DARLINGTON – The Darlington Redbirds didn’t let this week’s showdown with SWAL-leading Cuba City distract them from the task at hand on the volleyball court last week as they rose up to defeat SWAL frontrunners Southwestern, 3-0, and Iowa-Grant, 3-1, in tough back-to-back matches.
The Lady Redbirds improved to 12-6-1 overall on the season and 6-1 in the SWAL with the victories heading into Tuesday’s match at Cuba City (6-0).(The results of this match were not available at press time.”
Darlington opened last week by sweeping the Wildcats (4-2), 25-21, 27-25, 25-11, at home on Tuesday. Sept. 19.
“We really played solid defense against Southwestern and showed a lot of hustle. Nothing dropped on our side of the floor. Our serving also got us some big points at key times in the match,” said Darlington head coach Jennifer Schwartz, noting her Redbirds served at 92 percent as a team on the night.
Senior Kennedy Rankin led the ‘Birds with nine kills, five aces and three blocks, while junior setter Roxi Reuter handed out 18 assists and served up three aces.
Senior Gabby Steiner distributed 13 assists as well with senior Chelsie Golackson registering six kills and junior Casey Glendenning adding three aces for Darlington in the win.
The Redbirds had another battle on their hands on Thursday. Sept. 21, when they travel to Iowa-Grant and defeated the host Panthers (3-3), 25-23, 25-15, 24-26, 25-15, in a key SWAL match.
“I was proud of the way we pulled together against Iowa-Grant. We were a little tired with the heat last week and a hard-fought, very fast-paced match against Southwestern a couple of nights before,” Coach Schwartz pointed out.
“All of my girls contributed in a big way. When someone got down, there was always someone there to pick them up and give them a little break. I was proud of the way we came together as a team and, going forward into the second half of our season, these hard-fought emotional and physical matches will only benefit us.”
Rankin led the team at the net once again with a team-best 10 kills, and junior Kathleen Mathias added another six kills in the victory.
Reuter tallied 13 assists and Steiner chipped in with nine to keep the offense flowing, while Golackson and Glendenning served up two aces apiece for the ‘Birds.
Darlington hosts Riverdale in a SWAL match on Tuesday, Oct. 3.
Southwestern……… 21 25 11
Darlington………….. 25 27 25
Darlington Leaders– Kills: Kennedy Rankin 9, Chelsie Golackson 6. Blocks: Rankin 3. Aces: Rankin 5, Roxi Reuter 3, Casey Glendenning 3. Assists: Reuter 18, Gabrielle Steiner 13.
At Darlington on Tuesday, Sept. 19
Darlington………... 25 25 24 25
Iowa-Grant……….. 23 15 26 15
Darlington Leaders– Kills: Kennedy Rankin 10, Kathleen Mathias 6. Aces: Chelsie Golackson 2, Casey Glendenning 2. Assists: Roxi Reuter 13, Gabrielle Steiner 9.
At Livingston on Thursday, Sept. 21