SCA volleyball drops opener

Published 10:30 pm Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Suffolk Christian Academy girls’ volleyball team enters this season with a mixture of youth and experience, but Tuesday’s season opener against Victory Christian School showed a mixed bag of results.

The Lady Knights dropped the match in three games straight, but the first game was by far the weakest, with a final score of 4-25.

Senior setter Hannah Fagan serves during the second game of Tuesday's match against visiting Victory Christian School. The Lady Knights lost this season opener, but Fagan will help lead an experienced group of young players this year, featuring eight varsity returners.

Senior setter Hannah Fagan serves during the second game of Tuesday’s match against visiting Victory Christian School. The Lady Knights lost this season opener, but Fagan will help lead an experienced group of young players this year, featuring eight varsity returners.

“I think for the most part a lot of it was just young nerves,” SCA head coach Kristy Patton said.

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Given that the team boasts eight varsity returners, she was surprised and disappointed by the fear factor.

“The other thing I was disappointed in was the lack of communication and the lack of teamwork as a whole,” she said. “It was definitely not what I wanted to see, but from there it did get better and better.”

The Lady Knights put up quite a fight in the second game, losing only 20-25.

Last year, the team finished in the lower mid-section of the pack during the regular season, but advanced to the semifinal round of the Seven Cities Athletic Conference tournament.

Patton is excited about this year because she said it “is the first year that we’ve really had a team full of returners and experienced players. We only lost two seniors last year, and technically this year we still have a fairly young team.”

“We’re definitely expecting to improve on last season,” she said.

She will look to a pair of seniors for leadership on the team, Caitlin Hankins and Hannah Fagan.

She said Hankins has “become very comfortable at outside hitter, but I’m also anticipating having to use her some as a middle hitter.”

Patton is hoping that one of her mature, younger players might end up filling the void at middle hitter, like eighth-grader Miriam Farmer.

Fagan will be important to the Lady Knights as a setter. Patton said when kids have a bad pass, Fagan often ends up saving it and making them look good by adjusting to compensate. Her serves will be key, too.

“I’m expecting her service to be extremely consistent because that’s what we’ve seen in the past,” Patton said.

Fagan’s leadership will also be significant, as Patton said, “She’s not extremely vocal, but she leads by example and her peers really respect her.”

Among her younger players, Patton said she is counting on sophomore Emma VanDorn as an outside hitter, freshman middle hitter Jordan Edler and freshman libero Vivian Waddell.

Freshman Julia Powell also distinguished herself on Tuesday for “her play and just her poise,” Patton said.

The coach expects good things as the team moves past Tuesday.

“After the game, I didn’t have to tell the girls anything,” Patton said. “They knew what was lacking. They knew what they needed to fix.”

Suffolk Christian (0-1, 0-0) hosts Greenbrier Christian Academy next Tuesday.