WILMINGTON – Concord’s first-year varsity boys volleyball team put up a fight April 3 at perennial power Salesianum, but the Sals deployed too many weapons on their way to a 3-0 sweep at Father Birkenheuer Gymnasium. Sallies won by scores of 25-17, 25-17, and 25-23.
The Raiders, playing their inaugural match, hung with the Sals for the first half of set number one, going ahead by as many as three at 7-4 on an unforced Salesianum error. Their final lead of the set came at 10-9 on an ace, and the teams were tied at 11 before the Sals pulled away.
Sallies scored the next four points on a block, a Raiders net violation, a smash from Kevin Coates and another block, this one by Patrick Williamson. Concord got one back on a Sals service error, but the hosts would score five of the next six to put it out of reach. The set ended on a Matthew McCarthy service winner, followed by a McCarthy ace.
Salesianum jumped to a 13-6 lead in the second set, but the Raiders responded with the next six points. The run included Kyle Grossman serving up an ace and nailing a kill, plus several unforced errors from the home team. The Sals calmed down, however, and went on a 9-0 run of their own. That run concluded with consecutive aces, the first from Williamson and the second from Kevin Villec, who subbed in for the serve. A Raiders service error ended the set.
The teams put on a show in the final set, with Concord going ahead, 8-5, when Justin Andrade landed a serve on the back line. The lead eventually grew to 15-9 thanks to a service winner and an ace by Matthew Lindenhofen and a pair of kills. It remained a six-point margin as late as 18-12 before the Sals closed the gap.
After a Concord hitter went lefthanded to make it 19-14, Sallies ripped off seven straight. McCarthy played the primary role, starting the run with a bump that found a hole, then picking up an ace on a ball he mishit. He followed up with a service winner. After Peter Dolan earned the Sals a point with a block, McCarthy closed out the run with three straight aces. With a 23-20 lead, the Sals let Concord back into the set by committing three straight errors, but a kill attempt by the Raiders went long to give Sallies the match.
The Sals (1-0) are on the road Friday, traveling to Unionville (Pa.) for a 3:45 p.m. start. Concord (0-1) is off until April 13, when Dickinson visits. Start time is 3:30 p.m.