-tier teams."

Perhaps the most disappointing thing for Welsh was the way the Eagles responded under pressure in those losses.

"In a couple of those losses we came out strong and even had some shots on goal early," he said. "Then we'd give up a couple of goals, have some mental lapses, lose confidence and fall apart. It's become a mental issue, a confidence issue."

Delaware Christian, which also played Gilead Christian last Saturday, is 2-1 in the MOCAL entering Tuesday's home game against Madison Christian.

"We beat Madison 3-0 last year, but they were very young and so I know this will be a tough one for us," Welsh said. "They gave Tree of Life a tough game this year. I think that's good for the league, to have teams other than Tree or us near the top and playing strong."

In an effort to find more scoring opportunities during the losing streak, Welsh tinkered with the lineup.

"We moved Austin up front to give us more punch, but that weakened us in the center midfield," he said. "Austin can score, but we had trouble getting him the ball. With him at center-mid, he gets the ball to us up front, but we haven't been able to finish."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Delaware Christian volleyball and soccer teams:

VOLLEYBALL

Sept. 8 -- Defeated Marion Catholic 25-18, 25-10, 25-22

*Sept. 9 -- Lost to Madison Christian 25-18, 25-11, 25-23

*Sept. 11 -- Def. Gahanna Christian 25-20, 25-17, 25-14

Sept. 13 -- Lost to Gilead Christian 25-18, 23-25, 25-8, 25-19

Last Tuesday -- Lost to Shekinah Christian 25-8, 25-23, 25-15

*Last Thursday -- Lost to Northside Christian 30-28, 15-25, 25-20, 25-22

Last Saturday -- Played Liberty Christian

*Tuesday -- Home vs. Grove City Christian

*Thursday -- At Fairfield Christian

Saturday -- Home vs. Village Academy and Granville Christian

*Sept. 30 -- Home vs. Tree of Life

*Oct. 2 -- At Madison Christian

Oct. 4 -- At Mansfield Temple

Of note: The Eagles were 4-6 overall before last Saturday and are 3-3 in the MOCAL before last Thursday.

SOCCER

Sept. 6 -- Lost to Hartley 7-0

Sept. 9 -- Lost to Grandview 6-0

Sept. 15 -- Game against Wellington postponed. No makeup date has been announced.

*Sept. 16 -- Lost to Tree of Life 7-0

Last Thursday -- Tied Village Academy at 1

Last Saturday -- Played Gilead Christian

*Tuesday -- Home vs. Madison Christian

Friday -- Home vs. Mansfield Temple

Sept. 30 -- Home vs. Gahanna Christian

Oct. 2 -- At Worthington Christian

Of note: The Eagles were 4-4-1 overall before last Saturday and are 2-1 in the MOCAL.

*MOCAL contest