SECTION 6AAA VOLLEYBALL: Delano opens postseason play with sweep of Jordan

DELANO – There’s a cliche in sports that it’s hard to beat a team three times. The Delano volleyball team knew all about that.

Taking on the Jordan Jaguars in the first round of the Section 6AAA Tournament, the Tigers knew things wouldn’t come easily as they overcame a shaky start and responded in a big way to pick up a 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-19) win on their home floor Wednesday night.

“We played them early in the season so we knew they were going to have some improvements and do some different things because they knew what to expect from us,” Delano coach Becca Rue said. “We did a good job of serving tough. Our defense was really good and if we get in system, we’re really hard to stop.”

Delano found themselves trailing 11-5 early in the opening set of the night. Coming out of a timeout, the Tigers turned things around in a big way. They scored 20 of the final 27 points as they took control of the match and grabbed a 1-0 lead over the Jaguars.

“I think we just kind of needed to settle in,” Rue said “I feel like we were never in panic mode but just needed to get the jitters out. They knew it was their last home match. They just wanted to do their best and sometimes that makes you a little tight. I thought they did a really good job of relaxing after that and playing Delano volleyball.”

After rallying in set one, Delano kept the momentum rolling in set two. The Tigers jumped out to a 12-3 lead and never looked back to take a commanding 2-0 lead over Jordan.

“You could just see the confidence kept growing and growing,” Rue said. “Even though that third set was kind of back and forth, I just feel like the demeanor of the girls was they knew they were in control. I liked that they stayed calm and collected.”

With the win, the Tigers advance to the Section 6AAA semifinals. Delano will take on No.1 New Prague for a trip to the section title game Friday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. at New Prague High School.

“We haven’t played them this year since they’re not in our conference anymore,” Rue said. “We knew they have something we’re not really used to, which is two lefty hitters. Tomorrow we’ll just make sure we work on a few things that they do. Hopefully, we bring our best game. I really think in this section the top four teams are really strong. On any given night, it can be anybody’s game. That’s what is kind of fun about it.”

Follow Kip Kovar on Twitter – @Kovar_HJSports

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