The powerful hitting and serving of Delphos St. John’s eventually proved to be too much for Van Wert Tuesday evening, the Jays winning 25-17, 23-25, 25-18, 25-18. St. John’s is now 3-4. Van Wert is 2-7.
The first set started with a flurry of Blue Jay errors, allowing the Cougars to pull out to a 5-1 lead. That, however, was not at all indicative of things to come. Led by the powerful blasts of senior Melanie Koenig, Delphos battled back to take the lead at 8-7, and that was only the beginning. The home team led by as much as nine at 22-13 and 23-14 before winning it 25-17.
Van Wert had struggled mightily handling the Blue Jay serves in set one, but Van Wert improved that significantly in set two, which proved to be a dandy.
With the Cougs up 8-6, Koenig ripped three straight kills to start a 5-0 Jay run and grab an 11-8 lead. A kill by Delphos senior Abby Buettner had the home team up 15-12, but Van Wert, led by the hitting of senior Jaylyn Rickard, scored five straight to lead 17-15. A hitting battle ensued, led by two Jays — Koenig and sophomore Mia Conley — and two Cougars — Rickard and junior Mariana Ickes. There were ties at 21, 22, and 23 before a Rickard kill and a Delphos hitting error gave the set to Van Wert 25-23.
Set three was another close one until the final few points. There were nine ties before the Jays took their first lead at 17-16 on a block by Buettner. Koenig and Buettner continued the onslaught, and St. John’s ended the set with a 9-2 run for a 25-18 win.
Van Wert never led in set four but stayed within striking distance until late. St. John’s led 10-4 before some solid Cougar defense and a rash of Blue Jay errors resulted in an 8-3 Van Wert run to get within 13-12. Behind Koenig and Conley, however, Delphos pulled away from there and won it 25-18.
Rickard led Van Wert in kills with 17; Ickes was second with 7. Junior libero Carlee Young was tops in digs with 13. Sophomore setter Finley Foster had 26 assists.
Individual stats for Delphos St. John’s were not available at press time.
Van Wert (4-5) won the jayvee match 25-21, 25-15. The St. John’s jayvees are now 3-4.
Original article courtesy of Times Bulletin