Tabb pulls upset over Lady Trojans in volleyball, ends New Kent’s season in regional semifinals
Sometimes the burden of high expectations can be the downfall for any sports team. And after defeating the Tabb Lady Tigers twice in the regular season, New Kent’s Lady Trojans knew defeating a team, let alone a Bay Rivers District foe, for a third time would be difficult.
Despite climbing back from an 0-2 deficit to start the match, the top-seeded Lady Trojans fell 20-25, 20-25, 25-17, 25-18, 12-15 in the Group 3A Region A semifinals, bringing their season to an end.
Nervousness overwhelmed New Kent from the onset. After holding a 12-9 advantage over Tabb after a Logan McKenney kill, Tabb compiled a 16-8 run behind the leadership of seniors Tiana Artese and Sarah Callender to claim the opening stanza.
The second frame saw the hosts jump on top 2-0 early. But the Lady Tigers countered with a 9-4 run of their own. An error by Tabb’s Alli Pratt allowed the hosts to tie the game up at 13 apiece. But a serving error by New Kent’s Sofia Foster returned the lead to the visitors a 20-17. Tabb would outscore the hosts the rest of the way to capture the set.
With their backs against the wall, New Kent bounced back with a strong third set. Behind junior Aubrey Hyndshaw, New Kent doubled up the visitors 20-10 before claiming the set to pull with one (2-1).
The fourth set saw New Kent start off with an 8-2 run, igniting the crowd and swinging momentum in favor of the hosts. Tabb bounced back, taking an 11-10 lead before Hyndshaw’s ace seized the lead again. Moments later Jaiden McCoy’s soft tap over the net hit the inbound lie, giving the hosts a 16-12 lead, an advantage they wouldn’t relinquish for the remainder of the set to send the game to a fifth and decisive game.
But the energy from the comeback seemed to wear the hosting Lady Trojans down in the final frame. Tabb jumped out to a 6-1 lead. Tabb committed errors down the stretch, but with the final set going to 15 points, Tabb distanced themselves to capture the match.
New Kent Lady Trojans Head Coach, who usually isn’t emotional about contests, had a look of sadness on her face after the devastating loss.
“We got knocked down and people stepped up to make adjustments,” she said. “We may have been a little over our heads with this lineup.
“I thought Tabb played an excellent game,” Burnett continued, praising the play of Callender. “They played well and the first couple of sets we struggled. I was very proud of the way we stormed back and won games three and four, but we dug ourselves a hole and could not get out of it.”
For New Kent, they end the season with a record of 20-5. The Lady Trojans may also face a rebuilding year, as nine seniors on the team will graduate this year.