Lady Warriors came from far away to play; beat Lakeland in final game

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 16, 2002

For the past three seasons, Rachele Hirsch has been blasting serves past opposing defenses for the Nansemond River volleyball team. But over the past two seasons, she got help from thousands of miles away.

&uot;I played in England for two years before I played two for Nansemond River,&uot; said Jessica Bennett, a two-year veteran of the varsity team. &uot;We played a lot more games against a lot more teams than we do here.&uot;

In Japan, Ashley Stewart had the opposite problem. &uot;There’s a lot more schools in Suffolk then there were there,&uot; said Stewart, who played for Japan’s Kubasakie High School for two seasons before transferring to Nansemond River last season. &uot;Only about three schools were playing there.&uot;

Email newsletter signup

On Tuesday night, the three seniors played their final home game as Lady Warriors, defeating crosstown rival Lakeland, 15-10, 15-10.

&uot;It felt pretty good to beat the local rivals,&uot; said Hirsch, who served for her team’s last two points. &uot;We were confident in each other.&uot;

Though April Hines served eight points as the Lady Warriors charged to an 11-0 lead in the first game, Sarah Wheeler blasted over four quick points and Mary Rimasse three as the Lady Cavaliers climbed to within 11-9. But Ashley Cox slammed home a kill to get the Lady Warriors the ball, and knocked over an ace to bump up the advantage. Two aces from Brittany Szalanski netted the Lady Warriors a 14-9 lead, and Whitney Eley spiked a skill to end it.

Two kills by Eley and an ace by Hirsch gave the Lady Warriors a 4-0 lead in the second game, but Kristen Worrell smashed four points past Nansemond River to tie the score. Stewart gave the Lady Warriors a 6-4 lead, but Kat Spence knocked over another point for Lakeland, and neither team could manage more than a two-point advantage until the Lady Warriors jumped out to a 13-9 lead behind Ashley Cox’s serving.

Rimasse smacked over another point for the Lady Cavaliers, but Hirsch took control and knocked the Lady Warriors to 14-10, and Eley hit her seventh kill to end the match.

The teams will be away Thursday, as Lakeland heads to Indian River and Nansemond River goes to Deep Creek.