Top seed too much for NSA

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 3, 2006

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.

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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.