Having returned six starters, the Delaware Christian girls volleyball team is seeking to top last season when it went 16-10 overall, reached the Division IV district final and placed second in the MOCAL.

"We are strong at each position on the floor and we're looking forward to a great season," said 16th-year coach Jackie Boggs, whose team went 8-2 in the MOCAL last season to finish behind Shekinah Christian (10-0). "These girls will be fun to watch and coach this season. Our goal is to make another strong, or stronger, tournament run. We will need to communicate better and stop hesitating."

Senior outside hitter Lyssi Snouffer, a fourth-year starter who was named third-team all-state last season, is expected to lead the Eagles, who were 3-0 before playing Lakewood on Aug. 22 and Howard East Knox on Aug. 24.

Snouffer, who also was first-team all-district and league Player of the Year for the second season in a row a year ago, has committed to Cedarville.

"As Lyssi heads into her senior season, there are not enough words to describe what she means to the program," Boggs said. "She is a six-rotation outside hitter and is playing her best volleyball. She has a ton of help this year with two strong middle hitters coming back (in senior Allison Grover and sophomore Sloane Dellipoala)."

Grover was second-team all-league last season and Dellipoala was honorable mention all-league.

Also returning at outside hitter is junior Abby Blackburn.

"We're looking for Sloane to have a breakout season," Boggs said. "Allison and Sloane are both strong blockers and are able to contribute in our fast offense. Abby is our other outside. Her serve is tough and she is able to put the ball away on the offensive end and she is a six-rotation player."

Returning to run the Eagles' 6-2 offense are junior setter Erin Bauslaugh and sophomore setter Grace Williams, who was honorable mention all-district last year.

"Grace and Erin are running the offense well," Boggs said.

Sophomore Emma Rindfuss will anchor the defense at libero as junior returnee Nikki Snedden is out with an ACL injury. Snedden is expected to return later this season and serve as a defensive specialist.

Also on the roster are seniors Danielle Edwards (defensive specialist), Emily Kalb (defensive specialist), Abbi Maurer (right-side hitter/outside hitter) and Rachel Schneider (defensive specialist), junior Elizabeth Ringley (defensive specialist) and sophomores Lizzie Anderson (setter), Cami Dellipoala (outside hitter), Eden Marquis (setter) and Katie Neuhart (middle hitter).

The Eagles opened Aug. 17 by going 3-0 in a quad match at Centerburg, defeating the host Trojans 25-12, 25-21, Columbus Academy 25-20, 25-18 and Harvest Prep 25-5, 25-5.

Boys golf team starts strong

The boys golf team is out to a strong start in its third season.

The Eagles won their first four matches and then placed seventh (412) in the 14-team Licking Valley Invitational on Aug. 13 at The Virtues, where junior Nathan Stewart carded a 71 to earn medalist honors.

"Nathan is our top player," third-year coach Jonathan Smith said. "He is a consistent player and is strong in every aspect of the game. ... He understands the game and is great at making smart decisions and good recoveries out of tough places."

Stewart was a Division III district qualifier last season, tying for 19th (86) at Denison Golf Club after placed fifth in a sectional at Darby Creek with an 81. The Eagles finished fifth as a team at sectional.

Also back after competing in the postseason a year ago are seniors Pryce Johnson and Mitchell Smith and sophomore Dayne Johnson.

"Mitchell is our No. 2 player," coach Smith said. "He is a great leader on and off the course. He provides good support for his teammates and has continued to improve over previous years. We have yet to see what he is really capable of shooting. He is a really long hitter that will be even better when he can develop better consistency."

Also on the roster are seniors Jonah Bailey, Jayden Crane and Sam Rindfuss, sophomore Connor Beck and freshmen Aaron Brandon, Luke Hrynkow and Wesley Tankersley.

"Luke and Aaron are both new to the sport and have shown really solid improvement and growth in just the first few weeks of the season," coach Smith said. "I believe they will be really strong competitors in the next few years.

"We have great depth, but there will be a void when this senior class leaves. The goal is to continue to enhance a really young golf program and develop players. More importantly, we want them to grow in character and be men of integrity."

bemerine@thisweeknews.com

@Brad_ThisWeek

Schedules

Below are the coming schedules for the Delaware Christian boys golf and girls volleyball teams:

BOYS GOLF

Aug. 27 -- Crestline at Valley View

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

*Aug. 27 -- Home vs. Madison Christian

*League contest