Broken streak

Published 10:20 pm Tuesday, August 25, 2009

PORTSMOUTH – Last season, King’s Fork’s boys volleyball team went the whole season without a victory. In fact, the Bulldogs won only one set all season.

On Tuesday evening at Churchland High School, the Bulldogs, under new co-head coaches Joshua Worrell and Mark Parsons, took care of that streak with the first match of the 2009 season by sweeping Churchland, 25-11, 25-22, 25-13. It was the first win for the Bulldogs’ boys volleyball team since Sept. 18, 2007.

Worrell is KF’s head boys basketball coach, and Parsons is the head boys soccer coach. Worrell’s headed the hoops team from day one of the school’s founding and led KF to the state championship this past March. Parsons, in his second season with the soccer team, won seven games, the most in the team’s history.

The Bulldogs were better all the way around than the Truckers. King’s Fork used steady serving, consistently keeping the ball in play, and some height and athleticism at the net.

Setter Josh Jahnsen got the Bulldogs going with three aces out of the first four points. KF got out to a 7-2 lead and kept going to a 14-3 lead in the opening set.

The second set was the same, with the Bulldogs moving comfortably ahead early. Blocks by Zach Johnson and Davante Gardner helped KF out to a 9-4 lead.

Johnson, a sophomore, played well and with good leaping ability at the net. Johnson led KF on the night with five kills. Gardner, better known for being the all-district post player on KF’s state championship basketball team, just uses his 6-foot-8 frame and natural skill that leads to blocked shots and rebounds on the basketball court.

KF had a 10-point lead until Churchland rallied late in game two to close within 24-22. The Bulldogs closed the set with Matt McIntosh setting up a spike by Johnson.

After Churchland got the opening point in the third set, the Bulldogs rolled off 10 straight points, including four aces by Lucas Johnson. Gardner knocked down two kills during the run. Churchland didn’t threaten again in the final set.

Jahnsen led KF with seven assists. McIntosh added four kills and four assists. McIntosh served nine aces.

Other than the streak-ending victory, the next best sign for KF’s boys volleyball future is of this squad’s 11 players, eight are sophomores or freshmen. If Worrell and Parsons can keep the team together, the chance to build a true boys volleyball program would be new at the six-year-old school.

In the girls’ contest at Churchland, the hosts defeated King’s Fork in five sets and in dramatic fashion in the final set, 20-25, 25-15, 25-19, 8-25, 16-14.

In a match which swayed back-and-forth on a number of occasions, Churchland had the final rally and won eight of the final 11 points to turn an 11-8 KF lead in the fifth set to the final score, 16-14.

Alaysha Mikell led KF with seven kills. Renikqua Ricks and Jamika Townsend had five kills each and Townsend led the Lady Bulldogs with nine assists.

KF looked steady through the first set. Good setting from Townsend and Monica Logwood made the offense work and Cintoria Tharps, Brittany Robinson and Mikell combined for seven kills.

On a dime, Churchland had total control of sets two and three. In set two, Churchland jumped out to a 9-2 lead and was never threatened. In the next set, Churchland took a 10-6 lead with seven straight points and led the rest of the way.

Churchland led game four 5-2 before KF went on a 17-1 run. KF scored eight points on Tharps’ serve and seven, including four straight aces, on Townsend’s serve.

In the tiebreaking set, a run of six straight points on Tharps’ serve put KF up 8-5 and KF led 11-8 before Churchland’s deciding comeback.