The Indian River varsity volleyball team set some goals at the beginning of the season but the main thing was to win the Southern Division and to regain respectability. The Lady Indians have won three of their last five matches, putting them in prime position to win the division.
Wins over Delmar and Lake Forest would ensure the Lady Indians will win the division and guarantee a winning season. Currently, Indian River is 8-7, following a 3-1 victory over county rival Sussex Central on Oct. 18.
“This is my fourth year on the volleyball team and we’ve never had this much talent,” said Shauna Jacobs. “We’re finally getting some respect for volleyball.”
The Lady Indians were running on all cylinders and clobbered Sussex Central 25-12 in the first game by capitalizing on their mistakes. Sussex Central gave Indian River 11 points in the first game by trying to crank out powerful kills, but more often than not they sailed way deep.
Renee Davidson missed on her first three kill attempts but reeled in her game to tally five by game’s end. The Lady Indians showed good reaction speed and the team was able to return Sussex Central’s hot hits. Sara Powell and Hilary Hawkins both kept volleys alive by just getting a paw on the ball and letting their teammates help out.
Indian River defeated Sussex Central in a dogfight for the second game. Indian River won 25-21, but it was neck-and-neck the entire game. Seven ties and seven lead changes marked the second game, but Indian River battled back from a 19-13 deficit to come back to win.
A series of Sussex Central errors brought Indian River within two points of tying the lead, but Kelly Jurusik kept active at the net and was able to net two kills to even everything up at 19 apiece.
Four of Indian River’s points from that point forward came without having to move much. Two bad serves, a monster serve that might have landed in Wichita and six ladies watching the ball hit the ground yielded Indian River 23 points. Sussex Central would gather a few points to cut the lead to 23-21 but the Powell and Jurusik put it away.
Jurusik made a nice block, but Sussex Central put it right back and she was ready for the quick tap back, which scored the point. Powell clinched the game with a game-winning kill.
Sussex Central won the third game 25-18 and they looked to be heating up with their power game. They were able to score on six kills but the others were equally as effective because it altered the Indian River positioning.
Jacobs was called for lifting the ball three times and on six other occasions Indian River was unable to string together consecutive hits on Sussex Central’s power game.
Indian River only trailed once in the final game and that was early, at 5-4. But once the Lady Indians grabbed the lead, they never looked back.
They scored in bunches and twice had scoring runs of four points in the win, with six points to Sussex Central’s two at the end of the game to pull down the 25-16 win.
Though they lost to Dickinson and Dover at the “Indian River Challenge” tournament on Oct. 15, the extra playing time together helped develop consistency.
“The tournament definitely helped because it gave us more time as a team,” said Jacobs.
Jacobs credited the football players for pumping them up and fueling the fire.
“The football boys have been talking trash all week and it pumped us up,” said Jacobs.
Sussex Central Head Coach Mike Adams acknowledged the fact that Indian River was on their game.
“We weren’t fired up and Indian River was,” said Adams. “They are too good of a team to try to turn it on later in match.”
“They went out and played 100 percent on every point,” said Indian River Head Coach Jess Dodd. “They showed a lot of desire out there.
Indian River will host Delmar on Oct. 20 and travel to Lake Forest on Oct. 25 for their final two regular-season games. Both games are to start at 5 p.m.