IR volleyball grounds Seahawks 3-0 in Henlopen South play

Sussex Academy starts fast, struggles with confidence once down
April 18, 2024

The Sussex Academy boys’ volleyball team started fast in its home match against Henlopen South rival Indian River April 17, but fell short in the first set as IR pulled away and eventually won the match 3-0.

“​​In the first set, I thought we did a really good job at minimizing our mistakes and playing level-headed,” Seahawks coach Hailee Gooch said. “IR was making the mistakes in that first set that allowed us to have that difference in points.” 

Leading 13-4 before IR called a timeout, Sussex Academy appeared to have momentum and even held up to IR’s initial comeback to lead 19-14. But the visitors tied it up at 21-21 before taking the lead and eventually the set 25-23.

“I think once they started to come back and they started to minimize their mistakes, we panicked a little, which we tend to do in games, and we got in our heads,” Gooch said. “That's something that we just talked about [post-game]; we want to try to break that cycle, own positions that we're playing, be confident in those positions, and make sure we're communicating as a team. That lack of communication has been proven to hurt us in previous matches.”

The Seahawks attempted to keep things close in the second set, but a 10-0 IR run inflated the lead to 19-12 and the home team eventually lost the second set 25-19 before dropping the match 3-0 following a 25-9 third set. 

Despite the loss, Gooch thinks she saw some signs of growth from the young squad.

“I thought they adjusted well to having to adapt to a new serve receive and moving positions a little bit,” Gooch said. “It was one of our outside hitter's first game back since being injured, and we were already working on lineup shifts. They did a really good job of adapting to that.”

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