DELANO – Just a handful of years ago, Delano’s Corby Menz and Grace Danielson were sitting in the bleachers watching the Delano volleyball team on youth night. Flash forward to Tuesday night, and those two were the ones on the floor playing in the big matchup in front of the young fans. Menz and Danielson put on a show for their fans, leading Delano to a 3-0 (25-18, 25-14, 25-15) win over Becker Tuesday night.
“You could hear them celebrating when we won,” Menz said about playing in front of the future Tigers. “It’s just so hard to think that that was us like six years ago. It’s cool to be playing for those little girls that we used to be.”
Menz and the rest of the Tigers knew how important a night like tonight was. When Delano coach Becca Rue talked to them before the game, the message was clear.
“Before the match, I told the girls that they are huge role models to all these little girls,” Rue said. “I just want them to leave wanting to be like you guys when they’re older.”
Delano played one of their most complete games of the season on their way to securing the sweep. Coming off a loss to Southwest Christian despite playing well, the Tigers kept their momentum rolling into their matchup with the Bulldogs.
“I thought we played really well against Southwest Christian,” Rue said. “We took the first set and then we were right there in the second set. I thought that was some of our best serve/receive and defense. This is the time of year we want to be playing our best. I feel like even that loss was a confidence booster. They just carried it over to tonight.”
“Southwest Christian was a good test,” Menz added. “We definitely could have done some things better in that match. Taking that first set was a great goal and accomplishment for this team. This week, our goal was just to play hard, be aggressive, and be loud. That’s what we did.”
Delano did just that against Becker keeping them off balance all game long at the net. With a rowdy group behind her, Danielson had everything working for the Tigers as all her weapons were firing on all cylinders.
“We wanted to push ourselves,” Danielson said. “Our communication got so much better from last week.”
“She’s a really smart setter,” Rue added about Danielson. “She kind of knows when someone is on and she keeps going to her. She does a good job of mixing it up. She’s not easy to read so that’s a strength for her.”
The energy and chemistry for the Tigers were on full display in the win. That’s something that will be the key for them going forward as they look to finish the regular season strong heading into the postseason.
“That just helps that we all have such a great friendship with one another,” Menz said. “We can be goofy during timeouts and between sets and that just helps us that much more on the court because we have that much chemistry when we’re playing together. We can trust one another.”
“Even if someone is having a bad game, we’re all just dancing and having a good time,” Danielson added. “It helps forget about it. I think we’re a hard team to beat when we get a first pass side out. Our offense is strong and we have threats all over.”
With just four games left in the regular season, Delano knows how important it is to keep the momentum rolling to make the postseason run they want.
“Lots of energy,” Rue said about what she’s looking for from her team. “When we communicate and have energy, our feet move and the ball doesn’t drop. Ultimately, at this point of the season, the team that lets fewer balls drop is going to win. That’s what we’re looking for down the stretch.”
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