Beginning in 2016 when it won its first district championship, the Delaware Christian girls volleyball team has had the best four-year run in program history.
The Eagles reached a regional final in 2016. Then, after losing in a district semifinal in 2017, they lost to top-seeded Fairfield Christian 25-23, 25-16, 24-26, 25-16 in a Division IV district final a year ago as the fourth seed.
For the second year in a row, Delaware Christian saw its season end in a district final. The Eagles earned the No. 1 seed for the tournament but lost 25-19, 25-17, 26-24 to third-seeded Newark Catholic on Oct. 26 at Worthington Christian Middle School to finish 24-2 overall.
"We started this program a long time ago and (I've enjoyed) just seeing how far these girls have come from before when we couldn't compete with everyone and how they've turned it around," said Jackie Boggs, who completed her 16th season as coach. "It's fun to see how the program keeps progressing. All of our teams won their league and didn't drop a game, including the middle school, junior varsity and varsity. The girls love volleyball and believe in volleyball and just show up and practice all the time."
Delaware Christian, which made its sixth appearance in a district final, won the MOCAL championship by going 10-0 in league play. Shekinah Christian, last year's league champion, was runner-up at 8-2.
The Eagles are losing seven seniors, including three who have been key players since they were freshmen in outside hitter Lyssi Snouffer, middle hitter/right-side hitter Sloane Dellipoala and outside hitter/right-side hitter Abbi Maurer.
Against Newark Catholic, Snouffer had 11 kills, 10 digs, three blocks and one service ace, Dellipoala had seven kills, four blocks and two digs and Maurer added three digs and two blocks.
On the season, Snouffer led the Eagles with 355 kills, followed by Dellipoala with 218.
Juniors Erin Bauslaugh and Grace Williams, who shared setting duties in a 6-2 offense, had 352 and 400 assists, respectively, on the season.
Against Newark Catholic, Bauslaugh had four digs and one ace, Williams had nine assists and five digs and senior middle hitter Allison Grover contributed four kills, three digs and one ace.
Also against Newark Catholic, junior libero Nikki Snedden had 11 serves received, junior outside hitter Abby Blackburn had five digs and sophomore defensive specialist/outside hitter Emma Rindfuss had eight digs.
"There's definitely a pressure (playing in a district final)," Bauslaugh said. "As a Christian school, we play a lot of small schools in the MOCAL, so playing these big public schools in these big gyms with a big audience is definitely new. You have a sense of competition."
Others eligible to return include junior Elizabeth Ringley (defensive specialist) and sophomores Lizzie Anderson (setter), Cami Dellipoala (outside hitter/defensive specialist), Eden Marquis (setter) and Katie Neuhart (middle hitter/opposite).
"We had seven seniors, but our j.v. team was very strong also, so the future looks good," Boggs said. "We are going to miss our power hitters."