Undefeated Grafton squashes New Kent’s bid for volleyball upset
Sometimes running into a powerhouse can be a humbling experience. And although New Kent’s Lady Trojans’ volleyball team held a slight lead over the visiting Grafton Lady Clippers in a Sept. 15 matchup, the hosts found out quickly why Grafton’s record remains unblemished.
After challenging the visitors in the opening frame, New Kent’s Lady Trojans fell in straight sets 21-25, 7-25, 17-25 to the Grafton Lady Clippers, snapping their two-game win streak.
In the first set, the Trojans’ energy propelled them to an early 11-5 lead. However, Grafton gathered themselves by countering the hosts with an 8-2 run of their own to tie the game at 13 apiece. A kill by New Kent’s Lexi Powell accompanied by an ace from teammate Fallon Greenawalt provided the hosts a 15-14 advantage.
But serving issues and the ability to position the ball on kills proved detrimental for the hosting Lady Trojans. A run by Grafton late in the frame proved to be enough to edge New Kent to begin the match.
Meanwhile, Grafton’s twin towers of Erin Brewer and Alexis Keeter combined to overpower New Kent with spikes that the hosts could not handle in the second set. The end result was Grafton capturing the set over the Lady Trojans. The third set followed suit, with the visitors turning back every attempt by New Kent before closing out the contest with the sweep.
After the contest, New Kent Lady Trojans’ Head Coach Stuart Burnett was proud of how the team started out but addressed his concerns when his team has possession of the ball.
“I am really happy that we played with them [Grafton] in the first game,” he commented. “At the end of that, we said we had to serve a little bit easier.
“We had to serve a little bit easier, but we can’t risk missing a serve,” Burnett added. “The thing is that serving tough is critical for us playing with a team like that. We came out serving easy in the second game and I called a timeout saying we have to go to serving tough now.
“We have nine matches in eight days including a tournament in Virginia Beach this weekend, so we will see how things play out,” the coach concluded.
New Kent’s record falls to an even .500 on the year at 3-3.