They have some lofty goals and aspirations this season, but in order to attain those levels, the Indian River High School boys’ volleyball team has to take things one match at a time.
Their first step in that direction came on Monday, April 1, when they were very impressive in their season-opener against state power from the north Conrad, as the Indians posted a clean sweep, 3-0. The teams met as part of a doubleheader at Delmarva Christian High School.
IR posted set scores of 25-23, 25-17 and 25-22, to pick up the win thanks to the efforts of captains Alex Canseco, Michael Barnes and Mitch McGee.
“First game — you always want to get a win to start the season,” said Canseco, who had 36 assists in the contest to go along with one ace and six digs. “We just wanted to work on getting good passes, and from there on out, we have good hitters with Mitch, Mike and Carson [Barnes]. We always look to start things off with good passes, and then look for our big hitters to finish things.”
McGee and Michael Barnes combined for 29 kills with their power and placement shots. McGee also had an ace, two blocks and five digs. Michael Barnes had an ace, two blocks, three digs and an assist. Making his first high school varsity start was Carson Barnes, and he showed no signs of freshman jitters, with six kills, two aces, a dig and five assists.
Head coach Jim Barnes said he was more than happy with his team’s opening performance, especially considering that Conrad came in with two matches already under their belts.
“They’ve already played twice and hadn’t given up a set,” Coach Barnes said after the win. “The kids were ready to play, and we needed to play, because we’d been practicing a lot. [Conrad] came out; they were ready. I was a little concerned, because it is the first match and you never know what you’re gonna get. Kids sometimes can be a little nervous.”
IR had struggled in spots during the first set with their nerves, as their coach mentioned. Some of those struggles included some unforced errors with serves and return volleys. However, the leadership of Canseco, McGee and Michael Barnes calmed things down, and allowed the Indians to regroup, refocus and continue with their winning effort.
“First sets are always like that — especially in your first match of the season,” Coach Barnes added. “The kids just had some jitters just like any sport. You just gotta get that one out of the way. I thought Conrad played really well. We scored enough points to win that set. Volleyball is a game of runs. We had our run, and they had theirs. We called timeout to stop their run, and ultimately, it’s about getting more points than they do.”
Junior Mason Singer also had a solid first match for the Indians, contributing two kills, two aces, a block and eight digs. Porter Palmer chipped in with three kills, an ace, three blocks and two digs.
“I thought we played a good Conrad team,” Coach Barnes concluded. “I am happy with getting the win, and happy with how the kids played. Just gotta keep improving to get to our goal.”
The Indians hit the road for a double dip of action to the north with non-conference tilts against A.I. DuPont and Dickinson on Friday, April 5. Results from the matches can be found on the Coastal Point sports Facebook and Twitter pages.
By Jason Feather