The goal is still intact.
After a stretch of games against some of the top teams in the state, the Indian River High School boys’ volleyball team and head coach Jim Barnes may certainly welcome the 17-day break from competition they will be on following a sweep of Delmarva Christian on Monday, April 15, that improved their season mark to 7-0.
“I like 7-0, and I like that we ended up with the win,” Barnes said following the 3-0 win over the Royals. “We have come to certain expectations with this team now in trying to not only get wins but also prepare for the postseason. We have more work to do. We have to do better on the free balls. We have to do better passing. It’s fortunate to have a team as good as [Delmarva Christian], to not play your best, and still be able to get the win.”
After a back-and-forth contest in the first set, the Indians were able to put the Royals away for a 25-20 decision. IR took control from the jump in the second set en route to a 25-12 advantage, before clinching the match with a 25-22 battle in the third set.
Junior Alex Canseco had a match-high 36 assists for the Indians, to go along with three digs and two kills. The dynamic duo of seniors Michael Barnes and Mitch McGee once again led the power game for IR. Barnes had 14 kills, three blocks, six digs and an assist. McGee added 13 kills, five digs, one block and an assist.
Freshman Carson Barnes contributed in with 12 digs, five kills, two aces and a block. Senior captain Porter Palmer chipped in with four digs, two aces and a kill, while junior Mason Singer recorded eight digs, five kill, and an ace.
Now the Indians will get 17 days off, and they will be using that time off to continue practicing and preparing for their ultimate goal of a state championship. For Coach Barnes, it comes at a very good time, and there is no concern that the break would disrupt their momentum.
“No — I actually think we need it,” he said when asked about the break. “We’ve had something like five games in eight days. We played Friday, and now here Monday. We need a break to work on the things that I think we need to work on, because there are some things we need to work on. I’m ready for the break. We are ready to have a couple practices.”
On Friday, April 12, the Indians headed north for a tough match against Charter School of Wilmington and came away with a 3-1 win.
Michael Barnes and McGee each had 18 kills and three digs in the contest. Canseco again had a match-high 36 assists for the Indians, to go along with four aces, three digs, two kills and two blocks. Carson Barnes chipped in with six kills, three aces, two digs, a block and an assist.
The Indians will return to action on Thursday, May 2, when they host Concord at 4:30 p.m.
By Jason Feather