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NR girls, Cavalier boys win in city rivalry

Led by setter Russell Carr and hitting from Alex Brooks and Scott Asbell, Lakeland won its fifth straight Southeastern District volleyball match, beating city rival Nansemond River in four games on Thursday at Nansemond River, 25-19, 20-25, 25-23, 25-17.

Carr dished out 34 assists, Brooks had 22 kills and Asbell had 16 kills along with key blocks and digs throughout the match.

In the girls match at NR, the Lady Warriors improved to 2-0 against their city competition with a sweep against Lakeland, 25-5, 25-23, 25-23.

NR’s Jordan Winslow ran the Lady Warrior attack with 16 assists. Courtney Lowers and Ashlee Wiechert had seven kills each.

The Lady Warriors romped through game one. NR scored five straight points on Cortney Kinchlow’s serve to start the match and kept building the lead from there.

A long run on Jackie Irons’ serve took NR’s lead to 20-4. Irons served a pair of aces and Danielle Gallagher added two kills during the run.

Despite how game one went, Lakeland went blow-for-blow with Nansemond River in games two and three. Lakeland got out to an 11-7 lead in the second game before NR rallied to move ahead 15-13.

NR led the rest of the game, but it got as close as possible at the end as Lakeland fought off four game points to pull within 24-23. A hit by Sarah McLain forced a Lakeland error for NR’s clinching point.

Game three followed a similar script as Lakeland opened a lead early behind kills by Porshe Garner and SheQuandra Boone and aces by April Sweat and Christine Coles.

Lakeland still held a 12-11 lead before NR ran off a 9-1 streak for a 20-13 lead. The Lady Cavaliers answered on Monica Cotton’s serve with eight straight points to retake the lead, 21-20.

Lakeland led 23-22, but a net violation on Lakeland tied the game and an ace by Ambyr Clendenning put NR up 24-23. Unlike the usual Winslow-to-Wiechert or Winslow-to-Lowers point for NR, on match point, Clendenning set and Kelsey Evans won a joust at the center of the net for the final point.

Lakeland was led statistically by Cotton with four assists and Kaylyn Chatman with three kills.

NR (2-7, 2-6) goes on the road to face Oscar Smith on Tuesday. Lakeland (0-8, 0-8) hosts Western Branch on Tuesday.

In the boys match, two teams who are not only rivals, but also dueling for Southeastern District Tournament spots, played a hard-hitting match. Lakeland’s win gives the Cavs a 7-1 record overall and in the district; NR goes to 5-4, 4-4.

Lakeland broke out to leads in all four games, and while NR made strong runs each time, three out of the four times Lakeland regained the momentum to finish the game.

“Nansemond’s our biggest rival,” said Brooks, “we had to come out here and throw down.”

“We want to finish strong our senior year,” said Carr, “we always leave it on the floor and that’s what we did tonight.”

After a back-and-forth opening to the match, five straight points on Brooks’ serve gave Lakeland a 12-7 lead.

Back-to-back kills by Brooks pushed Lakeland’s lead to 22-15 before the Warriors got within 22-19. Three straight Lakeland points closed out the opening game.

In game two, an early 4-1 NR lead quickly changed to a 13-5 Lakeland lead, thanks mostly to another long run on Brooks’ serve. All the Cavs on the floor added to the run with Bobby Estienne and Taylor Bess getting kills and Asbell getting one of his four blocks.

A net-cord ace, then a more common style of ace, both by Josh Howard, completed an NR comeback to take a 18-17 lead.

Josiah Cubol set center hitter Kerrington Harris for a kill to make it 23-20 NR. Cubol set Cheynne Maupin for a big spike for point 24 and Dan Archibald set for Matt Schutz’s kill on game point.

Now with the match squared, Lakeland opened a 12-7 lead. Each time NR closed the margin, it seemed Carr-to-Brooks or Carr-to-Asbell was the plan for Lakeland.

NR had its own combo late in game three as Archibald and Kyle Briesemeister connected for three straight points and four out of five, all with Briesemeister slamming away from the outside left. Briesemeister’s fourth kill made it 21-20 Lakeland.

NR took a 23-22 lead on a Lakeland error, but the Cavaliers regrouped with Carr setting for Asbell for a kill, then Carr setting Brooks for a spike down the line. On game point, Bess got his first block of the match, giving Lakeland a 2-1 lead in the match.

Game four was the most one-sided of the night as Lakeland built a 17-10 lead and a five-point margin was the closest the Warriors got down the stretch. Lakeland’s three captains took charge in the final game, with Carr totaling 11 assists, Brooks hitting seven kills and Asbell tallying five kills, two assists and two blocks.

“Scott’s a complete ballplayer. He’s a true leader because in every practice and every game, he leaves it on the floor, literally,” said Lakeland head coach Daniel Waller.

“He does whatever it takes to get the job done, plus, what’s more impressive, he could be the future valedictorian,” said Waller of Asbell.

For Nansemond River, Archibald had 21 assists and Cubol had 17 assists. Briesemeister led the Warriors in kills with 12. Hayden Champigny had seven kills and six blocks.