Lainey Darlage says volleyball is one of those sports where you have to make split-second decisions in the heat of a point.
The senior played in the front row for the Brownstown Central volleyball team.
Darlage said when the ball is coming to you from your setter, you have to make decisions on where you can attack opponents’ defense to have the best chance to score a point for your team.
“It takes really quick thinking,” she said. “If you see an opening you have to go for it and try to score.”
Darlage started her volleyball career in fourth grade at St. John’s Sauers Lutheran School
She played junior varsity her freshman and sophomore years at Brownstown, where she was an all-around player.
She then moved to outside hitter on both the right side and left side on the varsity the past two years.
Darlage said what makes the positions so different are the hitting angles from one end of the net to the other.
Whenever the Braves played at home, Darlage said she felt the team had an advantage.
“The home meets were a lot of fun,” Darlage said. “It’s just a really good feeling to play at home. You have your family there and the student section gets loud when you win. You can put on a show for the community.”
Outside of the fall, Darlage played club ball for one season, and she said working hard in the offseason is important in getting prepared for the season.
“Practice is very important,” she said. “You practice like you play. If you don’t work hard in practice you won’t work hard in games and that definitely shows in the games.”
Darlage said teamwork and communication are key parts of being successful in volleyball.
“They are both extremely important,” she said. “You need a good dig and a perfect pass to the setter, and when she makes a good set it makes my job (the hitter) easier.
“On the communication you need to call pass, the set and the hit it for it all to work together.
Darlage said it was always nice to win the first set and get a mental advantage on your opponent.
“Winning the first set is important. It sets the tone for the match. If you don’t win the first set you still have four more sets to win the match, but it’s nice to win the first game.”
She said that both athletics and academics made her experiences at Brownstown Central a positive experience.
“Brownstown is an extremely good school,” Darlage said. “The teachers are all really nice and willing to help you. It is a great atmosphere to be in. I’ve made a lot of friendships through sports. It is going to be a big part I’m going to miss. We get good support from the community. The inside jokes are funny, too.”
Name: Lainey Darlage
School: Brownstown Central High School
Parents: Andy and Lora Darlage
Siblings: Keeli and Luke
Sports: Volleyball, four years
Organizations: Spanish Club, Booster Club
Plans after high school: Attend Ball State, major in human resources
Favorite food: Mexican
Favorite TV show: “Friends”