NSA volleyball extends record to 10-0Published 10:46pm Tuesday, September 18, 2012
It was a battle of unbeaten teams in girls volleyball on Tuesday night, and Nansemond-Suffolk Academy defeated visiting Norfolk Academy in four sets, 25-11, 22-25, 25-14, 25-20.
“NA games are always a tough one for our girls to play,” Lady Saints coach Robyn Ross said. “They’re big rivals, so there’s a lot more emotion involved than usual.”
NSA improved to 10-0 on the season, but also experienced their first ever loss of a set within a match this season.
It was hard to call the match a close one given the relative blowouts in sets one and three, but the second set posed quite a challenge.
“We made some errors that we don’t usually make in that second game to sort of give it to them,” Ross said. “But, I was still pleased that they came back and finished strong after dropping the game.”
When it came to recovering from the second game setback, Ross looked to her experienced players to provide leadership.
“I told the seniors and Kaylor (Nash), our team captains, that now it was time for them to step up and lead their team through this,” she said.
Junior outside hitter Kaylor Nash had 19 kills, two aces, five blocks and eight digs.
“Kaylor did some great things in the middle,” Ross said.
It was senior setter Quinby Hines, however, who put forth a performance that Ross described as unprecedented for her.
“She really stepped up and played better than I think I’ve ever seen her play before,” she said. “So, I was really happy with what she did.”
Hines had 43 assists, two kills, four aces, one block and nine digs.
“Quinby has really taken her role as captain, and I’ve put a lot of pressure on the seniors to lead their team,” Ross said, “and she’s been with me now for three years and knows everything that I expect and I couldn’t be happier with the way that she’s leading her team.”
The Lady Saints also got some help from their younger players, including sophomore middle blocker Caylin Harris, who had 13 kills and three blocks.
While the match did feature some strong performances, Ross was not ignoring the errors that can come with a team in which five out of the nine players on the roster are sophomores.
“We will focus on the mental mistakes next practice,” she wrote. “Since there are so many ‘rookies’ out on the court for us all the time, we have to make sure we do the little things perfect every time.”
The team can only hope to aspire to their coach’s example in terms of dedication. Robyn Ross gave birth to a baby girl last Monday, but was back coaching on the sideline Tuesday night. Kaylor Nash’s mother held the baby in the stands as the match progressed.
“I am doing great,” Ross wrote. “I am not good at sitting still or missing practices/games. I did take a few days off, but was back at practice four days after she was born, and I couldn’t miss the big games we have this week.”
She credits among others, her assistant coach, Beverly Nuckles, for making this season easier on her.
“This year’s success is all about teamwork,” she wrote. “The girls, the coaches and school leadership have made this year amazing.”
The Lady Saints will take to the road next to face Hampton Roads Academy.
“HRA is Thursday which will be another really tough match,” Ross said. “We played them at the beginning of the season, but they’re a good team.”