By: Joe Blystone
DELTA – There is no doubt that Fayette is an improved volleyball team, but Heather Carrisalez Delta Panthers came at the Eagles from all sides and in multiple personnel in a 25-11, 25-16, 25-8 win to open the 2023 season for both teams.
“We have been trying to run some faster pace games and trying to speed it up more this year,” Carrisalez said after the win.
“I have eight seniors this year and all of them can hit and all of them can pass, they are a great group of girls.”
The Eagles took a 4-2 lead early on Kayla Sliwinski’s crossing shot and a Demi Storrs ace.
The Panthers came right back with a pair of Jasey Spiess kills, Sydney Churchill’s flat foot point and ace, then a third Spiess left side shot for a 7-5 margin.
Fayette came back to knot the game at 7-7 with the help of Zoie Brown’s pop from the middle but the Panthers countered with five straight led by a couple of Spiess’ aces and a 12-7 lead.
Olivia Turi’s kill from the middle and three Fayette hitting errors opened allowed Delta to double the game at 16-8, then Olivia Smith scored from the net, Kate Friess got a right-side marker and Spiess put down two more for a 25-11 first set win.
“Jasey is a great outside hitter,” exclaimed Carrisalez. “She’s consistent, she knows how to fix her mistakes. She can pass, she can serve, she does it all.”
The second set belonged to Mariah McGarry to start as the junior hitter had two kills and the same number of aces as the Panthers went up 7-2.
Fayette closed to 7-5 on Hannah Towns-Hall’s bullet from the left but Turi’s rejection at the net helped Delta go back up five at 10-5.
Towns-Hall scored three more times to keep Fayette in contention, but Spiess and Friess each got two to offset the Eagles senior and make it 19-12.
Willow Mitchell’s dump set got Fayette as close as 20-14 before Smith’s dunk, right siders from Churchill and Friess, then a push from Spiess ended the second set.
The third was a relay of Delta aces that included eight in all. Friess started off with four in a 6-0 run. Smith, Churchill, Turi then Ashlyn Lamb recorded points off the serve in the third set romp.
“We have been working on spot serving a lot,” Carrisalez said of the barrage of aces. “We have been adjusting from last season and trying to get rid of those serving errors. It’s hard to receive a good serve.”
Delta d. Fayette 25-11, 25-16, 25-8
Delta (1-1) – no statistics reported
Fayette (0-1) – Demi Storrs: 8/8 serving, 12/16 serve receive; Hannah Towns-Hall: 9/11 serve receive, 14/17 hitting; Kayla Sliwinski: 11/13 hitting, 7 digs, 7/7 serving, 10/13 serve receive; Kelsie Storrs: 13 digs, 8/8 serving
Junior Varsity: Delta, 2-0
Joe can be reached at email@example.com