IR GVB vs Padua 12-8.jpeg (copy)

Indian River’s Skylar Kneller (7) and Mya Mumford (16) go up for the block on Padua’s Meghan Peters during their DIAA Girls’ Volleyball State Championship quarterfinal round match on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. The No. 6 Indians fought hard but would eventually fall to the No. 3 Pandas, 3-2, to see their season come to an end.

It’s never easy to replace the best player in a program’s history, let alone the most decorated player in the entire state last year. But that’s the challenge for the Indian River High School girls’ volleyball team this season.

Gone is Delaware State Player of the Year Raychel Ehlers from a team that went 11-3 overall in 2020, bowing out in the quarterfinal round of the DIAA state playoffs. However, a good hard look at the Indian River High School girls’ volleyball roster this season reveals a strong nucleus of talented returning players who should be able to keep the growth and success of the program going forward.

“This season, we look forward to continuing the trajectory of rising to meet high levels of competition throughout the state and growing our program for years to come,” said first-year head coach Brigid Wolfgang, who will be helped by long-time program assistant coach Jay Clark. “We are thrilled with the performance and excitement throughout preseason, and are really looking forward for what this season holds.”

Besides Raychel Ehlers, the Indians will also need to replace the departed Skylar Kneller and Nicole Woody.

The task of taking over the reins from that trio falls on the shoulders of Cam Ehlers, Lia Diakos, Nicole Norman, Mya Mumford, Mya MacDonald, Scarlett Dunn and Lily Hoban. All saw extensive time on the court last season for the Indians, which should bode well for this season.

The Indians also have the fortunes of an “exciting number of young, talented players” in the mix, according to Wolfgang.

The season-opener against Caravel Academy, which was originally slated for this Saturday, Sept. 11, has been postponed, and the schools this week were looking at possible dates for rescheduling.

Now, the first match of the season for IR will be a home date with visiting Dover on Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 5:15 p.m. Other home dates include Woodbridge (Sept. 23), St. Georges Tech (Sept. 25), Delmarva Christian (Oct. 7), Cape Henlopen (Oct. 12), Delmar (Oct. 14) and Sussex Academy (Oct. 21).

The Indians will hit the road for contests against Lake Forest (Sept. 16), Ursuline Academy (Sept. 18), Smyrna (Sept. 28), Early College High School at DSU (Sept. 30), Caesar Rodney (Oct. 19), Seaford (Oct. 26) and Sussex Central (Oct. 28).

Staff Reporter

Jason has been in journalism for over 20 years. He moved to Coastal Delaware in August 2017 with his daughters, Kylie, 18, and Grace, 14. He has a passion for high-school sports and especially values the relationships that he builds.