Warriors advance to district tournament

Published 10:05 pm Tuesday, October 28, 2008

CHESAPEAKE – Nansemond River advanced past Hickory in an all-or-nothing boys volleyball contest on Monday night at Oscar Smith.

The district tournament for the boys gets going Wednesday, but the Warriors and Hawks finished in a fourth-place tie with 11-7 records, so the final school to make the tournament came down to Monday’s tiebreaker match.

Aside from one big Hickory run to take control of the second game, the Warriors were in fairly comfortable control in the other three sets, winning 25-19, 20-25, 25-21, 25-19.

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Nansemond River lost at Hickory in four games in September, but beat the Hawks in five games at Nansemond River on Oct. 6. That win was the start of a 5-1 finish to the regular season for the Warriors, a record which brought them back from two games behind Hickory before their second meeting.

The Warrior attack came from everywhere against Hickory as five Warrior hitters had six or more kills. The pattern started in the opening game as Cheynne Maupin led Nansemond River with five kills, Hayden Champigny and Kerrington Harris had three each, and Kyle Briesemeister and Sean Duffy had two each. Daniel Archibald and Josiah Cubol had six assists each in the opening game.

Errors temporarily hurt the Warriors in game two. Unforced errors helped Hickory take a 6-1 lead. The Warriors answered to take the lead at 10-9 and the Warriors remained in front at 16-12 before a 9-1 Hickory run changed the game around.

Back-to-back sets by Cubol, one for a Harris kill and the next for a spike by Briesemeister, drew the Warriors within 22-20 Hickory. The Hawks won the last three points, with two being thanks to Warrior errors, of which there were 15 in the game.

The Warriors found their rhythm and execution again. Taking a 7-3 lead to start game three, the Warriors again held the advantage throughout.

Hickory cut the Warrior lead to 14-12 before a block by Champigny and a big spike by Maupin gave the Warriors a cushion. Hickory then drew within 21-19, but Nansemond River won the next three points, two of which came with Briesemeister kills off of Archibald assists.

In the final game, a 10-0 Nansemond River won was the final decider in the match. From an 8-8 score, three blocks by Harris and three kills by Briesemeister came during the big Warrior rally.

“Coach was just telling us to play the way we were playing. He said if we just play our game, and just keep on going, we’d be fine,” said Archibald about his head coach, Gene Lietz.

Archibald had 21 assists and Cubol had 17 assists. Briesemeister led the Warriors with 13 kills. Maupin added 11 kills, Harris had eight kills and six blocks.

“We’ve had it in mind all year,” said Archibald about making the tournament. “When we lost to Grassfield, that could’ve brought us at down, but I think it brought us together.”

The loss to Grassfield was on Oct. 2 and the next match for the Warriors was their key win against Hickory.

“The team chemistry has improved a lot since the beginning of the season,” said Champigny.

Prior to the Nansemond River/Hickory match at Oscar Smith on Monday, Great Bridge defeated Western Branch in a tiebreaker match for the top seed in the tournament and a spot in the Eastern Region Tournament.

Nansemond River will face Great Bridge in Wednesday’s semifinal. No. 3 Lakeland will face Western Branch in the second match on Wednesday night at Oscar Smith.