Truckers eliminate Cavaliers

Published 10:12 pm Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A shortage of teams for boys’ volleyball this season caused a merger to take place in the sport between the Virginia High School League’s Group 3A and 4A classifications, thrusting the Lakeland High School Cavaliers into this week’s 4A East Sectional tournament.

Churchland High School, which ended King’s Fork High School’s season last week, traveled to Lakeland on Tuesday for a regional semifinal.

“It was a fight,” Cavaliers coach Tarijuana Napoleon said. “Chuchland played well. My boys, they played well. They won the first set, and then lost three in a row. All the games were close, we just had too many errors and couldn’t finish.”

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The Truckers prevailed 23-25, 28-26, 25-14, 25-22 to advance to the 4A East final and end Lakeland’s season.

“We gave up 32 points in serving errors and hitting errors,” Napoleon said, noting it was an even split — 16 points from each category of error.

Despite Tuesday’s loss, Napoleon cited Hunter Rawls, Kyle Stuart, Josh Bennett, Peter Bowyer and Joseph Crouell as standouts for Lakeland in the match.

“It was just their overall performance with getting points on the board that I was impressed with,” she said.

She said she did not think the move up to a 4A level of competition changed anything for her team.

“Of course, we realize those 4A schools, they have more kids,” Napoleon said. “As far as talent-wise, I think they were equally skilled.”

But she also added, “I think we would have been more successful if we had been in a 3A (tournament).”

The Cavaliers finished the season with an overall record of 9-12. They went 6-2 in the conference during the regular season and won the conference tournament championship.