New Kent overcomes sluggish start, tops Poquoson in five sets
New Kent’s Lady Trojans overcame early defensive woes and errors to put away the visiting Poquoson Lady Islanders 16-25, 25-23, 26-28, 25-22, 15-4 in the Sept. 5 evening volleyball affair.
The match started rough for the Lady Trojans, who spotted the visitors a seven-point lead. Paired with a couple of errors and lapses in defense, the Lady Trojans were beat by Poquoson’s strategy to tap the ball over the net in the opening frame.
A back-and-forth affair in the second frame saw New Kent seize control. Lady Trojan Bryanna Seay’s tap into a dead spot on the floor served as the winning point to tie the match at one game apiece. However, the Lady Islanders claimed set three 28-26 using digs and powerful net play to take the lead.
A defensive shift in the fourth set by the hosts provided a much-needed boost for New Kent. Taking advantage of the visitors’ fatigue, New Kent capitalized off Poquoson’s errors, using serves to secure a 25-22 set win as they transitioned into the final frame.
The hosts dominated Poquoson in the final frame. With New Kent up 7-4, Lady Trojan Jada Evans’ kill added a point to the scoreboard. From there, she would lead the charge on seven consecutive serving points, with the final being an ace, to win the Bay Rivers contest.
After the contest, relieved New Kent head coach Cynthia Burnett spoke about the shift in the defensive philosophy.
“We call it rotation,” she said, referencing the new defensive ploy. “In the early sets we were using the perimeter defense and that was allowing them to convert on easy tap plays at the net.
“We got better as the contest went on and we served better,” Burnett added. “We cut down on errors and we have to clean those up for our next game.”
New Kent (6-2) was led by Evans in digs (18) and kills (14), while Lexie Butler notched four aces to account for the team high.