Lady Trojans strengthen grip on 2nd place in Bay Rivers
It wasn’t supposed to be this easy. Tabb’s Tigers invaded New Kent’s gym with a 6-3 Bay Rivers District volleyball record and a chance to knock the 7-1 Lady Trojans out of sole possession of second place in the league standings.
But the hosts put together a series of scoring runs in all three games of Tuesday night’s best of five encounter, dominating play on the way to an unexpectedly easy 25-12, 25-16, 25-17 triumph.
The victory upped New Kent’s record to 8-1, 9-2 overall, solidifying the Lady Trojans’ hold on second place, one game behind undefeated Grafton.
“No way,” Lady Trojan coach Cyndi Burnett responded when asked if she expected her team to cruise past the Tigers.
“We were prepared to have to play hard to hold on to number two, but in the first game [Tabb] came out flat and it didn’t get any better for them,” she said. “This wasn’t the same Tabb team we played over at their place.”
Behind the serving of Lena Ciaravino and Megan Weaver, New Kent jumped out to a 7-1 game one lead. A Meagan Clark spike kill and a pair of Karley Allen aces extended the advantage to 11-4. Then another Clark kill sandwiched between two Amanda Branch aces opened a 15-6 gap. The hosts never looked back.
Ciaravino served New Kent into a 3-0 lead in game two. The Tigers began to wake up, grabbing their first lead of the night behind play at the net from outside hitter Ashley Lind.
But the Tigers could mount no more than a one-point advantage before the Lady Trojans took command. With Ciaravino back at server, an Allen kill broke a 13-13 deadlock, igniting a 7-0 run that featured two aces and a bevy of Tiger errors.
Game three was tied 6-6 before Lind drove a serve out of bounds, handing a point and side out to New Kent. Back-to-back Ashley Pierce kills then highlighted a 4-0 run that put the hosts in front for good.
Allen finished with 10 kills and six aces while Clark pounded six kills and had a pair of blocks and Pierce chipped in four kills. Ciaravino managed 20 assists, five aces, and led on defense with six digs.
“It’s nice to have a game where we didn’t have to be so intense,” Burnett said.
But the schedule heats up as her team hosts number three Jamestown (7-2) on Monday and has a rematch on the Eagles’ floor the following week. In between, the Lady Trojans travel to top-ranked Grafton on Oct. 19, looking to avenge their only district loss of the season.