NSA earns share of title

Published 9:14 pm Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Nansemond-Suffolk head volleyball coach Robyn Ross, crouched in center, gives her team guidance during a timeout in their 25-21, 26-28, 25-23, 25-12 home victory over Hampton Roads Academy on Tuesday night. The victory earned the Lady Saints a share of the TCIS regular season title with HRA.

Hampton Roads Academy had already clinched the TCIS regular season title, but by beating the Navigators on Tuesday night, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy forced HRA to share the title with them. NSA won at home in four sets, 25-21, 26-28, 25-23, 25-12.

“I think the biggest key is that we had nothing to lose and everything to gain,” Lady Saints’ head coach Robyn Ross said. “And that’s sort of the theme that we’ve had in practice and every time we’ve been on the court, knowing that this game was really going to mean who won the regular-season conference.”

The Lady Saints (21-2, 7-1) had their undefeated season spoiled by HRA earlier in the season, but they avenged that loss on Tuesday, led by senior setter Quinby Hines, who poured in 52 assists, nine digs, four aces and two blocks and junior outside hitter Kaylor Nash who had 15 kills and 22 digs.

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NSA came out with an early win in game one, but then found themselves in several holes in game two that they had keep digging themselves out of before ultimately losing the set.

“We lost by two points, so I knew we were going to come out hard and fighting again in the third game,” Hines said. “We didn’t change anything. We just knew we had to come out and fight for it, so we did.”

“As soon as we gave a couple of tips, everybody is telling each other out there to swing at that ball and that makes the biggest difference,” Ross said.

After a hard fought third game, the Lady Saints ran away with the last one, punctuated at the end by a kill from sophomore middle blocker Lizzy Fowler, who had recently returned after missing much of the season with an injury.

“I was really happy,” she said. “It just kind of went crazy in my head. I hadn’t played for so long.”

Fowler had seven blocks. Senior outside hitter Breanna Barbeau added 14 kills, two aces, and 14 digs.

Nash and Hines explained the meaning of this particular game against HRA, which saw a tremendous crowd for NSA in the stands.

“This is like THE team to beat,” Kaylor Nash said. “The whole year we were working up to win this game.”

“Especially after we lost last time,” Hines added. “Every game we’ve played is working up to the game we played last night because we just really wanted to…

“…show everybody that we can win,” Nash said.

This latest win helps bolster confidence going into what NSA hopes will be a state title run that will result in a new year being put on the banner hung in the NSA gym.

“For the past couple years, we’ve been saying that year was going on the banner,” Nash said.

“But this year it really is,” Hines said.

“It’s going to happen this year,” Nash affirmed.

For the Lady Saints, only one game remains in the regular season on Thursday evening at home against Norfolk Christian.