Volleyball seasons end

Published 8:27 pm Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The girls’ volleyball teams from King’s Fork and Nansemond River high schools saw their 2014 seasons come to a close after their initial regional playoff matches on Monday.

The Lady Bulldogs hosted Hanover High School and were competitive early on but went down without much fight, scoring fewer points in the last two games combined than they did in the first one. The Lady Hawks prevailed 25-22, 25-7, 25-8.

King's Fork High School senior libero Tiffany Cox gets a dig against visiting Hanover High School during Monday's regional playoff match. The Lady Bulldogs fell in straight sets to end their season.

King’s Fork High School senior libero Tiffany Cox gets a dig against visiting Hanover High School during Monday’s regional playoff match. The Lady Bulldogs fell in straight sets to end their season.

“The first game was exactly what I expected,” King’s Fork coach Sarah Porter said. “The next two games were the complete opposite of what I expected.”

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She said it was a disappointing way to end the season, particularly after the strong win over Nansemond River in the Ironclad Conference tournament championship match.

“I was hoping that we would build off of that momentum and push through and make it an exciting game, win or lose, but it just didn’t work out that way,” Porter said.

Two factors turned the tide of the contest, she said, the first being Hanover’s smart and opportunistic offense.

“They just started basically picking apart our defense,” she said. “We were having some breakdowns in defense, and they were hitting the ball where we weren’t.”

The second factor was King’s Fork’s spirit after the first two games.

“We had a defeated attitude,” Porter said.

Standouts were hard to find among the Lady Bulldogs, as they only mustered four kills, each to a different player.

Sophomore middle/outside hitter Nia Nickerson had one of them, as well as three blocks, which came early in the match.

King’s Fork finished the season with a 14-10 overall record, including the Endless Summer tournament it participated in during the regular season.

“We had set a goal of winning the conference regular season and winning the tournament, and we accomplished both of those,” Porter said. “Overall, I’m pleased.”

The Nansemond River Lady Warriors hit the road to take on Glen Allen High School and had only intermittent success amidst a rash of injuries, ultimately falling 13-25, 4-25, 18-25.

“We could have beat them, I think, if we could have been completely healthy,” NR coach Robin Smith said. “I think we beat ourselves mentally. It was just not our time, I guess.”

Among the injured were senior outside hitter and team leader Courtney DeLucia, who either sprained or fractured her foot over the weekend, and the tallest player on the team, sophomore middle blocker Savannah Miller, who had recently suffered a concussion.

Junior libero Maddie McGrath played but was nursing a wrist that she injured last week going for a ball.

“You tend to like to play with who’ve you been playing with all along,” Smith said, so lineup changes negatively affected the Lady Warriors’ play, as did their dejection once they started to fall behind.

NR junior setter Camryn Holt was one of the team’s lone standouts, providing a steady performance.

“She had about 13 assists in there,” Smith said.

The coach said little was known about Glen Allen going into the match except that it was 20-6 and “their coach said they were kind of surprised that they beat Hanover” in their conference tourney.

Nansemond River finished 2014 season with a 9-13 overall record.

Smith noted how the team started the year off without a coach, uncertain of who was going to lead it before she was confirmed in the position.

“I think they handled it very well, very maturely. I’ve learned a lot through them, and I hope they’ve learned a little through me,” Smith said. “I’m very proud of them for stepping up and doing what they needed to do the majority of the time.”