Sweep puts NSA in TCIS semis

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It was a struggle at times, but Nansemond-Suffolk’s girls volleyball squad moved through the quarterfinals of the Tidewater Conference Tournament Tuesday night with a three-set win versus visiting Hampton Roads, 25-18, 25-18, 29-27.

The No. 3-seeded Lady Saints came into Tuesday’s match off a three-set sweep on Friday in Richmond against Collegiate, the No. 2-ranked team in VIS (Virginia Independent Schools) Div. II. NSA is sixth in the Div. II poll.

Against No. 6 (TCIS) Hampton Roads, the Lady Saints had to outlast a spirited effort from HRA, especially in the third set that turned into a marathon.

“HRA is a good team and they have a very good coach. Tonight, maybe we were looking a little too far ahead,” said NSA head coach Elizabeth Stello.

“Despite not playing overly well, we still won in three. They seemed to find their motivation when they needed to,” said Stello.

NSA led steadily through the opening set with Tori Dail and Alyssa Grigg getting four kills each.

HRA led in the early stages of the second set until a 4-0 spurt by the Lady Saints gave NSA a 12-9 lead.

HRA quickly regained the lead at 14-13 and from there, neither side gained more than a one-point lead until late in the set.

NSA got a side out to tie the set at 18 and the Lady Saints ran off seven straight points on Drew Weitzman’s serve.

The momentum didn’t carry into the third set though and Hampton Roads made things more difficult by becoming a blocking force at the net. HRA totaled six blocks in the third set.

HRA led 12-5 before a 10-2 NSA run put NSA up 15-14. It was the same back-and-forth battle as the previous set.

NSA got a kill by Grigg and an ace by Dail to take a 22-20 lead. HRA won four of the next five points and got a set point. A spike by HRA went barely long. An NSA error gave HRA another set point, but HRA returned the favor with an error to make it 25-25.

Mackenzie Westfall’s set and a spike by Dail put NSA up 28-27 and NSA finished the match on the next point with HRA putting a shot into the net.

Westfall had 36 assists for the Lady Saints. Dail led NSA with 14 kills and five aces. Grigg had 12 kills. Alice Persons added six kills and six digs.

NSA has won eight straight matches and the last five have come in sweeps. NSA (17-6) will face the winner of Tuesday evening’s No. 2 Norfolk Academy vs. No. 7 Greenbrier Christian match on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Walsingham Academy.