NSA eliminated from TCIS tourney

Published 12:10 am Saturday, November 7, 2015

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy’s girls’ volleyball team had shown potential this season to claim both the conference and state championships despite having a decidedly undersized lineup, but one of those is off the table now.

Norfolk Academy eliminated the Lady Saints from the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools tournament on Friday night with a 20-25, 25-14, 25-20, 25-22 semifinal victory at Peninsula Catholic High School.

“Offensively, we did not do our job,” NSA coach Robyn Ross said.

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The Lady Saints had five players that registered more errors than kills during the match, and the team’s hitting percentage was extremely poor.

“Overall, as a team, we hit a .029, and you can’t even beat most people’s (junior varsity) teams hitting a .029,” Ross said.

The last time Nansemond-Suffolk faced the Lady Bulldogs, it was an intense five-set marathon that the Lady Saints won. But NSA was less error-prone in that contest.

“We don’t have the luxury of making errors and still beating a team that outsizes us so much,” Ross said.

In a loss earlier this season against Peninsula Catholic, the Lady Saints had 86 errors. They had 84 on Friday evening.

“You can’t beat anybody and make 84 errors,” Ross said.

As for why her team did not perform up to its usual high standards, Ross brought up her team’s now-established reputation as a dominant force in the area and the young caretakers of that legacy on the current roster.

“I think the hardest part for the young girls is to understand that everybody is gunning for them, everybody’s going to play their best match against NSA because everybody wants to beat NSA,” Ross said.

She said she believed her girls wanted to win on Friday, but not with the necessary amount of ferocity.

“They didn’t show up to put the hurt on anybody, and (the Lady Bulldogs) did,” she said. “(Norfolk Academy) deserved to win that match.”

Despite the team’s poor showing, Nansemond-Suffolk junior outside hitter Livi Bono still had 18 kills, and junior libero Logan Harrell recorded 44 digs.

“Logan was all over the place on defense,” Ross said.

Nansemond-Suffolk (25-8) will return to the court on Tuesday in the first round of the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division II state tournament. The location of the match and the Lady Saints’ opponent will not be known until late Sunday.