NK second in BRD volleyball
NK 3 Poquoson 0
New Kent’s third-seeded Lady Trojans and Poquoson’s visiting and sixth-seeded Islanders came into their Oct. 30 Bay Rivers District volleyball tournament quarterfinal knowing each other very well since their two regular season matches went the five-set limit. New Kent had prevailed in both, but would this game be any different?
Not in the outcome. The only difference– New Kent made it an early night, sweeping the Islanders out of the tourney in straight sets.
In the first set, New Kent jumped out to an 8-3 lead before a Poquoson time-out stopped the hosts’ momentum. New Kent kept up good play before a long rally gave Poquoson a potential momentum shift. When the Islanders closed to 20-16, Lady Trojan coach Cyndi Burnett called time-out.
“We had the momentum, but when we called time-out it was to nip things in the bud.” Burnett said.
The match remained close until an Islander miscue on a New Kent shot headed out of bounds gave the hosts a 21-20 lead. Jena Williams then took over, serving the last four points and assisting with a kill at the net and an ace. Karley Allen finished off the set with a soft touch shot to win 25-20.
The second set started off fast for New Kent as Gina Sledd served two aces in a 4-0 start. Poquoson soon rallied and got back in the match before another crucial time-out by New Kent. Then a Sledd kill at the net when she clearly had a height disadvantage opened a 22-17 lead and helped propel New Kent to a 25-20 win.
Allen delivered a monster kill that shocked the Islanders early in the third set.
“They couldn’t stop Karley Allen,” said Burnett.
Poquoson had to call time-out twice at 8-4 and 18-9. Williams, Allen and Sledd dominated with assists, kills and serving that led to New Kent breaking the cycle of long matches to post a 25-16 win.
When asked about the feeling of the match overall, Burnett said, “[Poquoson] didn’t have the killer instinct tonight. We have more of the winning tradition here at New Kent.”
Allen ended with 15 kills, two aces, one block and 12 digs. Ashley Piece had six kills, two aces, and one block. Williams finished with 11 kills, two aces, and four digs while Sledd had another amazing assist game with 31 along with four aces and eight digs.
The outcome propelled New Kent into a Nov. 1 semifinal match at number two seed Grafton. The Lady Trojans prevailed 3-1 to set up the Nov. 3 championship match at number one Jamestown.
Jamestown 3 NK 0
After disposing of Grafton in the Bay Rivers District tournament semifinals, New Kent’s Lady Trojans faced the task of taking on top-seeded Jamestown, a team that had beaten them twice during the regular season, for the tourney title.
It’s often said that beating a team three times in one season is a tough proposition, but this was Jamestown on its home floor. The host Eagles prevailed in straight sets 25-22, 25-18, 26-24 in the Nov. 3 contest, but not without being tested by the visitors.
The first set became all about intensity. New Kent hit well enough to lead 14-10, but errors began to cost the Lady Trojans. New Kent held off the Eagles until the end when the hosts regained the lead at 23-22. New Kent called timeout but to no avail as Jamestown went on to win the first set.
“In that first set, we were ahead the entire game until the very end of it,” Lady Trojan coach Cyndi Burnett said. “We cannot make dumb errors against great teams.”
In the second set, Jamestown started off strong with an 8-2 lead. New Kent made service errors, hit shots out of bounds, and could not avoid Jamestown blocks at the net. New Kent closed to 24-18, but Jamestown’s power and discipline overwhelmed the visitors.
“We didn’t get one block and we got stuffed,” Burnett said. “They were more physical. We were equal in quickness, but we did not have the put-away hitters like they did.”
In the third set, the error theme continued for New Kent as Jamestown stood on the brink of closing out the match at 24-18. But a soft hit over the net by Kelsey Stanbro followed by freshman Paige Simpson’s serve sparked a last-ditch rally. An ace from Simpson coupled with two Jena Williams kills and errors by Jamestown created a 24-24 deadlock.
Unfortunately for the visitors, Jamestown turned on the switch and broke the Lady Trojans’ hearts again with the final two points. The Lady Trojans, however, move on to Region I play and host Spotsylvania in region quarterfinals.
“We will be pumped up seeing a new face [Spotsylvania]. After playing Jamestown three times it will be refreshing,” Burnett said. “We are going to win in New Kent’s gym on Tuesday, and we are going to move on.”
New Kent statistic leaders included Karley Allen with 17 kills and 13 digs. Williams had seven kills and 11 digs while Gina Sledd had 29 assists.