Lady Trojans recover from slow start, win playoff game
A Nov. 1 regional volleyball quarterfinal matchup pitted New Kent’s Lady Trojans against the Tabb Lady Tigers, a team they swept 3-0 in two matches this year. However, the visitors made New Kent work for a berth to the 3A East Regional semifinals.
New Kent defeated Tabb 16-25, 25-12, 25-12, 25-19 in Wednesday night’s contest.
“We knew this team was coming out to fight hard and give an effort because they had nothing to lose,” said Lady Trojan head coach Cynthia Burnett.
Tabb did just that, taking advantage of a relaxed Lady Trojan defense. The Lady Tigers ploy of using finesse with soft touches instead of power resulted in a positive outcome, taking the first set.
But the hosts rebounds in the next frame, becoming aggressive through hitting and serving the mirrored the season. Stifled by New Kent’s attack, Tabb dropped the next two sets with identical scores of 25-12.
The visitors returned to a competitive nature in the fourth set, enabling a back-and-forth affair before Burnett called a timeout.
“I told the girls to settle down,” the Lady Trojan head coach said of that critical moment. “I told them to get their hits and let my setter [Alaina Torres] to get more aggressive on the serves.”
The pep talk worked, yielding a 7-1 run by the hosts that was capped off by a Jada Evans ace.
“Tabb is not a bad team by any stretch,” Burnett said afterwards. “In the first set they were hitting and our defense wasn’t there.
“But we made the adjustment and we did what we had to do to win the game,” the head coach concluded.
Jada Evans led the team in kills and digs with 15 and eight, respectively. Lexie Butler notched nine aces while Torres contributed 11 assists.
New Kent’s Lady Trojans season came to an end the following night (Nov. 2) at Park View-South Hill. The Lady Trojans finished the season with a record of 14-8.