A Kaylor-made milestone

Published 9:50 pm Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy senior outside hitter Kaylor Nash holds the game ball with head coach Robyn Ross on Monday after Nash hit her 1,000th career kill with the Lady Saints. Nash credits Ross with teaching her everything that has helped her reach this milestone. It is only the second time in school history it has happened.

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy senior outside hitter Kaylor Nash holds the game ball with head coach Robyn Ross on Monday after Nash hit her 1,000th career kill with the Lady Saints. Nash credits Ross with teaching her everything that has helped her reach this milestone. It is only the second time in school history it has happened.

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy senior outside hitter Kaylor Nash became only the second volleyball player in school history to reach 1,000 kills Monday night during a straight sets Lady Saints victory over the visitors from Portsmouth Christian School.

She was 10 kills shy of the mark entering the match and bridged the entirety of that gap in the first game alone.

“It was really exciting,” Nash said of hitting 1,000. “It’s something I’ve been working for my whole varsity career.”

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Lady Saints head coach Robyn Ross explained its degree of significance, saying, “Most really, really good players don’t even get close to that mark.”

Play was stopped briefly to acknowledge the achievement. Nash was given the game ball, and she went up into the stands to embrace her parents and grandparents, most of which are regulars of Nash’s NSA matches.

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy senior outside hitter Kaylor Nash swings at what would become her 1,000th career kill as a Lady Saint. She became only the second in school history to reach the mark and will soon become the first to also achieve 1,000 digs.

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy senior outside hitter Kaylor Nash swings at what would become her 1,000th career kill as a Lady Saint. She became only the second in school history to reach the mark and will soon become the first to also achieve 1,000 digs.

“She works very hard at it, so it’s very well-deserved,” said her mother, Gloria Nash.

Kaylor Nash also took a special moment to acknowledge, with a big hug, Coach Ross, to whom she gave the credit for her ability to rack up so many points for the team.

“She taught me everything about it,” Nash said.

Ross said, “When I started at NSA four years ago, Kaylor was a freshman and part of that first team of mine.” To watch her advance from that moment to the one on Monday night “was really special to me.”

However, the coach deflected credit back to Nash for how the accomplishment came about.

“I know some stuff, but it doesn’t do any good unless you have an athlete who can and wants to take what you know and apply it to their game,” she said. “It’s been easy to coach her.”

Ross looks for Nash to reach another milestone shortly, and this one will be without precedent at Nansemond-Suffolk.

“In the next couple of games, she’ll get to a thousand digs,” Ross said, as the star senior was only about 18 away from the mark after Monday’s match.

“Usually you would only have a libero or something that would ever get to a thousand digs, so to have somebody get both a thousand kills and 1,000 digs is huge,” Ross said.

On Monday, Nash ended up with 22 kills, 10 digs, three aces and one block.

In terms of the match against Portsmouth Christian, Ross and the Lady Saints alike felt positive about the 25-9, 25-10, 25-12 victory.

“I was really happy with what they did last night,” Ross said.

She said, “Everybody got to play again, which was nice, and everybody did really good things when they were out on the court.”

Nash concurred, saying, “I’m really proud of how my team played. We took it to them with everything we had.”

Junior middle blocker Caylin Harris had 10 kills and a block. Fellow junior middle blocker Lizzy Fowler came on particularly strong with eight kills and one block, and she engineered a service run in the third game, widening NSA’s lead from four points to 10.

“I felt like I was more confident tonight,” Fowler said after the match. “I tried out some new things tonight that hopefully I can use tomorrow night against (Norfolk Academy).”

Freshman setter/defensive specialist Logan Harrell continued to impress Ross, and delivered three aces.

“She’s proving to be steady no matter who’s on the other side of the court,” Ross said, noting her strong play this past weekend during the 2013 Endless Summer High School Tournament.

After the weekend tourney in which junior setter Brooks Gillerlain had assist tallies in the mid-20s in some matches, Ross told her “I’d like to see that number in the 30s or higher, and so she listened and went far and above the 30 that I requested.”

Gillerlain recorded a career-high 50 assists on Monday.

After a busy weekend, NSA (6-2, 0-0) is in the midst of a full week, playing Norfolk Academy last night, Salem High School this evening and beginning the North Cross Tournament in Roanoke on Friday.