Junior varsity is a chance for players to learn how to play competitively and polish their skills so when they finally get to varsity, they are ready.
Indian River’s JV volleyball team hung tough with Sussex Central (8-3) on Oct. 18. But, after winning the first game, the bottom gave out and they lost the next two games.
With the match tied at 8 each, Indian River made their move in the first game. Kami Brittingham tallied two straight aces before a lack of communication earned the Lady Knights the point and the serve.
Then on defense, Indian River collected themselves and strung together a few passes to set up Katie Farber for the kill, point and serve, giving the Lady Indians a 12-9 lead. Sussex Central and Indian River swapped points on poor serves but Farber would add a three more on her service.
Farber aced her first serve, Sussex Central missed an opportunity at the net to turn the tide, and teamwork would secure the third point and a 16-10 lead for the Lady Indians. Sara Tyre and Mandy Buet combined to make two great one-handed saves to keep the ball in play on two separate volleys before Sussex Central flinched.
From there, Indian River allowed the Lady Knights to scrap back into the game on a series of serves for both teams. Indian River didn’t capitalize when ahead and Sussex Central scratched their way to cut the lead to 23-22 on a short serve.
Sussex Central tied it up at 23-all after Alex West dug a ball out, but the third hit was knocked out of bounds. The Lady Knights’ fourth serve went out, giving Indian River point-game. And Brooke Timmons sealed the deal on a spike out-of-bounds.
“The girls executed well,” said JV Head Coach Corey Raieta. “They wanted to win and played excellent.”
Indian River didn’t have the same intensity in the second game and Sussex Central was able to convert after being knotted up at 10-all. Sussex Central rallied to score nine unanswered points and Indian River looked a little frustrated. Two net violations and a breakdown in communication caused the Indian River collapse.
“We played good, but it would’ve helped if we called for the ball so it wouldn’t just drop,” said Sara Tyre. “It really took away from our momentum.”
The closest Indian River would get from that point on was a six-point deficit. But Sussex Central was already at game point then. Indecision from the Lady Indians allowed the last point to just drop in.
The third game was only played to 15 but Sussex Central never relinquished their grip from the second game on. Indian River reached 8-5, then tied the game. But from there, Sussex Central rattled off seven points to the Lady Indians’ four, as the IRHS JV squad fell 15-12.
Too little, too late — but there is always a lesson to be learned or something that can be tweaked to get over the hump in the future.
“The girls need to work on consistency and keeping their energy up,” said Raieta. “This is the game they wanted to win, but we lost our energy.”