Home Local Sports Salesianum edges Delaware Military in volleyball battle of unbeatens: Photo gallery

Salesianum edges Delaware Military in volleyball battle of unbeatens: Photo gallery

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Veryl Burns of Salesianum blasts a shot past DMA's Jin Son Wong (10) and Christian Cordano. Dialog photo/Mike Lang

WILMINGTON — Salesianum and Delaware Military Academy were the last two remaining undefeated teams in boys volleyball heading into their showdown April 26 inside the DMA dome. The match did not disappoint, as the Sals and Seahawks went back and forth for two-plus hours before Salesianum squeaked out a 3-2 win.

Based on the energy inside the building, one wouldn’t know that boys volleyball is still a year away from officials varsity status within the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association. A big crowd gathered to watch this seesaw of a battle, with set scores of 25-16, 19-25, 25-15, 19-25, and 15-13. Perhaps the lone disappointment of the night was the conclusion, as the Seahawks were called for a double hit as they attempted to force extra points.

Riding the momentum of a fourth-set win, DMA began the fifth in fine fashion. Cameron Wynn ended a rally with a kill along the left sideline, and Jin Won Song followed by stuffing a 50/50 ball.

But the Sals battled back. They scored five of the next six points, the last of those a smash by Reid Maas that fell between the net and the Seahawks’ wall. The lone DMA point during that run came courtesy of Zach Johnson, who was all over the court for the home team all night. After the libero for each team made a diving save, Johnson scored when he smashed a ball into the floor. He also scored on a cross to pull the Seahawks to within one at 5-4.

The set was tied at 7-7 when the Sals threatened to run away with it. Jason Dzik sent a lefthanded shot off the DMA wall for one point, and and Cody Popp’s serve was returned dug out of bounds. After an unforced error on the Seahawks, Popp scored on a block to extend the Sals’ lead to 11-7.

The teams traded the next four points, giving the Sals a 13-9 advantage. The Seahawks then went on a run of their own. Reece Dodd had a kill, and Song added a stuff. Wynn scored with a bomb off the Sals’ block, and Aidan Johnson tied the score with an ace.

Veryl Burns stopped the bleeding by knocking a shot off the Seahawks’ wall and out of bounds, setting up match point. The teams rallied for about 30 seconds before the whistle blew. The referee raised two fingers into the air, signaling the violation and ending the marathon.

It was a night filled with big blows, incredible blocks and solid defense. Burns ended the first set with a block, and the Sals jumped out to a 7-1 lead in the second set, getting points from four different players in a 6-0 run, including two more blocks for Burns. A DMA timeout, however, seemed to turn the momentum, and the Seahawks fought back to tie the score at 8 on a Sallies hitting error.

The Sals held a four-point lead as late as 17-13, but they could not hold off the Seahawks. A 4-0 run that included two kills from Zach Johnson tied the score at 17, and DMA would go on an 8-2 streak to close out the set. Wynn ended it with a block.

Dzik helped the Sals open up a 13-7 lead midway through the third, and this time DMA would not complete the comeback. A combination of unforced errors and some key Sals offense led the way, and Dzik wrapped the third with yet another block.

Facing defeat, the Seahawks would not let the Sals build much of a lead in the fourth. In fact, the teams were tied five times by the point the score was 10-10, and this time DMA built the lead. They went on a 5-0 run – including a Zach Johnson block and a Song service winner – to take an 18-13 lead. A few points later, Dodd added a smash, and Wynn threw in a block as the advantage grew to 21-15. Christian Cordano contributed an ace before a service error brought the fourth to its conclusion.

For the Sals, Burns and Dzik each had 10 kills, while Burns added 10 blocks. Popp added seven kills. The Sals (11-0) begin a four-match homestand to end the regular season on Friday against Saint Mark’s at 4 p.m.

Final statistics were not available for DMA. The Seahawks (9-1) play their final home match of the season on Friday at 5 p.m. against Cape Henlopen before wrapping up with three on the road.

All photos by Mike Lang.