The Hilliard Darby High School girls volleyball team finally got its first win, defeating Watkins Memorial 25-9, 25-17, 25-15 on Sept. 17 after losing its first six matches.

The Hilliard Darby High School girls volleyball team finally got its first win, defeating Watkins Memorial 25-9, 25-17, 25-15 on Sept. 17 after losing its first six matches.

The Panthers were 2-9 overall before playing Bradley last Tuesday and are 0-6 in the OCC-Central Division.

"The games we've played really well in have been the games where we're scrappy, fighting for every ball and giving 100 percent effort," coach Megan Ballinger said. "Unfortunately, it seems we pick and choose when to do that, and that's been a struggle for us this year.

"It comes down to mental toughness and having a competitive drive 100 percent of the game. That's something we need to work on. We're trying to light a fire in the girls to accept nothing but the best. We have the ability to work hard on every point; we just have to decide to do it."

Ballinger believes the Panthers have done well with a challenging schedule.

"We're in a very competitive conference and we play some very good teams, and we have battled closely with a lot of those teams," she said. "I think what it comes down to is those teams are just making less errors than we are. Our attacking error percentage is quite high, as well as our blocking percentage. From a numbers standpoint, those are the things other teams are doing that we're not."

The schedule provides no relief for Darby, which plays host to Upper Arlington today and Dublin Coffman on Tuesday in OCC-Central matches. The Panthers lost to the Golden Bears 14-25, 25-12, 27-25, 21-25, 15-8 on Sept. 8 and fell to the Shamrocks 25-10, 25-15, 25-16 on Sept. 10. Coffman was third in the Division I state poll released Sept. 19, behind Cincinnati Ursuline Academy and Toledo St. Ursula Academy.

"We go into every game with a plan of what to do and what to work on and we're trying to translate that into wins," Ballinger said. "Another challenge we've had is, we'll have a great practice but haven't followed it up with a great game. That's what happened in (a 26-24, 25-17, 25-16 loss to Worthington) Kilbourne (on Sept. 24)."

Davidson lost to Delaware -- a team that's been hovering around .500 -- 25-22, 25-16, 25-21 on Sept. 23, but coach Betty Cameron wasn't too concerned about the loss, given that injuries have forced the Wildcats to shuffle their lineup. As a result, four players have been playing new positions.

"We've been down two starters, so to go 4-2 in our last six matches while moving people around, I thought we did well," Cameron said. "Delaware played much better in that game than the beginning of the season. And we won both of our OCC matches in that time, so that was good also."

The two starters who have been out of the lineup are libero Lindsey Sumrell and outside-hitter Ashton Krajewski. Sumrell was expected to return to action this week, but the status of Krajewski, who suffered a knee injury in a 25-21, 25-23, 25-19 loss to Dublin Coffman on Sept. 15, remains uncertain. Cameron hopes to have Krajewski, who was expected to visit a doctor early this week, back soon.

In the absence of Sumrell and Krajewski, setter Julie Shives, a Central Crossing transfer, has helped lead the team, Cameron said.

"Julie's really been doing well and performing solidly in our every day matches," Cameron said.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for Bradley, Darby and Davidson volleyball teams:


*Sept. 22 -- Defeated Watkins Memorial 25-19, 22-25, 25-10, 25-22 *Sept. 24 -- Def. New Albany 25-20, 21-25, 25-19, 25-13 Last Saturday -- Lost to Upper Arlington 25-20, 25-19; def. Westerville South 25-13, 25-12 Last Tuesday -- Played Darby *Today -- Home vs. Big Walnut Saturday -- At Worthington Kilbourne vs. Groveport and Kilbourne *Tuesday -- At Mount Vernon

Of note: The Jaguars were 12-3 overall before last Tuesday and are 7-1 in the OCC-Capital.

*OCC-Capital match


*Sept. 22 -- Lost to Davidson 25-22, 25-19, 25-18 *Sept. 24 -- Lost to Worthington Kilbourne 26-24, 25-17, 25-16 Last Saturday -- Def. Fairbanks 25-19, 21-25, 25-19; lost to Fredericktown 25-19, 25-23; lost to Benjamin Logan 23-25, 25-12, 25-15 Last Tuesday -- Played Bradley *Today -- Home vs. Upper Arlington *Tuesday -- Home vs. Dublin Coffman

Of note: The Panthers were 2-10 overall before last Tuesday and are 0-6 in the OCC-Central.


*Sept. 22 -- Def. Darby 25-22, 25-19, 25-18 Sept. 23 -- Lost to Delaware 25-22, 25-19, 25-18 *Last Tuesday -- Played Thomas Worthington Today -- At Lancaster *Tuesday -- Home vs. Worthington Kilbourne

Of note: The Wildcats were 11-5 overall and 4-1 in the OCC-Central before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Central match