Lady Saints advance to states

Published 10:19 pm Friday, November 11, 2016

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy’s volleyball team advanced to the VISAA Division II state championship with a win over Peninsula Catholic High School on Friday afternoon.

After losing in the TCIS conference semifinals last week, the Lady Saints didn’t hold their head down but rather got back to work.

Their state championship run started with a state quarterfinal win at home against St. Margaret’s on Tuesday evening. The Lady Saints advanced to the state semifinals, where they took on TCIS opponent Peninsula Catholic and defeated them 3-0 Friday afternoon at Richard Bland College.

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Peninsula Catholic secured the TCIS conference tournament title last week and had momentum coming into their third matchup with the Lady Saints. That didn’t seem to faze the Lady Saints, as coach Robyn Ross felt the team played their best game of the season.

“This is the best match I’ve seen them play this season,” Ross said. “It was amazing to watch. It was fun to watch. We knew exactly what they were going to do and how we were going to defend it. They executed perfectly.”

Ross also described this week for the Lady Saints as a “mission.” After the loss last week, the seniors vowed to make things different this week. Practices were intense, which ultimately helped propel NSA to a state championship berth.

“I’m so glad we made it this far,” senior Logan Harrell said. “It proves that all we work for is paying off. I’m so excited to play in another state championship. I’m ready for us to just play our game and bring home the trophy.”

“We played our best game of the season out there,” the Lady Saints’ Nicole Wright said. “Everyone was excited for every point we played. Just to be this far in the tournament this year is exciting.”

Livi Bono and Harrell will be playing in their third state championship. Lindsay Knierbein and Wright will be playing in their second one.

NSA will take on Middleburg Academy this Saturday at 10 a.m. at Richard Bland College in Petersburg for the championship.

“We are playing a very good opponent,” Ross said. “We are going have to have to play with the same intensity. The seniors have experience, and our younger players are playing extremely well.”

NSA def. Peninsula Catholic

(25-13, 25-9, 25-18)

Livi Bono had 12 kills, 13 digs, 5 blocks and 3 aces.

Lindsay Knierbein had 18 digs and 14 points on serve.

Nicole Wright had 33 assists and 10 digs.