Top seed too much for NSA
To keep their season going for one more match, Nansemond-Suffolk’s boys volleyball squad had to get past a serious obstacle Thursday night in the TCIS semifinals.
Cape Henry went through their conference regular season undefeated and had two wins over the Saints.
Last night in front of a full home gym, NSA played well and had their chances against the conference’s top seed, but Cape Henry prevailed in four games, moving on to Saturday’s championship match.
The Dolphins’ offense looked strong early in game one as CH got out to an 8-4 lead. NSA began hustling for digs, making CH work equally hard for each point.
Matt Hamlet put down NSA’s first big spike of the night, getting a side out at 14-11 CH.
After a CH error, Kyle Whedbee was huge on consecutive points, getting a solo block and then a kill, tying the score, 14-14.
Net and two-hand violations hurt the Saints in the rest of game one.
Those errors and CH’s ability above the net was too much of a combination and the visitors built a comfortable margin.
Game two stayed a tight battle until a big block by Ryan Beale touched off the NSA student section and what would become a 5-0 NSA run to 16-10.
A kill from Beale, off a Bennett Bynum set, made it 18-11 NSA.
A long rally, including a dig by Sterling Taylor off a Dolphin rocket, ended with another Bynum-to-Beale kill for 21-15 NSA.
After a CH side out, a kill by Hamlet returned the serve to NSA at 22-16.
With NSA poised to even the match, CH showed why they are the top seed.
The Dolphins reasserted control going on a 10-2 run to turn the game.
NSA led 24-21 and the Saints let three game points go by the boards.
To the Saints’ credit, they fought from behind after CH ran out to a 10-5 lead to start game three.
Back-to-back kills by Hamlet, both coming thanks to Bynum sets, tied it at 10-10 and NSA kept going on Cameron Boone’s service to a 13-10 lead.
Another Hamlet spike got a key side out, making it 14-12 NSA, and Taylor served three straight winning points to a 17-12 lead.
This time, NSA kept their momentum rolling and actually cruised by the Dolphins in the game.
From CH’s 10-5 lead, NSA outscored CH, 20-6.
Hamlet and Bynum combined for seven kills in the game and Hamlet put away the last two points of the game, one with a spike and game point with a dink over two CH blockers.
CH made sure they were going to the finals in game four.
The Dolphins got out to a 5-1 lead and kept going to leads of 10-3 and 16-6.
The Saints briefly rallied, with two Beale kills making it 17-10, but CH closed it out from there.
In the end, NSA’s defense could not keep up with the Dolphins’ hitting ability.