IR volleyball wraps up disheartening season

It’s been a tough and trying road this season for the five seniors of Indian River’s varsity volleyball team, who gave up their final high school match to Polytech in four games on Tuesday, Oct. 21. The season-ender brought the Lady Indians’ record to 3-12 this year, but despite the sub-par result, playing with the team has really been a learning experience.

“It’s been tough,” said senior Katie Farber, who has demonstrated a dedication to the team, playing all four years at Indian River, “but the team has really stuck it out. Even though we had a rough season, we want them to improve on this and do better next year.”

The Indians were able to sweep Lake Forest this season and tallied a win over Dover. Since her start with the team four years ago, Farber has noticed a change in the performance.

“My freshman year, we won the division,” she said. “It was really exciting, because it was the first time Indian River volleyball had won something like that.”

While the girls struggled with performance, there was a sense of camaraderie among the players.

“We were more like a family this year than any other year I’ve been here,” said Farber. “There was no nit-picking or drama. For the most part, we really got along. When you’re out on the court with someone you don’t get along with, it takes its toll.”

The past two years had seen some disagreement between individual athletes that led to removals from the team.

“I have been impressed with how the team has worked together,” added senior Brittany Baker.

Her volleyball skill has developed over the three years she played on the varsity team, after starting on a recreational team while attending Selbyville Middle School.

“When you have someone on the team who has a negative attitude, it really brings down the rest of the team.”

Farber and Baker were accompanied this year by three other seniors, including Brittany Bacon, Kristin Hudson and Erica Cook.

The team’s second Lake Forest win on Thursday, Oct. 16, fell on the Lady Indians’ senior night, which made the win that much more enjoyable.

“It meant a lot to win the game against Lake Forest,” said Farber. “It just proves that if you want it bad enough, you can achieve it.”

“We came out playing hard,” added Baker. “We wanted it more.”

One thing that kept the season tolerable, despite the losing record, was the way the girls interacted with one another, wearing smiles across their faces, even when the scoreboard didn’t read in their favor.

“Our team kept a lot of support for each other,” said Farber. “Even if someone made a mistake, we’d still stay positive and encourage them to improve next time. When you’re too negative toward your teammates, it’s just going to bring them down.”

Both Farber and Baker hope to continue their experience with the sport, even after graduation. While Farber has her sights on attending Beebe School of Nursing, she would still like to return to Indian River and help.

“I wouldn’t mind helping coach,” she said. “I just want to stay involved somehow.”

Baker has been eyeing colleges in North Carolina, with Eastern Carolina University being among one of her top picks. She hopes to continue with club volleyball.