IR Sports Report: IR girls’ volleyball team bows out of state playoffs
It was a challenging circumstance, and perhaps one that the state athletic powers-that-be will start to take a look at, as the Indian River High School girls’ volleyball team saw its post-season run come to a halt following their road loss to Red Lion on Saturday, Nov. 2.
Following a Henlopen Conference championship and No. 6 seed in the DIAA state playoffs, the Indians — sporting a 14-2 mark heading into the match — were tasked with traveling nearly two hours north to Wilmington to take on the No. 11 seed, which was all but a home match for Red Lion, since they are located a mere 17 minutes from “neutral ground” at Ursuline Academy.
The Indians had swept Red Lion at home during the regular season, with all three sets being relatively close. This time, however, Red Lion jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead following 25-16 and 25-14 wins in the first two sets.
IR cut the deficit in half with their 25-20 win in the third set, but Red Lion put the match away — and ended the Indians’ season — with a 25-19 win in the fourth set.
Raychel Ehlers racked up 16 kills and 13 digs in the match, while her sister Camryn Ehlers added 17 assists. Jessica Amezcua picked up 13 digs, and Cici Macedo was credited with eight digs of her own.
Senior Marianni Chavez chipped in with eight assists and five digs, with classmate Siera Johnson adding eight kills of her own.
The loss ended a magical run for the Indians, which included the program’s first-ever Henlopen Conference championship.
Indians earn No. 2 seed for DIAA playoffs
Head coach Jodi Stone and her IR field hockey team have been on quite a roll this season, and they hope that the good times continue right into the DIAA Division II state playoffs. By virtue of their incredible regular-season performance — one that saw them go 14-1 over their 15-game slate — the Indians have earned themselves the No. 2 seed in the playoffs. Delmar — the many-times-over defending state champions, and the lone blemish on the Indians’ otherwise stellar record — have the No. 1 seed.
The Indians will open their quest for a state title on Saturday, Nov. 9, against either No. 7 seed Newark Charter (11-4) or No. 10 seed Brandywine (11-3-1). The game will be played on a “neutral site” at Sussex Academy beginning at 1 p.m.
The Indians offense is led by an endless run of goal-scorers, but junior Kayler Townsend is tops in the bunch, with 19 goals and 15 assists. Seniors Avery Congleton and Rylie Cordrey are next in the team lead, with 18 and 13 goals, respectively. Cordrey also has 11 assists on the season. Sophomore Emma Ruley also is a double-digit goal-scorer this season, with 11 goals to go along with six assists.
The defense has been an impenetrable wall at times this season, with the likes of seniors Kaylee Hall and Morgan Bomhardt along the back line. They are joined by juniors Morgan McGee, Savannah O’Shields and goalie Allyson Clark.
The Coastal Point’s sports staff will be in attendance for the Indians’ quarterfinal round game on Saturday, with live updates throughout, on the Coastal Point sports Facebook page.
By Jason Feather