Sussex Academy volleyball has not lost a set in three matches

Seahawks’ energy key to mid-season resurgence
October 9, 2023

The Sussex Academy volleyball team’s winning ways continued Oct. 5, with a convincing 3-0 victory over Milford. 

The Seahawks have won their last three matches 3-0. Their opponents – Milford, Indian River and Seaford – are all Henlopen South rivals. At 5-0 in the division and 5-3 in the conference, Sussex Academy controls its own fate in the race for a divisional title and a spot in the Henlopen Conference title game. Prior to the recent win streak, the Seahawks were 2-4 overall. 

What’s been the difference?

"It's really the energy we brought. We have really picked up the energy and don't let up. Everybody's been working together. We're very close-knit, so it's easy to get along and trust each other," said senior Grace Fiorilla.

Fiorilla delivered well-struck, accurate balls. 

“I take a good look before I serve, so I try to get it right between the two players,” Fiorilla said. 

The senior led the team with seven aces. Fellow seniors Carmen Merrick and Tayler Flaherty registered two aces, tying with freshman Grayce Glover. The Seahawks won the match after taking the sets 25-8, 25-10, 25-15.

“Our service was pretty strong, as well as our overall defense and execution on offense,” said coach Hailee Gooch.

Gooch agreed that the energy has played an important part, but noted adjustments the team has made too.

“We had moved one of our middles outside, so getting her used to playing that position, and the people around her have definitely helped,” Gooch said.

New faces have been getting more playing time. Glover started and registered two kills, aces and digs each. Addison Gaull, another freshman, collected a block and kill, while sophomores Aleida Calloway and Elizabeth Merrick each had three digs.

“We have two freshmen that will be starting the remainder of the season, and they both contribute in the front row as both are very solid hitters. Glover is a very solid server,” Gooch said.

The Seahawks host Odyssey Charter at 5:15 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 10, before Lake Forest marches into town for the Homecoming game. The team believes it has the right momentum moving forward.

“We are running on a very exciting momentum after beating IR for the first time ever,” Gooch said.


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