Indian volleyball running the courts

What began as a shaky start for the Lady Indians’ volleyball team has turned around within the past week, as the team tallied three consecutive wins — including two road victories.

volleyball 9.28: Seniors Hayley Brennan and Brittany Baker prepare to dig and send the ball back over the net on Tuesday, Sept. 25.Coastal Point • RUSLANA LAMBERT
Seniors Hayley Brennan and Brittany Baker prepare to dig and send the ball back over the net on Tuesday, Sept. 25.

Last Thursday’s win at Delmar was followed on Saturday with a triumphant outcome on a trip to Polytech. The girls were able to keep the energy going as they hosted Lake Forest on Tuesday. The Indians, coming off a four-game winning streak, seem to be outperforming their opponents at every aspect of the game, as they now sit at a semi-comfortable 4-2 record.

“They’ve been on a roll,” said head coach Jess Dodd. The past three wins came with their prices, though, as Indian River was only able to secure the victory after a 2-2 tie in games in each match-up.

“We’re coming out strong,” said Dodd. “They’re fired up at the start of the game. We just need to have the consistency.” Last Thursday’s win marked the third consecutive victory against Delmar in the past three years for Indian River, but though the wins look good on paper, those past games have been anything but a cake-walk. Polytech dished out the Indians’ fifth loss in the final match of last season.

“Lake Forest has a strong team,” Dodd noted. The Indians faced Lake Forest twice last year, splitting the results with a loss at their first match and an emotion-driven victory at Indian River’s Senior Night near the end of the season. This past Tuesday’s match nearly fell through when Indian River’s first two accomplishing games were answered back by Lake Forest.

“Our team was playing on their heels,” said Dodd. “We started looking like we were afraid to take a swing, afraid to make a mistake.”

With the game scored tied 2-2 and an unfavorable count in the fifth game, the Lady Indians had some ground to make up. “Lake Forest had a big momentum swing,” Dodd said. “They had nothing to lose.”

Indian River was able to respond, though, with attributing serves from Katie Farber and Nyssa Altman.

“We were getting out of synch,” said Dodd. “We gave some points away, but the team battled back.” Altman and fellow senior Hayley Brennan were able to anchor strong net play for the Indians, as well.

Looking ahead, Dodd hopes for continuing improvement in the team’s performance.

“We’ve got to come to play each game,” he said. “We just want to work hard at practice and do what we can. There’s still plenty to work on.”

The Lady Indians were set to play at Cape Henlopen on Thursday, Sept. 27, after Coastal Point press time, before hosting Sussex Central on Tuesday, Oct. 2. They will travel to play Red Lion Christian Academy next Thursday, Oct. 4.

“There are some good teams ahead of us,” Dodd said. “We’ve got to be ready.”