Delaware Hayes Roundup: Team-first approach paying off for volleyball squad

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group
Delaware’s Chloe Jeffers plays the ball as teammates Madison Salyers (14) and Anna Johnson (3) look on during a match at Canal Winchester on Sept. 15. The Pacers were 12-5 overall and 8-3 in the OCC-Capital Division after defeating Westerville South 25-13, 25-12, 25-17 on Oct. 6.

The Delaware Hayes girls volleyball team surpassed its 2019 win total Oct. 6 with five matches remaining in the regular season.

The Pacers defeated Westerville North 25-27, 25-14, 25-15, 25-21 on Oct. 5 to tie last year's victory total and then beat Westerville South 25-13, 25-12, 25-17 the next day to improve to 12-5 overall and 8-3 in the OCC-Capital Division. 

Delaware went 11-13 overall and 5-9 in the OCC-Cardinal last season.

“We’ve been working a lot on our mindset and our mentality going into games and I think it’s really starting to show with our play,” said setter Chloe Jeffers, who had 11 aces, 58 kills, 231 assists and 190 digs through 16 matches.

“I’ve been really pleased with our effort at times,” coach Raynard Martin said. “We’ve competed really well against some good teams.” 

The win over South was the Pacers' ninth in 10 matches. Their only loss during that stretch was 17-25, 19-25, 11-25 against Thomas Worthington on Sept. 23. 

“We just have to come out ready to play,” Martin said. “Just have that sense of urgency from the very first point and stick with it the whole time.” 

The Pacers, who will learn their Division I district tournament draw Sunday, Oct. 11, know that teamwork will be the key to their postseason success.

“I think if we all individually focus on what we need to do and the basics of volleyball more than the crazy parts and getting caught up in all the moments, then we would be more successful,” said middle hitter Bailey Christiansen, who had 100 kills, 41 blocks and 22 digs through 16 matches. “And we do remember that while we each have to complete our own tasks, we are on a team and we have to be mindful of one another and have faith and trust in each other that we’re each going to do our own jobs.

“I know sometimes we get caught up in the moment and kind of let emotions override the fundamentals, and I think if we can work on that we would get a lot more consistent.” 

The players believe the team’s bond has made the biggest difference in the Pacers’ overall improvement this season.

“I think the chemistry on the team is a huge part of how we play,” said libero Ally Gray, who had 15 aces, 43 assists and 310 digs through 16 matches. “Everybody on the team is so close, and I feel like anybody could come to anyone on the team for anything inside or outside volleyball.

“No matter what, we all know we have each other’s backs and I think that really affects how we play together on the court.” 

Jeffers agreed.

“We have such a close bond with each other,” she said. “If we just keep working on our mentality and trusting each other we’ll get better.

“We are all playing together. If we all want the same thing, we can go really far.”

The Pacers' Austin Dowell carries the ball against Dublin Scioto on Sept. 25. He completed seven of 15 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown and rushed 15 times for 68 yards and a score in a 49-28 loss to Canal Winchester on Oct. 2.

Football team

falls to Indians

The football team lost 49-28 at Canal Winchester on Oct. 2 to fall to 0-6 overall and finish 0-6 in the OCC-Capital. 

Quarterback Austin Dowell completed seven of 15 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown and carried 15 times for 68 yards and a score. 

Ty Gillman carried 22 times for 107 yards and a touchdown, and Logan Eubanks rushed nine times for 39 yards and a score. Armon Weaver caught two passes for 45 yards and a touchdown.

The Pacers amassed 326 yards of offense, but the defense surrendered 470 yards to the Indians. 

Delaware played at Newark on Oct. 9 and will play host to Mount Vernon on Friday, Oct. 16, if the Yellow Jackets are no longer in the Division II, Region 7 playoffs. 

Mount Vernon is seeded 16th and played 17th-seeded Canal Winchester in the first round Oct. 9. 

Runners prep for

OCC-Capital meet

The cross country teams will compete in the OCC-Capital meet Saturday, Oct. 17, at Westerville North. 

The girls team finished first (15) in section 2 of the Central Ohio Invitational on Sept. 19 at Three Creeks Metro Park, ahead of Olentangy Berlin (60), Hilliard Davidson (65) and Canal Winchester (119). 

The top eight finishers were all Pacers. Brynn McGrail finished first (20:38.9), ahead of Leila Bouziri (20:50.2), Lauren English (21:37.7), Rowan Hering (21:40.2), Miranda Gemberling (22:10.1), Danica Davelli (22:36.2), Mae Clark (22:53) and Julia Young (22:57.8). 

The boys finished fifth (118) behind champion Davidson (15). Chase McMahon (11th, 18:47.1) was Delaware’s top placer, followed by Ian Green (35th, 19:48.5) and Tim Bumgardner (36th, 19:48.8).

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