Darlington Volleyball Holds off Lake City
By: Don Gearhart
The Darlington Lady Falcons did not start out as gracious hosts to the Lady Panthers from Lake City. Darlington jumped out to a 6-1 lead on the strength of a superior attack at the net and consistent serving. In what could best be described as defensive volleyball, Lake City seemed content to just receive serve and bump the ball to the Lady Falcons side of the net. As Darlington began to make unforced errors, the visitors climbed back into the first set and were trailing by just one with the scoreboard showing a 15-14 score. On the strength of three straight service aces from Jada Dargan, Darlington increased their lead to 20-15. The Panthers closed to within two at 22-20 before Darlington finished strong and ended the set with a service ace from Kaitlyn Carpenter for the 25-20 win.
Carpenter led the Lady Falcons with four assists. Amber Tallent and Carpenter had four kills apiece. Lynsey Tiller and Camile Patterson supported with four digs each; Carpenter and Dargan led with three service aces.
Darlington fell behind 1-4 to start the second set, but tied it a 6-6 on Dargan’s service ace. Lake City then put the Lady Falcons behind again at 8-12. A service ace from Carpenter capped a four point run to tie the match at 12-12. From that point on, Darlington regained the lead and the closest Lake City would get was 23-19 before a block from Tallent punctuated the final score at 25-19.
Carpenter again led the Lady Falcons offense with five assists. Patterson had four kills and Aireal Belin chipped in with two kills. Cynthia Bass scrambled to collect ten digs while Belin chimed in with nine saves. Carpenter garnered five service aces and both Dargan and Patience Euten chipped with two apiece.
After starting the third set with two service aces from Euten, Darlington fell behind by a 5-6 score. They briefly regained the lead at 9-8 on a kill from Dargan. However, unforced errors saw the Lady Falcons fall behind and the closest they came was 13-15 on the way to a Panthers victory at 19-25.
Carpenter had three assists, Patterson and Dargan had two kills, Bass had six digs, Tiller 4 digs, and Euten contributed three service aces.
It was all Lake City in the fourth set as they started out leading 8-1. Darlington closed the gap to 14-16 but never did recover and lost by the identical 25-19 score.
Carpenter collected seven assists, Patterson had five kills, Dargan had three kills, Reese Morgan led with ten digs, Tiller chipped in with five, Bass and Dargan each had four digs.
With the sets tied at 2-2, it was extremely important for Darlington to start strong in the fifth and deciding set with the match winner decided by the first team to score 15 points and have a 2-point advantage. The Lady Falcons did just that thanks to opening with three straight service aces from Carpenter and built and early 4-0 lead. They improved their lead to 9-2 and although Lake City closed the score to 10-8, the Lady Falcons prevailed by a 15-9 final score with the game and match winner coming from a Patterson service ace.
Carpenter led with two assists, Dargan and Paterson each had two kills, Morgan, Patterson and Bass collected three digs apiece, Carpenter led with three service aces while Euten added two and Patterson had the one that counted to end the match.
With the win, Darlington raised their record to 3-3 and 3-0 in the Region.