Boys JV volleyball takes on Bradley

On Tuesday, May 8th the Hilliard Darby boys JV and Varsity volleyball teams took on rival Hilliard school, Hilliard Bradley. Both JV and Varsity hoped to continue their successful seasons at the match after Varsity earned their 18th consecutive OCC title this season. The JV team has also had a great season, going undefeated in conference games. JV went head to head with the Jaguars, coming away, after a hard fought battle, with a win in three sets.


  Bradley started off the game with the serve, but lost it quickly, allowing Darby to take and early lead. After gaining a lead of 14-4, Darby Junior Josh Salmons, had the serve. Salmons, with the aid of his teammates, managed to put the panthers ahead by another four points, making the score 18-4. At this point, struggling to regain their composure, Bradley called a timeout to try and break the serve. Despite their efforts to stop the panthers scoring streak, Darby managed to put up another two points while Salmons served.

 

  Darby’s hitting helped them gain an edge over their opponents as outside hitter, Darby Sophomore Griffin Csiszarik, put the panthers up 20-4 with an impressive kill down the line. Darby finally lost the serve after a six point serving streak by Salmons to make the score 20-5. Darby struggled with a few hitting errors but quickly got back into their rhythm, regaining the serve with a score of 21-7. Csiszarik was at the line to serve and started off strong with an ace. The next point was easily won by Darby as well with a block by setter, Junior Drew Geise and middle hitter, Sophomore Jared Kish, putting the panthers up 23-7. With the set close to its finish, outside hitter, Darby Sophomore, Michael Beard put the Jags out of their misery with a cross court kill to end the first set with a score of 25-8, Darby.   


  The second set was a bit rockier for the panthers. After Darby lost the first serve, Bradley was able to take an early lead of 1-7. Darby fought hard to stay in the game, but unfortunately Bradley was able to take a lead of 3-10, forcing Darby to call a timeout to help them regain their momentum. The pep talk seems to help the panthers as they regain the serve after a competitive volley to make the score 4-12.  Middle hitter, Freshman Sean Eppler, and outside hitter, Freshman Ron Violente both made a strong effort to help Darby keep the serve with some strong hits, however Bradley managed to make some great plays to stop the panthers. The panthers made a comeback to bring the final score to 20-25 Bradley, unfortunately losing the set by a small margin, sending Darby to a third set.


  Darby started off with the serve in the third set but lost it quickly, allowing Bradley to take a lead of 0-5 early in the game. Darby managed to break the serve with a cross court kill by Darby Sophomore Alex Pensyl from the outside. Bradley and Darby battled it out for a few points as Darby began to find their rhythm, with the help of their successful serve receiving and some great digs by libero, Sophomore Peyton Reed, bringing the score to 11-11.

  After a few serves back and forth, middle hitter, sophomore Liam Davis returned to the line to serve, score 12-13. Davis’ jump serve effectively threw the jags off their game and allowed Darby to take a significant lead of 19-12 before Bradley called a timeout. The Jags attempt to break serve failed as Davis continued to keep up his serving streak. Against Darby’s impeccable defense in the back row and powerful attacks at the net combined with Davis’ consistent serving, Bradley didn’t stand a chance. Davis served out the rest of the game, ending the match with an ace for a final score of 25-12, Darby.


  Davis’ serves greatly helped secure a panther victory, but Davis credited his team for their success on Tuesday.


  “Our team played great,” Davis said, “we stayed focused from point one to the end of the set and even when the other team put some pressure on us with some good plays we didn’t let balls hit the floor.”


Davis also applauded his teams serving on Tuesday, stating, “we served lights out and the other team really crumbled under that pressure.”


  Davis, as well as the rest of the JV team is excited about finishing out the season strong and and showing that they are able to compete against some top level teams.

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