Va. Beach Crusaders top First Baptist

Published 4:38 pm Monday, September 12, 2011

First Baptist freshman Zoe Waddell hits the floor for a dig as the Lady Crusaders hosted Gateway Christian Thursday evening. Gateway, the defending champs in the Seven Cities Athletic Conference, beat First Baptist 25-15, 25-19, 25-19.

In a Crusader versus Crusader rematch of last season’s Seven Cities Athletic Conference Tournament final, Virginia Beach’s Gateway Crusaders repeated the job against the First Baptist Crusaders with a 25-15, 25-19, 25-19 win at First Baptist Thursday night.

Gateway won the conference crown with a five-set victory over First Baptist last October.

With some signs of promise, such as hanging with Gateway for most of the last two sets on Thursday, the three-set defeat signaled Suffolk’s Crusaders have work to do if they want to turn around a future meeting against Gateway said First Baptist head coach Joseph Cockrell.

Email newsletter signup

“(Gateway) did the same thing. They’re super-athletic. They cover the court so well and they get every ball back. They do that and allow us to make errors and we did just that,” Cockrell said.

First Baptist took its game to Gateway at times. Megan Farmer served up a rally, including four aces, in the opening set.

In set two, First Baptist turned a 7-2 Gateway lead into an 8-7 First Baptist lead. From an 11-8 First Baptist edge, Gateway answered to regain a narrow lead before going on a 6-2 run for a decisive 23-16 margin.

Setter Janna Williams and hitter Abby Cockrell combined for a few kills in the middle game. Overall though, Gateway’s constant defense was too tough to beat out.

First Baptist fought back from a 13-6 deficit to tie the third set 15-15. Caitlin Hankins served a good run, with a couple aces tossed in, for most of the First Baptist rally.

Gateway won four straight points building a 21-16 lead and closed out the match from there.

“When an opponent gets every ball back, you have to be perfect in your execution, especially in how you get the ball back to the setter every time,” Joseph Cockrell said.

Abby Cockrell totaled 10 kills and five blocks. Williams had seven assists and Farmer had seven aces.

First Baptist (1-2, 0-1) continues with conference play on Monday evening, hosting Veritas at 6 p.m.