CR volleyball rallies for 3-2 victory at Dover

Caesar Rodney’s Graycie Bachman celebrates a point against Dover

DOVER – After enduring grueling practices over the last week or so, the Caesar Rodney High volleyball team saw its hard work pay off.

The Riders erased a one-set deficit on two different occasions, battling back to defeat archrival Dover High, 3-2, on the road Thursday night.

The five-set win – by scores of 9-25, 25-16, 22-25, 25-12 and 15-7 – over the Senators improves CR’s record to 8-3 overall and 4-1 in the Henlopen North.

It marks Dover’s first conference loss of the season, dropping the Senators to 9-3 overall and 4-1 in the North.

“I think the thing I’m most proud of is that we were so resilient, because we’ve had a tough couple of practices the last week or so,” said CR coach Zach Taylor. “There were times they were doubting themselves and wondering if they wanted to stick with it and it’s nice to see they were rewarded for sticking with it. I think that’s the mark of a really good team.”

Senior Peyton Forse led the team with 17 digs and three aces, followed by 16 digs and a team-high 23 assists from senior Rachel Moyer.

Freshman Cassidy Jester tallied a team-high 15 kills, while sophomore Elle Davis contributed 10 digs and 14 assists.

With CR, Dover and Smyrna High each currently sitting with one division loss on the season, CR’s battle with the Eagles (8-3 overall, 4-1 North) on Oct. 17 will prove vital in the standings.

“As a team, I think we’ve really bonded,” said senior Graycie Bachman. “This man (Zach Taylor) does not let up when it comes to practices and making us hit the floor and push through every point.

“Every practice that we walk out of, we’ve earned and when we know we haven’t worked hard enough we come back the next day and we push, and it’s paid off. I think we all feel it, we played the way we knew we had to play today.”

Each time Dover took a one-set lead, Caesar Rodney came back with an answer.

Feeding off the energy from the packed student section, Dover got off to a quick start in the opening set, cruising to a 25-9 win to take the early 1-0 lead.

“I’m going to take full accountability and say I screwed up in the beginning and it kind of got us off to a rocky start,” said Taylor. “I have a lot of respect for (Dover coach) Alaina Schleich and her team, they’ve constantly gotten better every year. It just shows you she’s a good coach and this is a good program.”

Once the Riders took the early 2-1 lead in the second set, they never looked back on the way to a 25-16 win to tie it up at one set apiece.

The third set featured a tie score on six separate occasions before Dover finally ended the set with a 7-4 run to take the 25-22 win and jump back ahead by one set.

Knowing they needed a win to stay alive in the match, CR wasted little time in the fourth set. An early 10-2 lead ended with a decisive 25-12 victory to force a fifth and final set.

Bachman and her teammates never had a doubt.

“Well, when you go into a set like that, you just have to push everything aside – all your doubts,” said Bachman. “For us, as a team, we know that if we don’t second-guess our defense and we keep swinging at the ball it’s going to hit the floor, no matter what.

“I think it finally clicked today where no matter how far down we are, it is never impossible for a team to come back. We’ve seen other teams do it, so why can’t we?”

Using the momentum the fourth set victory created, CR finished the comeback with the deciding 15-7 fifth set victory to clinch the match.

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