A Taylor-made River victory

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 17, 2005

Both Nansemond River volleyball teams continued their early season success Thursday night at home, with both the boys and girls sweeping Oscar Smith.

The girls (6-3, 4-2) got through a nail-biting opening game on their way to a 25-23, 25-21, 25-15 win.

In the late game, behind 27 assists from Jason Taylor, the Warriors (8-1, 4-1) beat the Tigers 25-16, 25-23, 25-20.

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The Lady Warriors trailed in game one 20-16 when Sarah McDonald set up a Shannon Andy kill to side out to Vachonda Burrell’s serve.

A Smith error, back-to-back Burrell aces, and another Smith error, put River in front at 21-20.

The teams traded points until the score was 23-all on Oscar Smith’s serve.

McDonald assisted for April Hines’s 5th kill of the game to side out, and Britney Pulliam won game point with a block at the center of the net.

The second game was a bit more comfortable, although the Lady Tigers closed the River lead to 18-16 before the Lady Warriors took off on a 6-1 run, making the score 24-17.

It took a few game points, but the Lady Warriors closed out game two with McDonald setting another Hines kill for the winning point.

Pulliam remained a force on defense with three more kills in game two.

In the final game, the Lady Warriors jumped out to leads of 5-1 and 11-3 in finishing the sweep.

McDonald piled up 17 assists.

Hines led River in kills with 10; Andy finished with eight kills and four aces.

Pulliam, adding a new weapon to the Lady Warrior arsenal, finished the match with seven blocks.

In the boys’ match, the Warriors set the tone quickly.

Siding out on the first point of the match, serve went to Taylor, who proceeded to hammer four consecutive aces, giving River a fast 5-0 lead.

The Warrior advantage grew to 16-9, with two more Taylor aces taking points 15 and 16.

Taylor set up eight assists to six different Warriors in the opening game, including the last two kills of game one going to Brian Briesemeister.

The Tigers led 15-12 in game two, and it seemed as the match could turn into a long affair.

A side out and three straight points on Sean Debbly’s serve gave River a brief lead.

After Smith retook the lead, 17-16, a side out, and then a 5-0 run on Kenny Nance’s serve, pushed the Warrior lead to 22-17.

Mark Brown was key in the run, contributing three kills and a block during the five points.

The rest of the game three was less dramatic, as River took the final game 25-20.

Mostly coming via Taylor’s passing, Brown had 11 kills, Nance eight, Debbly seven, and Briesemeister six.

&uot;We have a lot of talent,&uot; Taylor said, &uot;and a lot of first year guys are stepping up and taking the lead on the team.

&uot;I try to distribute the ball to as many guys as I can.

I got six guys who can get kills, so getting each one of them their chances is just fair,&uot; said Taylor.

Both River volleyball squads take the court again Wednesday, Sept. 20 at home against Great Bridge.

In other action, Lakeland was swept by Indian River and King’s Fork’s girls fell to Hickory.