BRANDYWINE HUNDRED – Salesianum brought its veteran volleyball team to Brandywine on March 23, to meet the host Bulldogs, whose program is in its first season. The Sals shook off a tough challenge from the newcomers in the first set and won going away in three sets. It was the Sals’s 18th consecutive win over the past two seasons.
Salesianum (1-0) entered this season with a 60-6-1 record over the past three years, including a 17-0 record and the New Castle County championship last season, when they dropped just two sets. But that didn’t seem to matter in the early going to Brandywine, who defeated Mount Pleasant on the road earlier in the week in the team’s inaugural match.
The match opened on an ominous note for Brandywine, which fell behind the visitors, 10-2, after an eight-point run. The deficit was nine, at 13-4, before the Bulldogs rallied with six straight. They still trailed by three at 20-17, but an unforced error and a kill by Salesianum (whose roster numbers are unavailable online) pushed that to five. Brandywine saved two set points before a Sals kill down the middle ended the first at 25-20.
The Bulldogs went ahead, 4-0, to open the second, with Tyrone Phillips contributing a nice block and the Sals committing a line violation. Salesianum finally caught up to Brandywine at 7-7 and went ahead on an unforced error. The Sals gradually extended the lead, and they ended the set at 25-15 on a kill that was deflected over the end line.
Salesianum trailed, 5-4, in the third set before going on the run that would catapult them to victory. A 10-point run included several aces, and after a nice backhand punch by Korvah Kesselly ended that run, the Bulldogs committed a number of unforced errors that landed them in a 21-8 hole. Brandywine fought off match point on two occasions before a center line violation ended the contest.
Luke Green had five kills and six blocks for the Sals, while Andrew Halberg had four kills and 10 digs. Joshua Elliott served up six aces. The Sals are home Friday at 4 p.m. vs. A.I. DuPont.
For the Bulldogs (1-1), Paulius Zasciurinskas led the way with seven kills, and Phillips had five blocks. They are off until Tuesday, when they visit A.I. for a 4 p.m. start.