NSA advances to state semis

Published 9:25 pm Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Nansemond-Suffolk Academy girls’ volleyball team has advanced to the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division II state semifinals, and it has come as a surprise to no one on the team.

NSA is currently 24-9 on the season and has accomplished many things along the way. They have become the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools regular season champions and have done it in what many thought would be a rebuilding year.

Last season, the Lady Saints went 25-6, but many knew that they had a good chance of being very competitive last season. When Livi Bono, Logan Harrell, Lindsay Knierbein and Nicole Wright graduated from last year’s team, it allowed NSA to return a young team.

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With only one senior on the team this season, Lady Saints coach Robyn Ross saw her team accomplish what many thought they could not.

“This team has far surpassed everything anyone but us thought we could do,” Ross said. “The only disadvantage we have going into any match is size. It makes us a better team, because we don’t have the luxury of affording mistakes as the other teams do.”

NSA has to play near perfectly in every match, or a few errors could swing the game in the opponents’ favor. But that doesn’t happen a lot when facing NSA. Even when NSA loses, it is more them beating themselves. Ross prides her program and team on their work ethic. They work tirelessly on fundamentals.

Ross mentioned the youth of this team is what has made this season so exciting. NSA has been getting contributions from the likes of Addy Greene, Ryan Horton, Livian Matthews and Rylee Bono, none of whom are seniors. Maddi Currin, the team’s only senior, has contributed to the success of NSA, being selected to the TCIS second team. Players like Greene have helped the team rally to prove the doubters wrong for this season.

With all they have accomplished so far this season, Ross believes it will fuel them going forward. They will play for a state championship berth Friday.

“If we reach another state championship, it is because they earned it and deserved it,” Ross said. “It is never a surprise, because I know how hard they work.”

NSA will have to go through Middleburg Academy to get to the big game. They are the reigning state champions from last season and defeated NSA 3-1 last year for the championship. NSA will get another chance at redemption Friday at Norfolk Christian School at 4 p.m.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to reflect the correct time for the Friday game.