No. 13 brings luck to Lady Warriors

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 7, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Contrary to urban legend, the number 13 isn’t necessarily unlucky. Just ask Nancy Richey.

After leading the Nansemond River girls volleyball team to fifth place in the district for the second consecutive year, the head Lady Warrior was voted co-Southeastern District Coach of the Year (with Great Bridge’s Chris Lessick) in her 13th year of leading the NRHS girls.

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&uot;The only reason I was ‘Coach of the Year’ is because of my girls,&uot; Richey said. &uot;It didn’t change anything about the way I coached. These kids were really great, and they were the ones that helped me get it.&uot; Three such girls were All-District selections Ashley Cox, Whitney Eley and Sarah McDonald.

After being named to the Second All-District squad last season, Cox wanted to step things up a notch. &uot;Last season was an accomplishment that I was happy about,&uot; she said, &uot;but I decided before this season that making the First team was one of my goals, and I worked really hard.&uot; She certainly did; Cox, a four-year letter(wo)man, led the team in serves, aces, attacks, kills and saves.

Eley, who co-captains the group with Cox, made First team this season for the second-straight year. Her 125 kills were second by four to Cox’s total. &uot;There’s no real secret to (kills),&uot; she said. &uot;Even if you don’t really aim it, you’re OK if you just hit it hard. I think the team really improved in togetherness and played more as a team this year.&uot;

Though a sore back limited her effectiveness, Eley (who has three varsity letters in volleyball to her name) managed to lead the team in blocks, and served over 28 aces.

Next year, Cox hopes to carry her volleyball success to the courts of Virginia Tech, while Eley named Radford, George Mason, Hampton University and Old Dominion University as her possibilities.

While Cox and Eley were slamming home the kills, it was an almost sure bet that McDonald was the one to set them up. The sophomore and two-year letterman recorded 721 sets (91 percent of those she attempted), and assisted on 238 kills, winning her a spot on the Third Team.

The NRHS boys squad, which also finished fifth in the district, was represented on the All-District teams by Dusty Alexander (First team), Quinton Boykins (Second team) and Justin Sorenson (Third team).