River sweeps up in volleyball

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 27, 2005

Nansemond River began its boys and girls volleyball seasons with respective sweeps over cross-town rivals from Lakeland on Thursday night at Nansemond River.

Behind 22 assists from Sarah McDonald and 15 kills from April Hines, the Lady Warriors defeated the Lady Cavaliers 25-13, 25-19, 25-19.

The combination of McDonald effectively setting up outside hitters Hines and Shannon Andy, who finished the evening with seven kills, kept River in the driver’s seat for most of the match.

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The Lady Warriors jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the first game, with McDonald and Hines teaming up for three sets and three kills in the first seven points, setting up a first game.

In game two, the Lady Cavs closed the River lead to 18-15 at one point, with blocks from Maurissa Slocum and Laja Buckingham spurring the rally that brought Lakeland within striking distance.

Lakeland led 13-11 midway through game three, and was down just one at 17-16 before the Lady Warriors took final control of the match, winning eight of the final 11 points.

&uot;We’re a family and we work together,&uot; said McDonald. &uot;We need some more defense. We have the height, we have the ability, and we just have to put it together.&uot;

The boys followed, with similar results.

The Warriors won in impressive fashion, 25-18, 25-12, 25-22.

River’s height and leaping ability, mainly in the forms of Sean Debbly (11 kills), Mark Brown (11 kills), and Brian Briesemeister (seven kills) was too much for the Lakeland defense.

Jason Taylor’s 29 assists set up practically every River kill throughout the match.

With River up 14-10 in the opening game, a 5-0 Lakeland run gave the Cavs the lead; a pair of Jerry Hertzog aces keyed the rally. With Lakeland up 17-15, River was able to side out, giving Briesemeister the serve.

Six points later, the Warriors led 24-17 as two aces and two Debbly kills fired up the Warriors and allowed Brown to close out the game two points later with a kill of his own.

River cruised through game two, but then got a stern test in game three. The Warriors had led throughout the third game, and were seemingly in good shape at 21-17.

Three straight Cavalier points closed the gap to one, and Lakeland then tied the game at 22.

The Warriors were able to regain the lead on a long point from both sides that ended with Brown pounding down another kill.

&uot;We focused as a team today,&uot; Warrior coach Chris Kosmowski said. &uot;It was just a great team effort tonight and a great way to start the season.&uot;

Dirrell Foreman scored seven kills and three blocks for Lakeland, and Cory Worley had 10 assists.

Briesemeister finished with six aces and Taylor had five aces.

The Cavaliers have their home opener on Tuesday against Western Branch; the Warriors travel to Hickory on Wednesday.