After a year of hard work aimed at reversing last year’s district final result, the Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca volleyball team enjoyed the fruits of its labor on Friday night at Johnson Gym on the campus of Lincoln Northeast High School.
The Rockets were in the district finals a year ago, only to be turned away one match short of the state tourney.
Not this time.
Despite a surge of momentum that had Lincoln Lutheran leading the match two sets to one, the Rockets found the resolve and the points to rally, force a fifth set and then survive a roller coaster ride of a final frame to score a district final victory and punch their ticket for state.
S-D-A had all the momentum early in the match.
The Rockets jumped to an 8-3 lead in the first frame and pushed that lead to 19-10 before closing out at 25-19.
Lincoln Lutheran fought back in the second set and the teams traded points with the score being tied at 14s, 16s, 17s, 21s, and 22s. The Warriors scored the final three points, won 25-22, and tied the match at a set each.
The third set was a dark one for Rocket fans as Lutheran controlled the action and won 25-10.
A Rocket rally in the midst of the fourth set gave S-D-A an advantage it would never relinquish on the way to a 25-19 win.
All that remained was the fifth set, a nail biting and nerve racking 15-point ride that ended with the Rockets on top. Both teams had leads before Lutheran staked itself to a 12-9 lead.
But S-D-A would not be denied. The Rockets scored the final six points of the match to win 15-12.
For more on the Rockets’ match, see the Thursday issue of the Syracuse Journal-Democrat.