High school notes: Caesar Rodney set for volleyball state tournament debut

By Andy Walter
Posted 5/14/24

CAMDEN — In some ways, Caesar Rodney High’s boys’ volleyball players are still learning the basics of the sport.

After all, this is just the Riders’ second season with a …

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High school notes: Caesar Rodney set for volleyball state tournament debut


CAMDEN — In some ways, Caesar Rodney High’s boys’ volleyball players are still learning the basics of the sport.

After all, this is just the Riders’ second season with a varsity program.

But coach Jake Bluhm also doesn’t want his players selling themselves short, either.

With a record of 13-2 and the No. 5 seed, he thinks they should want to do more than just show up for the DIAA state tournament.

“We knew we had a pretty solid program full of guys, even though it was the second year,” said Bluhm. “Right from day one, our goal was always to not only make states but compete at states.

“It’s easy to look at taking this huge jump (from its first season) and being happy about that. But it’s not our goal. I think the guys are hungry to keep pushing.”

Tonight, CR will get the chance to notch the program’s first state tourney victory when it hosts No. 12 Smyrna (8-7) at 6 p.m.

The Eagles have made the tournament in all three seasons of their existence, winning a first-round match last spring.

The Riders took both regular-season meetings with Smyrna, winning 3-1 and then 3-0. Three of the seven games were decided by three points or less.

Bluhm knows this match will be a little different because it’s the third meeting between the two program this season..

“We’ll definitely have our hands full,” he said. “They (the Eagles) are going to be hungry and they’re going to want to get a little revenge on us.

“We have to bring it. It’s important that we continue to use the game plan that has been successful for us all year. It’s playing clean volleyball and taking opportunities when we have them.”

CR already has seven more wins than it had last season when it finished only 6-13. The Riders’ two losses this year have both been to defending state champion Cape Henlopen (12-2), which is the tourney’s No. 3 seed.

In the last meeting, CR won one game with two other games being decided by just two points.

“When it’s all said and done, the talent can be there,” said Bluhm. “But there has to be such a feel for each other on the court. Sometimes developing that in a couple months can be tough.

“We’re going to give it our all. As long as we’ve committed to play at a high level, we’ll go where the ball bounces.”

Henlopen title games

North champion Polytech (10-1-2) will play at South winner Sussex Academy (10-3-1) on Thursday at 6 p.m. in the Henlopen Conference championship game in girls’ soccer.

The Seahawks tied with Delmar and Indian River for the South title but earned the spot in the championship game on a tiebreaker.

The Panthers beat the Seahawks, 2-1, in last year’s Henlopen title game. But the Seahawks downed Polytech, 4-0, on April 11.

In other Henlopen championship games  North champion Sussex Tech (14-2) will play at South champion Laurel (9-8) in baseball on Friday at 4:15 p.m. The Ravens beat the Wildcats, 11-1, on April 9.

In softball, Sussex Central (14-2) plays at Lake Forest (14-2) on Friday at 4 p.m. The Golden Knights topped the Spartans, 6-2, on April 16.

The Henlopen boys’ lacrosse championship game has Cape Henlopen (11-3) going to Sussex Academy (7-7) at noon on Saturday.

The Henlopen North-South golf match between Caesar Rodney and Sussex Academy is slated for Wednesday at Baywood Greens at 3:30 p.m. with the Henlopen tournament being played on May 20 at Kings Creek.

Extra points

  • The second day of the Henlopen Conference track & field championships were slated to be held on Monday evening after being rained out on Friday.
  • Five of the top nine teams in this week’s Delaware Interscholastic Baseball Coaches Association poll are from the Henlopen North. With Sussex Central, Sussex Tech and Cape Henlopen in the top three spots, Caesar Rodney is No. 8 while Dover is No. 9.
  • Six of the Henlopen North’s eight baseball teams have reached 11 victories so far this season.
  • Two of the stars of Dover High's state champion boys' basketball team have announced their college committments. Denim Perkins is headed for Wilmington University while Dorell Little will play for Florida Memorial University.
  • While Salesianum is still a heavy favorite to win another state title in boys’ lacrosse, Archmere beat Caesar Rodney and Cape Henlopen in a span of three days last week by a combined score of 24-7.
  • Sallies (11-2), which had been ranked as high as No. 4 nationally in the USA Lacrosse rankings, is now No. 6.
  • Dover currently has only eight games listed on its football schedule for next fall. The Senators have non-conference contests with Appoquinimink, Salesianum and William Penn so far.


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