Warriors win rivalry, critical match all in one

Published 11:40 pm Friday, October 17, 2008

Starting the night a game behind Hickory for the final playoff spot in the Southeastern District Tournament, Nansemond River’s boys volleyball contest would’ve been a crucial one on Thursday night no matter what. Add that the Warriors’ opponent was cross-city rival Lakeland, and a dramatic, five-game marathon had to be the fitting outcome.

After Lakeland won on Nansemond River’s home floor earlier in the season, the Warriors took the first two games on Thursday at Lakeland, only for the match to still go five games before Nansemond River held on, 25-23, 26-24, 12-25, 23-25, 15-12.

Meanwhile, in Chesapeake on Thursday evening, Hickory lost to Great Bridge. With one regular-season match left for the Warriors and Hawks, the teams are tied at 10-7 in fourth place in the district. On Tuesday, the Warriors host Oscar Smith while Hickory plays at Deep Creek. If a tie remains after Tuesday, there will be a tiebreaker match.

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Lakeland wrapped up at least third place in the district with a win on Tuesday. The Cavaliers led through most of game one and had a 22-18 lead. The Warriors, led by two kills by Kyle Briesemeister, scored four straight points to tie it.

After a sideout by Lakeland to retake the lead, kills by Briesemeister and Sean Duffy put NR in front and set up game point. Briesemeister floated a serve which fell in between Cavalier miscommunication at the worst possible time to put the Warriors up a game.

Game two was a similar script as Lakeland took an early lead. Alex Brooks had five kills and two blocks in helping the Cavs take a 15-11 lead and Lakeland still led at 20-16.

Cheynne Maupin led the Warrior comeback in game two. Maupin had eight kills in the game and an ace by Maupin tied the game 22-22. Another kill by Brooks, then a block by Scott Asbell, gave Lakeland two points to win the game.

A kill by Briesemeister and a block by Kerrington Harris saved the points for the Warriors. Briesemeister put down a big spike to give NR the lead and a setting error on Lakeland’s Russell Carr finished game two.

Brooks kept firing away in game three and Lakeland led 12-9. The Cavaliers pulled away in a major way though when Asbell and Taylor Bess added their hitting to the Lakeland attack. Carr set for 12 of his 39 assists in game three and Lakeland finished the game with a 13-3 run.

The Warriors were poised to close the match in game four as they had a 17-11 lead after a 7-1 run. Lakeland closed the gap to 17-15, then kept chipping away until taking the lead at 21-20. Carr-to-Asbell for a kill made it 22-21, then Carr-to-Brooks for Lakeland’s last three points of the game, forced game five.

The decisive game turned in Nansemond River’s favor with two blocks by Hayden Champigny. The blocks were two of five for the match by Champigny, but they came to build NR’s lead to 11-7, then 12-8. Cubol-to-Maupin for a kill kept it a four-point margin, which the Warriors needed, because true to the rest of the match, Lakeland came back to within 13-12.

An error by Lakeland, then Cubol setting for a spike by Briesemeister, finished the win for the Warriors.

Maupin led the Warriors with 20 kills. Briesemeister added 14 kills. Daniel Archibald and Cubol combined for 52 assists.

“The last four times we’ve played (Lakeland), they’ve all gone five games,” said Cubol, “so this meant a lot to do this in our senior year.”

“I was just telling everyone that they’re not a better team than us,” said Briesemeister about how the Warriors regrouped heading to game five.

For Lakeland (13-4, 13-4), Brooks had 30 kills and Asbell had eight kills and three blocks.

In the girls match, Nansemond River completed a season sweep against Lakeland with a three-game sweep, 25-6, 25-15, 25-9. The Lady Warriors (3-15, 3-14) and King’s Fork finish with season with tied 3-1 records in intra-city contests.

Nansemond River jumped out to an 8-0 lead on Jordan Winslow’s serve to open the match. Winslow served three aces and Courtney Lowers had three kills in the opening run. Nansemond River kept going with eight straight points on Jackie Irons’ serve to build a 17-2 lead.

Kaylyn Chatman and Porshe Garner had four kills each for Lakeland (0-17, 0-17). Winslow finished with 18 assists and six aces for the Lady Warriors. Ashlee Wiechert (8), Danielle Gallagher (7) and Lowers (6) led Nansemond River in kills.

Thursday night’s matches were Senior Night at Lakeland. The Cavaliers recognized the seniors from both schools.

Chatman, April Sweat, Leah Harbour, Tori Brinkley, Christine Coles, Stanita Thomas and Ginny Duke are Lady Cavalier seniors. Carr, Brooks and Christian Ehrenzeller are the seniors on Lakeland’s boys’ squad.

For Nansemond River, Winslow, Irons, Wiechert, Kelsey Evans, Cortney Kinchlow and Sarah McLain are seniors on the girls’ team. Josiah Cubol, Duffy, Archibald and Matt Schutz are seniors on the boys’ team.