The Smyrna High School volleyball team ended their 2012 campaign with a 3-0 win over Woodbridge Thursday in front of a home crowd.
On a night that was a salute to the seniors, the Eagles were convincing in their final win of the season, beating Woodbridge 25-14, 25-14 and 25-21.
Head coach Danny Wandless is happy with his team's play in the match.
"They had fun, that's what it's all about," he said.
Captain Hannah Boyles, a junior, felt really good with Thursday's win as the team finally came together and played well as a team.
Season in review
Thursday's win brought the Eagles to a final record of 9-6.
Wandless said the team's goal of making the state tournament is a long shot. The other goal for Smyrna this year was to compete for the Henlopen Conference title, which they did. The Oct. 23 match against CR was for the Northern Championship, with the Riders taking the conference in a close 3-1 win.
"It was one of the most exciting matches I've watched as a coach," Wandless said. "It was back and forth the whole match."
The Eagles took the first game 25-22 over CR, but dropped the next three games 15-25, 23-25, and 16-25 to lose the match and the championship.
For Boyles the match was one of her favorite of the season even though the team lost because it was so close.
At one point in the season, the Eagles had a five match win streak, beating Milford, Delmar, Red Lion, Sussex Central and Dover before losing to St. Thomas More and Polytech. The Eagles took the first two games in the St. Thomas More match before losing the next three.
"That was a match we went into the fifth game with and let it slip away from us," Wandless said. "As far as the season goes, there were a few games here and there in the middle of the season that put us where we are."
Improving with the season
With only five seniors on the team, the Eagles were full with young players this year. As expected, there was room for growth in the young team as the season progressed.
Junior captain Morgan Popovich said the team had a great group of players and they did get better by the end of the season: "We got better at pulling people up and communicating. Every player, all their skills improved."
Wandless said each player got better at their respective positions.
"They showed improvements from August 15 to the end of the season, which was good to see," Wandless said.
Email Jennifer Dailey at firstname.lastname@example.org.