Lady Warriors finish Suffolk sweep

Published 6:29 pm Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Nansemond River’s girls volleyball completed a Suffolk season sweep on Tuesday night with a four-set win over visiting Lakeland, 25-21, 23-25, 25-15, 25-16.

Lakeland, looking for its first victory this season against a team other than King’s Fork, traded punches with the host Lady Warriors until late in the third set and a 17-3 NR run switched that set from a Lady Cavalier lead to a big NR lead and momentum that stayed with the Lady Warriors the rest of the way.

“We just started feeling our rhythm better and playing back to our level. We starting moving the ball around a little better,” said NR head coach Cristine Pisani.

In the opening set, Nansemond River’s plan seemed easy. Shanna Coriano setting for spikes from Courtney Lowers worked for five of NR’s first 11 points as the Lady Warriors got out to an 11-6 lead.

Lakeland rallied and worked its way back into the set. A kill by Dashea Collins made it 19-18 NR and Crystal Trent’s ace tied the set. A block by Sydney Folsom gave Lakeland the lead at 21-20.

After Pisani called a timeout, NR scored the last five points in a row. Sara Gallagher served the last four points and Danielle Gallagher won set point with a block.

Lakeland jumped out to a 9-3 lead in the second set. Setter Erika Wood and middle hitter Porshe Garner teamed up for three kills in the early stages of the set for the Lady Cavs.

Lakeland led 20-14 and seemed to be moving to a straightforward win. NR went on a 9-2 run and took a 23-22 lead.

A block by Folsom made it 23-23, then two of the longest rallies of the match decided two of the most critical points. Lakeland prevailed on both of them, with a Garner kill, her sixth of the second set, finishing the set and tying the match.

Lakeland kept going to a 10-6 lead to start set three. Lowers had three kills and and three aces in an eight-point span to give NR the lead at 13-11.

The Lady Warriors kept going and six straight aces by Danielle Gallagher was the big turning point of the night. Gallagher’s run took the NR lead to 23-13. NR finished the third set from there and controlled the rest of the match. In the final set, NR’s attack was in its best form of the match.

“Our passes got tighter to the net, so that gives our front row better chances to hit,” said Pisani.

Coriano had 13 of her 30 assists in the fourth set with seven of them leading to kills by Danielle Gallagher.

Danielle Gallagher finished with 15 kills, seven aces and three blocks. Lowers had 14 kills and eight digs. Sara Gallagher had 11 kills.

For Lakeland, Wood had 11 assists and Garner had eight kills. Lakeland (2-11, 2-11) plays at Grassfield on Thursday at 7 p.m. Nansemond River (6-9, 5-9) hosts Western Branch on Thursday night.