Delta cruises past DVC

Gabriel Agurcia

DVC volleyball was defeated by San Joaquin Delta in straight sets on Wednesday, Oct. 16.

DVC’s best result came in the first set.

Middle hitter Lindsay Wood placed a kill to Delta’s left corner, then had a huge block a few points later, cutting Delta’s lead to 5-4. However, Delta went off on a 7-0 run fueled by several Viking mistakes, forcing head coach Jackie Ponciano-Babb to call her first timeout.

The teams traded points out of the quick break, with a well-placed Kaitlyn Vaught shot and an Amanda Jarquin tip. The highlight of the set ensued.

Both sides combined for an amazing rally, where focus wasn’t broken even from the ball grazing the ceiling, hanging and spinning for what seemed like minutes. A few digs by each team and solid teamwork kept the rally going, before a Delta kill attempt went long, giving DVC the point.

But DVC couldn’t use momentum from the long-lasting point. Delta displayed a lot of power, notching several kills on the way to a 21-13 lead. They would take the set 25-16.

DVC started off well in the second set, jumping out to a quick 3-0 lead, and another Wood kill made it 4-1.

Outside hitter Claire Hannigan fired a kill to break up four consecutive Delta points. The match stayed close until unforced Viking errors and another Delta power surge pushed the Mustangs’ lead to 16-8. Ponciano-Babb called her third timeout to settle her players.

DVC once again brought intensity out of a timeout, with Jarquin getting her first kill.

The trend of the match was the rally, and long ones at that. Another lengthy one began after Jarquin’s kill, with DVC outlasting Delta to cut the deficit to 17-11.

“We try to tell them to stay in it, because you never know what’s gonna happen. Be the team that makes less errors,” Ponciano-Babb said of the bushel of rally.

However, the Vikings were on the wrong end of most rallies, although not for a lack of effort. More Delta power closed the set for them at 25-15.

The third set went relatively quick. DVC took another early lead at 4-2 with a Vaught ace and a Delta miscue. But the Mustangs immediately responded with a 7-1 run, once again broken up by a Hannigan kill.

The Vikings stayed competitive throughout the set, but Delta’s physical presence was just too much to overcome. Fittingly, a Delta kill closed out the final set 25-10, ending the match.

“There was nothing we could do with the block because No. 1 just hit it over us every single time. We tried to step in, and she would just hit around our defensive players,” Wood said of the plethora of Delta kills.

Although it wasn’t the result she wanted, she enjoyed seeing her young teammates maintain an energetic style of play.

“We have ebb and flow with our energy, so tonight was a good game, where our energy was constantly high,” Wood said.

Ponciano-Babb acknowledged how tough the match was, particularly in terms of size.

“When you have players that are six foot and above, we can’t compete against them, as far as height is concerned. So all we were trying to do was get our defense to come up a little more, to be able to try and read,” she said. “That’s what we’ve been getting them to do: read the ball more and decide where they need to go, based on what kind of ball is coming.”

She’s liked her squad’s resiliency and ability to compete at a high level, even when they’re chances of winning appear bleak. “In this particular type of match, when you know that you are outmatched, in terms of a physical presence, we can’t do anything about that. But we can control our effort, and keep playing together.”