Lady Saints turn tables on PCHSPublished 8:59pm Saturday, August 31, 2013
Last year, the Nansemond-Suffolk Academy girls’ volleyball team reached the state championship game, took a two-game lead and then dropped three straight to lose the match.
On Thursday, the Lady Saints faced largely the same Peninsula Catholic High School team that won that match, but this time NSA finished with a straight set win: 25-23, 25-21, 25-23.
Nansemond-Suffolk head coach Robyn Ross commented on the game in comparison to the state final, saying she was “happy with the win, but I tried to tell the girls and explain to the girls how little this game meant, but it meant a lot to them.”
Senior outside hitter Kaylor Nash, who led her team with 15 kills and also had nine digs and one ace, was of a similar mindset to her coach.
“It was great since it was the first game,” she said.
“Starting off winning is always a great feeling, but they still beat us when it mattered last year, in states, so it didn’t taste quite as good as I thought it would, but it’ll do until we see them again in states.”
Ross said while she was pleased with most of what she saw, the team showed inconsistency.
For a while, the match seemed like it would go in the same direction as the state title showdown, with NSA trailing in the third game.
“We were behind and they made errors that let us get back into the game,” Ross said.
Handling close games has been an emphasis in practice, Ross said.
“They pulled that third game out — that was one of the things that went well last night that I was happy with.”
Nash identified what made the difference this time around.
“I think our blocking was really good. Kaitlin (Werner) and Caylin (Harris) both got a couple blocks on (Peninsula Catholic’s) outside hitter, which really helped us out a lot.”
Harris, a junior middle blocker, had nine kills and two blocks.
In her first game replacing graduated setter Quinby Hines, junior Brooks Gillerlain had 33 assists and 10 digs.
Ross said, “The thing that Quinby did so well was set selection and placing the ball, and so for it being Brooks’ first start as a setter and to have it be that caliber of a match, I was really happy with what she did.”
NSA (1-0) hosts Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School on Tuesday.