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Pioneers Suffer Tough Losses at Battle of the Beach

Pioneers Suffer Tough Losses at Battle of the Beach

The 2021 Volleyball season opened this past weekend for the Pioneers of Indian River at the Battle of the Beach Tournament, hosted by Florida Southwestern State College. This tournament included almost all nationally ranked teams and would prove to be a tough test for the River. They would begin the weekend with a match up against #15 Salt Lake Community College.

The River would come out firing on all cylinders and was able to take the first set 27-25, but they were unable to maintain the effort and fell 21-25 and gave the bruins a chance to even out the game. The River tried desperately to bounce back in the 3rd set, but there was just not enough gas in the tank and the Bruins took set 3, 25-13 and set 4, 25-12.

The River had a night to sleep on it and they came back on Saturday fired up and ready for a win. They opened the day up against #10 Missouri State -West Plains. It was a competitive and fairly even match from the start. The river came out very flat and dropped the 1st set 18-25, but quickly bounced back to claim the 2nd 25-21. Back and forth the match would go with the Grizzlies taking set 3 25-20 and the River battling back 25-28 in the 4th until we arrived to the tiebreaker, the 5th set. In a shortened game to 15, anything can happen, unfortunately the River was unable to pull out the 5th set losing the match 10-15.

Starting off the 3rd and final match of the tournament, in a quick back to back turnaround, the River would now take on #20 Monroe College.  IRSC started a little bit shallow and were unable to take the first set, 18-25, but showed a lot of grit and fight and clawed their way back into it with a 34-32 victory in Set 2.  It was a valiant effort but the extra points took a little too much out of the River and they were defeated in set 3, 21-25 and set 4, 18-25.

Jeyhlen Thomas was named to the All-Tournament Team leading the team with Blocks and Hitting Efficiency.

The River looks to bounce back this week in their home opener and the start of Suncoast Conference play against Polk State this Thursday at 5:30 PM.