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Despite playing their first game without standout setter Julia Howard, the Lafayette Rams managed to gut out a 3-1 win – 22-25, 25-18, 25-10, 25-19 – at York on Thursday.
Howard, who broke a finger while attempting a block against Jamestown, was a notable absence for the Rams in the first set. Lafayette's offense had moments of confusion as the players attempted to adjust to new positions, and the York Falcons were the beneficiaries of the Rams' early struggles.
After giving up an early 6-4 lead to the Rams, York found itself trailing 20-15 in the opening set. The Falcons reeled off five consecutive points and eventually battled to a 21-21 tie. York won the final six points to take the opening set 25-22, their first set win of the season.
While Lafayette struggled to adjust without Howard in the lineup, the Rams also did themselves no favors when serving. Lafayette committed 19 service errors during the match, allowing York to hang around during three of four sets.
"We practice and practice and practice serving and then we're missing serves," Lafayette Coach Keith Nowadly said after the game.
Lafayette's serving woes waned slightly throughout the match and the Rams began looking like the team that downed Warhill earlier in the season.
The Rams reeled off a 9-0 run during the second set to build a 15-6 advantage of the Falcons. Lafayette was able to keep York at bay during the second yet, cruising to a 25-18 win to tie the match at 1-1.
York seemed poised to challenge Lafayette in the third set, trailing early 6-5. The Rams found their groove with strong play by Abby Oren, who finished the match wtih 25 kills, 13 digs and five aces.
The Rams proceeded to win 19 of the next 24 points to close out a decisive third set 25-10.
Lafayette and York (0-3) traded points back and forth during a hotly contested fourth set. With the set tied 18-18, Lafayette put together one last push and won six of the next seven points.
With match point on the line, a Lafayette serve sailed between two York hitters to secure the match for the Rams (4-1).
Lafayette will continue its season at home against Grafton on Tuesday, while York will host Bruton on the same day.
Lafayette def. York 22-25, 25-18, 25-10, 25-19
Lafayette: Abby Oren (25 kills, 13 digs, 5 aces), Kelly Carroll (17 kills, 9 digs, 3 aces), Abby Goetsch (40 assists)
York: Mackenzie Chaffin (8 kills), Sophia Periera (10 digs, 4 aces), Ashley Letender (12 assists)
Grafton Outlasts New Kent in Five Sets
The Grafton volleyball team continued its perfect start to the 2015 season, taking out New Kent 27-25, 16-25, 25-15, 19-25, 15-7 on the road Thursday.
In a match Grafton Coach Karissa Cumberbatch said featured multiple momentum shifts, the Clippers had to overcome New Kent and an injury to senior captain Rachel Blitt, who was hurt in the second set and did not return.
The two teams traded points in the opening set before Grafton was able to pull off back-to-back points to take it.
New Kent responded in a big way, cruising to a second set victory while watching the Clippers lose one of their best outside hitters in Blitt.
The injury did not derail Grafton, however. The Clippers stormed back in the third set for a commanding 25-15 win. The Trojans managed to push the Clippers to a fifth set, but Grafton was able to pull out the final set by a tally of 15-7.
Samantha Heard led the way for Grafton on offense and defense with a team-high 19 kills and 19 digs.
Senior captain Sophia Beaudoin added 14 digs, 12 kills and three aces, while Kaitlyn Young helped generate offense with 46 assists and 17 digs.
The Clippers (4-0) will try to continue their hot start to the season when they travel to take on Lafayette on Tuesday.
Grafton def. New Kent 27-25, 16-25, 25-15, 19-25, 15-7
Grafton: Samantha Heard (19 kills, 19 digs), Sophia Beaudoin (12 kills, 3 aces, 14 digs), Kaitlyn Young (3 kills, 1 ace, 46 assists, 17 digs)
Jamestown Defeats Warhill in Straight Sets
The Jamestown volleyball team used well-rounded efforts from Maria Esch and Maggie Viniard to defeat Warhill 25-15, 25-17, 25-16 on the road Thursday.
Esch, who finished with 10 kills, nine digs and three blocks, and Viniard, who finished with 12 assists and 10 digs, helped lead Jamestown to its third consecutive straight-set win of the season.
The Eagles controlled all three sets, keeping Warhill on its heels and unable to generate any offensive momentum.
Nicole Mulligan paced the Lions with 10 kills and five aces and was the only Warhill (2-2) player to log double-digit kills.
Jamestown (3-0) will prepare to host Poquoson on Monday in an attempt to keep its perfect season alive.
Warhill, which has now lost more matches than all of last season, will visit Poquoson on Tuesday.
Jamestown def. Warhill 25-15, 25-17, 25-16
Jamestown: Maria Esch (10 kills, 9 digs, 3 blocks), Maggie Viniard (12 assists, 10 digs), Gen Allison (11 digs, 5 assists, 2 aces)
Warhill: Nicole Mulligan (10 kills, 5 aces), Cori Clifton (6 kills), Chloe Wilmoth (5 kills)
Tabb Holds Off Bruton in Five-Set Match
The Tabb volleyball team managed to hold off Bruton during a 28-26, 23-25, 25-15, 23-25, 15-12 road win on Thursday to tally its first victory of the season.
Abigail Carney had a monster game for the Tigers, logging 26 assists, 15 digs and 12 kills in the win.
The Tigers opened with a tight first-set win, edging the Panthers 28-26. Close sets proved to be a theme during the match, with four of the five sets decided by five points or fewer.
Bruton countered with a 25-23 second set victory, but saw Tabb answer back with the most commanding set win of the night during a 25-15 third set.
Similar to the second set, Bruton took the fourth set 25-23 thanks to strong play from Gabby Calloway, who finished with a match-high 27 digs and 23 kills.
Tabb managed to edge the Panthers in the fifth set, narrowly hanging on for a 15-12 win and securing a 3-2 match victory.
The Tigers (1-3) will travel to take on Smithfield on Tuesday, while Bruton (0-4) will visit York the same day.
Tabb def. Bruton 28-26, 23-25, 25-15, 23-25, 15-12
Tabb: Abigail Carney (26 assists, 15 digs, 12 kills), Madi Dadez (13 kills, 6 digs, 2 blocks), Ashley Muhich (23 digs, 8 aces)
Bruton: Gabby Calloway (27 digs, 23 digs), Mykael Johnson (14 digs, 9 kills), Alexa Woolson (24 assists, 9 digs)