Volleyball club digs tourney winPublished 10:14pm Wednesday, May 1, 2013
The Nansemond Volleyball Club fielded four teams across four age groups at the Revolutionary Rumble in Williamsburg this past weekend, a tournament featuring 198 teams. The NVC’s 17-year old squad became the first in the club’s three-year history to win an event of this size.
The 17s defeated the Fredericksburg Juniors Volleyball Club with a score of 23-25, 25-20, 15-11.
“These girls have struggled this year, and so they finally got a huge payoff for all of their hard work,” 17s head coach Robyn Ross said. “So, it was really, really fun to see smiles on everybody’s faces at the end of a tournament.”
The team is composed of players from Nansemond-Suffolk Academy and Nansemond River High School. With about 40 teams in each age bracket, the NVC’s 14-year old team placed 22nd, the 15s team placed ninth and the 16s team finished 18th.
For the 17s team, the win was a dramatic turnaround from the previous year’s showing at the Revolutionary Rumble. In 2012, five out of eight of the girls from this year’s 17s team played on the 16s squad, which finished in the bottom 10.
To get to the final, the 17s had to win seven prior matches. NSA junior Kaylor Nash provided an extraordinary assist in the first match of the tourney against the Peninsula Juniors Volleyball Club 17 Molten.
“Kaylor served 20 serves in a row, which was really fun to watch,” Ross said. “I’ve never been a part of a team that the other team scored zero points. In rally scoring, you never see that.”
To make the games go faster, each team was spotted four points. The 17s lost the coin toss to get the opening serve, but they won the rally to go up 5-4, and Nash took it the rest of the way.
“That was a big accomplishment for me,” Nash said. “It’s unheard of for somebody to serve out a whole game and the other team not even score a point. But that was really exciting, actually.”
She admitted that two years ago it would not have been possible, but playing with the club and against better competition has helped her gain more confidence in her serve.
The 17s won that match 25-9, 25-4.I
Out of the eight matches, for the entire weekend, they only lost a single set – the first one of the championship game.
“In the stands, nobody that’s watching would have picked us to beat this Fredericksburg team that could just jump, and they had tons of girls that could jump and just cream the ball,” Ross said. “So, in the first game, we were sort of shell-shocked.”
Ross said they had to come back from being down by at least five points in every game of the match, including 8-4 in the final game that only goes to 15.
The 17s did it with superb defensive play by Nash and NSA sophomore Claire Shields, and also with the help of Nansemond River High School junior Rachel Kent.
“Rachel Kent had probably her best tournament ever, and her best match ever was in that final game and match against Fredericksburg,” Ross said.
Kent had 11 digs and eight kills, the most she has had in a single match this season.
“I just wanted to make sure that I kept my attitude positive and (kept) upbeat for everyone else, because everyone feeds off each other’s energy,” Kent said.
The team’s statistical leader for the weekend was Nash with 77 kills, 24 aces, nine blocks and 86 digs. Nansemond River junior Tatyana Thomas had 65 kills and 22 blocks. The squad improved to 30-22 on the season.