NR excited about versatility

Published 9:48 pm Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Nansemond River High School field hockey team is looking forward to a productive season with the whole team being more versatile.

The Lady Warriors had a strong season in 2016. They finished third in the PenSouth Conference with an overall record of 12-5. Their season ended after a 2-1 conference tournament semifinal loss to Menchville High School.

Last year, Nansemond River graduated five solid seniors. This year, Nansemond River returns with only three seniors. Leading the way will be Ashlyn Rogers, a 2016 co-captain and first-team all-conference performer. Along with Rogers, Marielle Buchy and Tori Chafian will return as the other two seniors. Following the seniors, junior key contributors Sarah Rhiel, Allison Fischer and Madison Roach will be returning. Rhiel was a second team all-conference performer in 2016. Lady Warriors coach Allison Dize returns as the reigning PenSouth Coach of the Year.

Email newsletter signup

“I just want to enjoy it and have fun being with the team,” Rogers said of her senior year. “I’m pretty confident I can continue leading by example. However, we all have the same expectations of each other. We mesh well together and respect each other’s ideas.”

This time of the year is always an exciting one for Dize. She looks forward to the new and familiar and watching how her players gel. The most exciting part is how it all comes together after preseason preparation, along with what the players have done on their own.

“We have a great core group returning,” Dize said. “We may need a game or two to see how we match up with others. However, I have good expectations for that team.”

Dize is hoping the Lady Warriors can pick up where they left off. They were a good offensive team last year in comparison to years past. This year, Dize wants the Lady Warriors to continue creating those scoring opportunities. There were a couple of games last year in which Nansemond River felt they were an inch or goal away from winning. The Lady Warriors are hoping to turn those close losses into wins this year.

Nansemond River will have a scrimmage before the regular season starts. The Lady Warriors will take those scrimmages to fine-tune things or see what to concentrate on the following practice. Dize believes this could be Nansemond River’s most balanced team in several years, and the players believe that as well. They can be among the most competitive teams in the Southeastern District.

“I have a very versatile team this year,” she said. “I can put players in different positions and in different parts of the field. At our practices, we don’t split up offense and defense because everyone knows what’s going on. That definitely has its advantage.”

“It’s great knowing that as a team we can change and move people in different positions and still be strong,” Rogers said. “We have a very versatile team.”

Nansemond River will start its season off on the road against Deep Creek High School. The game will be at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 23.