Chancellor ends New Kent volleyball season
Chancellor’s Chargers blocked the path New Kent’s Lady Trojans had to take in order to advance beyond the quarterfinals in the Group AA Region I volleyball tournament — literally.
The host Chargers’ blocking technique at the net proved more effective than New Kent’s, producing twice as many points and helping to account for part of the difference in the Nov. 9 contest. Missed Lady Trojan serves at crucial times also figured into the mix.
As a result, New Kent’s season ended at 16-7. Chancellor (22-4) and champions in the Battlefield District for 11 years running, advanced to the region semifinals with a 25-21, 11-25, 25-20, 25-20 win at Fredericksburg.
“You’ve got to get your serves in and not miss blocks,” Lady Trojan coach Cyndi Burnett said afterward. “I don’t know how many times I’ve told this team you can’t be a championship team when you miss serves and miss hits.”
After falling in a closely contested first game, New Kent dominated in game two. The Lady Trojans jumped in front 6-2 and used a pair of Jena Williams’ spike kills and another from Ashley Pierce to hold the lead. Karley Allen’s block followed by a dink over Charger blockers opened a 14-7 advantage and the visitors never looked back.
“They were dinking and we covered their dinks,” Burnett said. “But then they went back to hitting, and we began slapping at blocks instead of going up quick and attacking.”
Game two’s commanding performance failed to carry over to game three. Missed serves at the start contributed to the Chargers vaulting into an early lead. The hosts then built a 19-9 advantage before New Kent began to inch its way back.
Amanda Branch’s ace triggered a Lady Trojan run that cut the Chancellor lead in half. Then with Meagan Clark serving, the visitors took advantage of Charger miscues to pull within two at 20-18, but no closer.
Back to back Megan Weaver aces in game four wiped out an early Chancellor lead, tying the affair at 5-5. Moments later, spikes by Williams and Clark helped New Kent pull in front 11-8. Chancellor scored the next three points, but Emma Ciaravino’s dink and Pierce’s kill off a Ciaravino assist helped rebuild the margin at 14-11.
A kill by the Chargers’ Allie Reynolds, however, turned matters for the hosts, launching a 4-0 run that put Chancellor in front. Five ties and three lead changes occurred next. Twice during the span, New Kent missed serves — one driven out of bounds and the other into the net — to hand points and side out to the Chargers.
The net serve forged the final deadlock at 19-19. Four Charger kills followed, and the Lady Trojans could not recover.
“I’m disappointed in the serving part and the missed hits,” Burnett said. “Those are things we had control over, but that’s been a problem for us all year.”