New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | November 28, 2022

York ousts New Kent Lady Trojans from tournament in five-set matinee

By Robb Johnson | November 4, 2022 11:58 pm

New Kent's Hannah Perkins makes a dive for a crucial dig to keep the ball in play.

Robb Johnson photo

The old adage in sport is that it’s hard to beat a team three times in a season. That was the task at hand when the York Lady Falcons hosted New Kent’s Lady Trojans in the Nov. 3 Group 3A Region A semifinals, with a berth on the line to the state tournament. And for most of the night, it looked like New Kent would make that statement come true.

But a reversed call in the fifth set swung momentum from New Kent to York, resulting in the Lady Trojans falling 21-25, 25-18, 25-23, 14-25, 9-15 in the contest, closing out their Fall 2022 season.

In the tight first set, each team battled back and forth as New Kent held a one-point advantage late (22-21). However, York rallied off four consecutive points, claiming the opening frame and early lead in the match.

New Kent rebounded in the second set, showing their improvement against a team that had dominated them all year. Kills by Leah Rounds and Lexi Powell were enough to keep the hosts off-balance, resulting in New Kent knotting the match at one apiece.

In the third stanza, York reversed the flow of the contest to jump ahead to 6-1. But as time progressed through the set, the Lady Trojans found themselves tied at 18 apiece. From there, New Kent’s Fallon Greenawalt spike and score launched a rally that provided the visitors enough gusto to win the set and leave them one away from a state trip.

But York didn’t squander momentum in the fourth set as they did in the previous one, jumping out to a 5-1 lead. After a few scores by Haley Hyndshaw and Rounds, York began to separate themselves with an 8-3 run. New Kent bounced back to cut the score to three (17-14), but eight consecutive points behind the serves of Lady Falcon Morgan Hunter would be enough to send the game to a fifth and deciding set.

In the race to 15, New Kent was up 6-1 to kick off the frame and looked as if they clinched point number seven to increase the gap. But a ruling by the line judge indicated that New Kent had touched the net on the score, bestowing the point to York and essentially halting the momentum. York used the home crowd’s energy to compile a 13-3 run, ending the upset-minded Lady Trojans bid for a state appearance.

After the game, New Kent Lady Trojans Stuart Burnett commented he was proud of the game but knew his team had squandered an opportunity.

“I don’t think anyone has taken York to five games this season, but I am really proud of the team,” he commented. “We had some injuries, and I messed the fourth game up. There were some lineup errors when we were trying to make subs, so that is totally my fault.

“I will also say when you look at us graduating nine players last year and having 10 rookies this year to get that close, that was great,” Burnett added. “That was our best match of the season.”

New Kent will graduate two players from this year’s squad, who completes the season with a record of 16-10.