Brittany Hess of Coughlin returns a serve during a volleyball game with Delaware Valley Monday.Don Carey/The Times Leader
WILKES-BARRE—The Delaware Valley girls volleyball team sent a message to the rest of the Wyoming Valley Conference on Monday that was loud and clear—it’s going to take a near perfect effort for anyone in the league to beat them.
Even though the Warriors weren’t on top of their game, they coasted to an impressive 3-0 victory over a feisty Coughlin squad that refused to give up. The scores were 25-10, 25-14, 25-16.
Delaware Valley (6-0) possesses arguably the best 1-2 punch in the WVC with 5-foot-10 bookend middle hitters Emily Dorko and Chelsea Malzahn.
Dorko, a first team Class 3A All-Stater last year, was nearly flawless. Dorko, a senior Jumpin Jack Flash with a 24-inch vertical leap, played above the net throughout the match. She had eight kills, three blocks, eight service points and four aces.
Every time that Coughlin (2-4) tried to put together a run, Dorko countered with a kill or a block.
“We didn’t play our hardest,” said Dorko. “We were slow and didn’t really move well. That may be because we didn’t practice the last two days.”
Malzahn, a potential star in the making, had six kills, four blocks and her service play was outstanding. She had 11 service points and six aces. Delaware Valley jumped out to 5-0 leads in games two and three behind Malzahn’s serves.
“I was just trying for accuracy,” Malzahn said. “I was looking for power. I wanted to keep them off balance.”
Dorko wasted no time making her presence felt. Her perfectly timed block gave the Warriros a 12-4 lead in game one, and she went high into the air for a kill that extended the margin to 12-6.
For all intents and purposes, Delaware Valley never looked back.
Delaware Valley coach Bridget Crawford is normally reluctant to single out one of her players, but heaped praise on Dorko. “She’s the most valuable player in the league.”
Despite being completely outmanned, Coughlin wasn’t without its moments.
The highlight of the match for the Crusaders occurred when Brittany Hess came up with a monster block against Del Valley’s 6-foot Corinne Negron in game three.
“I just saw her hitting from the net,” said Hess. “I got up in the air and she hit it right into my hands.”
According to Hess, the Warriors are one of the most talented teams in the league.
“They’ve got a lot of strong hitters,” she said. “They’re capable of beating anyone.”
Coughlin coach Ashlee Rubasky was pleased that her team maintained its poise.
“I’m very happy with our girls. They kept on fighting back and kept a positive outlook. Hopefully this match will serve as a confidence tuilder.”
Rubasky said Delaware Valley is a team without a weakness.
“They have great serving and hitting, and they’re very deep. They have the ability to be dominant.”
Brittany DeFosse also turned in a strong performance for the Warriors, notching 17 service points, four aces, three kills and two blocks.
Hess led Coughlin with 26 digs, two kills and one block, while Sarah Martin had 21 digs, one kill and one ace.