Lady Trojans turn back York challenge
New Kent’s Lady Trojans came into their Bay River District volleyball match with York knowing they needed to keep winning to secure a number two seed in the upcoming district tournament. And they were in a battle with the fourth-ranked Falcons until the end.
After dropping a hotly contested first set, the hosts bounced back to sweep the next three in the Oct. 16 match and strengthen their grasp on second place.
New Kent started off aggressively in the first set leading 9-4. But then the hosts had trouble dealing with York’s hard hitters and they looked to be overwhelmed.
The score reached 15-15. Coach Cyndi Burnett called a timeout to get her Lady Trojans refocused, and they eventually had two chances at 24-23 and 26-25 to put the set away. But York tied New Kent at 26 all and finally took the lead for good winning the set 28-26.
“We did not hit well, there was no rhythm, and their hitters were better,” Burnett said. “But we made adjustments, and it turned everything around.”
In the second set, those adjustments had New Kent hitting better shots. The lead was 8-3 following Karley Allen kills and perfect serves from Jena Williams. New Kent won the set 25-11 behind strong serves and better net play from a variety of players.
York, meanwhile, hit a lot of out-of-bounds shots that really put a damper on their overall game, negating their service that rated pretty good all night.
When asked about York’s missed shots, Burnett said, “It’s a gift, and you just have to use it to your advantage.”
The third set started out with New Kent down 0-2 and went back and forth, but York’s inability to keep their shots inbounds and the combination of Williams serves and Allen kills made it difficult for visitors. The set ended 25-19 on an Allen kill.
New Kent started the fourth set with aces from Ashley Pierce that set the tone. York managed to tie 5-5, but after that New Kent never looked back.
York’s inaccurate shots continued throughout set, leading to a gentle touch shot across the net by Williams to end the showdown 25-16.
Allen registered 19 kills, five aces, and 15 digs while Williams contributed 10 kills, six aces, and 15 digs. Brianne Wayman had six kills and three assists. Gina Sledd managed three kills, an ace, and eight digs along with another amazing assist game on the night with 32.
When asked about using these last few games to prepare for the playoffs, Burnett said, “We are going to take it one match at a time. Beating Poquoson in our next match should help us be solid at number two in the district.”