Whatever Evergreen gave away in the first set, the Vikings righted themselves in the next three to down Delta 25-27, 25-9, 25-11, 25-16 in Northwest Ohio Athletic League volleyball Tuesday at Evergreen.
To illustrate how much the Vikings gift wrapped the Panthers in the initial set, Delta’s first offensive point came when Khloe Weber nailed a back row attack for an 11-8 lead.
Lyla Nash drilled two kills and Sarai Gutierrez scored a dunk at the net to gain a 20-16 Viking lead, but Evergreen helped Delta regain the lead by knocking six attacks off the court and missing a serve for a 24-22 Delta lead.
Nicole Johnson scored to tie the set but a missed serve, a Sophie Burres ace, and another attack into the net by the Vikings handed Delta the set.
“That first set we obviously came out a little slow,” said Viking coach Nichole Thanasiu. “Before the second set we talked about what our jobs and responsibilities were and how to correct what happened in the first set.”
All wrongs from that abysmal opening set were righted over the next three sets.
Nash hammered two left-side wood-shattering kills, then tipped two more around Lydia Valentine’s ace to boost the Vikings up 9-3.
That lead grew to 16-4 as Ellie Johnson scored twice from the right, Nash got another from the opposite side and Valentine floated an ace into the black hole.
After Delta climbed back to 17-8, Brianna Sintobin stuck a right-side hit, then scored on a two-hand push and sophomore sister Brooke Sintobin slammed a dunk at the net for the set winner.
“We have a couple people out right now and we had one day to prepare with what we were missing and Brooke Sintobin really stepped up in a big way,” Thanasiu expressed. “Those two (Sintobin sisters) really enjoyed playing with each other and with the lineup working out that they are out there together for two rotations was definitely fun to watch.”
The characters were different, but the results the same in set three.
This time it was Nicole Johnson with a triplicate of early kills, Gutierrez with two more, along with another Nash rocket to the wood for an 11-3 edge.
Katie Friess’ ace hepled Delta back to 11-6 but behind Nicole Johnson the Vikings took off again as the senior scored three kills along with two aces. Marissa VanDenk scored an ace to set up Brianna Sintobin’s kill shot off the tape for the set ender.
Nicole Johnson had four more kills to start the fourth set, and Brianna Sintobin painted the back line with a second ball, two-hand push for a 10-3 beginning for the Vikings.
Friess scored twice at the net to bring the Panthers back to 11-8 but Brianna Sintobin’s push, Valentine’s ace and Gutierrez’ kill doubled up the Panthers at 16-8.
Jersey Irelan and Jessica Erd each scored twice for Delta, but those were countered by Nicole Johnson’s three kills, Brooke Sintobin’s swat at the net, and Nash’s cross-court kill to put Brianna Sintobin in position for yet another set-winner to end the match.
“Tonight was emotional because it was senior night,” explained Thanasiu. “And all four of our seniors played phenominal — especially Nicole Johnson in those last two sets.”
The Vikings travel to Otsego Saturday before returning to league play against Swanton on Tuesday.