Warriors double up on city rival

Published 8:56 pm Saturday, September 12, 2009

Nansemond River swept both varsity volleyball matches at cross-city rival King’s Fork on Thursday evening.

The Lady Warriors fought off an unthinkable rally by King’s Fork in the third set and wound up winning in four sets, 25-20, 22-25, 29-27, 25-13. The Warriors improved to 4-0 on the season with an easy win over the Bulldogs, 25-12, 25-10, 25-23.

In a back-and-forth contest through the first two sets, set three of the ladies’ game was the turning point. The set finally tipped in NR’s favor, but not without a lot of drama.

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After the set started with a 9-9 tie, Nansemond River went on a 14-4 run. Only two points from losing the set, King’s Fork rallied on Monica Logwood’s serve. Steady serving and constant NR errors added up to 11 straight Lady Bulldog points.

A net violation on KF wasted a set point. An ace by C.J. Wood gave NR a set point at 25-24, but KF answered with Renikqua Ricks getting a kill.

NR gained another set point, with Shanna Coriano setting for a kill by Danielle Gallagher. Another NR error retied the score, 26-26, and KF got the next point with Courtney Brown assisting Brittany Robinson for a kill.

KF’s second chance to win the set went by the boards with another net violation. NR finally closed out the set and took the lead in the match as Courtney Lowers spiked a kill for a 28-27 lead and a dig by Sara Gallagher turned into a kill, falling on KF’s side of the court, for 29-27.

In the fourth set, Nansemond River got out to a big lead for the first time of the evening. NR led 9-3 and got five aces combined from Coriano, Sara Gallagher and Nathalie Henson. NR took a bigger lead with a 6-0 run to go up 20-8 in the set and this time there was no big King’s Fork comeback.

“We showed good mental toughness,” said Nansemond River head coach Cristine Pisani.

“We fought the whole time. On Tuesday we played very well, and then tonight, even though we weren’t really playing our game, we stuck with it and that’s pretty good,” said Pisani.

Nansemond River swept Deep Creek in a Southeastern District match on Tuesday evening. With Thursday’s win, the Lady Warriors are 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the district.

King’s Fork broke out to a 6-0 lead in the opening set and to a 7-2 lead in the second set. In set one, Nansemond River rallied to tie the set at 10-10. Lowers, who finished with a match-high 10 kills, led the Lady Warriors to get back into the set. Danielle Gallagher, who was quiet early on in the first set, scored two kills and two aces in the last six NR points of the set to give NR the set.

NR rallied in the second set to get a 10-10 tie, but this time KF regained the momentum. An ace by Jamika Townsend and a kill by Logwood sparked the Lady Bulldogs as they scored four straight points after NR had tied the score. KF held the lead through the rest of the set.

For King’s Fork (0-4, 0-3), Townsend had five assists, Logwood had four aces and Alaysha Mikell had four kills.

Coriano set for 17 assists for the Lady Warriors. Danielle Gallagher added nine kills and Sara Gallagher had seven kills.

In the nightcap, Nansemond River’s first-stringers routed King’s Fork in the first two sets and the Warrior reserves finished the sweep.

Josh Howard led NR’s attack with nine assists and Kyle Briesemeister put down four kills, including a couple of huge spikes from the outside, as NR rolled through the first set.

Kerrington Harris entered the match to start the second set and helped NR get out to a 12-2 lead in set two. Harris totaled four kills, two blocks, two assists and two aces in the second set.

In the final set, King’s Fork (1-3, 0-3) kept the set close the whole way and led 19-18 after a kill by Matt McIntosh. The Warriors (4-0, 3-0) closed out the match from there though. A.J. Stewart had three aces down the stretch for NR.

Howard finished with 17 assists. Briesemeister led NR with six kills.