Volleyball Roundup: Warhill, Grafton, Jamestown Reach Conference Semifinals

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Nicole Mulligan
Nicole Mulligan spikes the ball over the net. (Ty Hodges/WYDaily)

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Though playing in the 3A East Region quarterfinal, the Warhill volleyball team was able to treat Monday's match against Lakeland as more of an exhibition.

The Lions were able to rotate in most of their bench en route to a comfortable 25-10, 25-9, 25-7 at home.

Against an overmatched opponent, Warhill Coach Greg Koon said he wanted to see effort and drive from his players despite the score being lopsided.

"I want to see them continue to go after the ball with tenacity," he said. "It's never OK to let the ball hit the floor."

It was a situation that seldom happened Monday as the Lions put together strings of play in which there were neither returns nor rallies from Lakeland.

Warhill opened the first set on a 4-0 run before a service into a net gave the ball to Lakeland. Service errors by Warhill proved to be the source for most of Lakeland's points.

With Warhill leading 17-4, Lakeland put together a 3-0 run — its longest of the match. The Lions closed out the set strongly, winning eight of the final 11 points to take the opening set 25-10.

The second set was more of the same as Warhill continued to dominate. Warhill opened the second set on a 12-0 run before a service error turned the ball over briefly to Lakeland.

By this point in the match, Koon had begun to substitute bench players into the match for one final round of playing time before the competition ramps up in the region.

Some of the reserve substitutions did not last long, however, as Koon felt some of the energy from his backup players was not what it needed to be for a regional match.

A brief spell of sloppy play from Warhill in the middle of the second set allowed Lakeland to pull within nine points of the Lions. Leading 18-9, Warhill closed the second set on a 7-0 run.

The Lions built a quick 15-1 advantage in the third set that included an 11-0 run. Warhill continued its strong play en route to an 18-point win in the final set and ended the match in just over an hour.

For Koon, the goal is now getting Warhill (17-5) focused for what is surely going to be a tougher match in the Group 3A East semifinal round Wednesday.

"The girls that have been here for the past two years expect the competition from here on out to be better," Koon said. "I don't know [whom we are playing] Wednesday, but they're going to be good."

Warhill def. Lakeland 25-10, 25-9, 25-7

Warhill: Chloe Wilmoth (15 assists, 3 digs), Cori Clifton (9 kills), Jewel Walters (11 digs, 7 aces)


Jamestown Cruises Past Deep Creek in 4A East Quarters

The Jamestown volleyball team had little trouble taking down Deep Creek on Monday evening during the quarterfinal round of the Group 4A East tournament.

Thanks to a well-rounded performance by traditional starters and reserve players, the Eagles were able to advance into the semifinal round of the tournament after beating Deep Creek 25-11, 25-13, 25-11.

Ellie Popelka led Jamestown with a match-high 13 kills, while Maggie Viniard had 24 assists and five digs. Maria Esch chipped in eight digs, five kills and four aces.

Jamestown (22-3) will host Powhatan on Tuesday for a chance to clinch a bid to the Group 4A state tournament with a win.

Jamestown def. Deep Creek 25-11, 25-13, 25-11

Jamestown: Ellie Popelka (13 kills, 2 aces), Maggie Viniard (24 assists, 5 digs, 2 aces), Maria Esch (8 digs, 5 kills, 4 aces)


Grafton Advance to Group 4A East Semifinals

Grafton hit the road Monday in an attempt to knock off Great Bridge in the Group 4A East quarterfinal round.

The Clippers were successful in their goal of reaching the Group 4A East semifinals, defeating Great Bridge 25-16, 25-20, 25-13.

Kaitlyn Young paced Grafton with a double-double of 33 assists and 11 digs. Sophia Beaudoin had 16 digs, five kills and four aces, while Brooke Parker added seven kills, four digs and two blocks for Grafton.

With the win, Grafton (19-7) will now travel to take on Hanover in the Group 4A East semifinal on Tuesday. If the Clippers are victorious, they will guarantee themselves a berth in the Group 4A state tournament.

Grafton def. Great Bridge 25-16, 25-20, 25-13

Grafton: Sophia Beaudoin (16 digs, 5 kills, 4 aces), Brooke Parker (7 kills, 4 digs, 2 blocks), Kaitlyn Young (33 assists, 11 digs, 2 kills, 2 aces, 1 block)


Poquoson Ends Tabb's Season in 3A East Quarterfinals

Tabb suffered its third loss of the season to Poquoson on Monday night, this time ending its season.

With the loss 25-10, 25-16, 25-11 loss to the Islanders, Tabb's season comes to a close in the Group 3A East quarterfinal round five days removed from winning the Conference 27 championship.

The Tigers (7-15) struggled to find momentum throughout the match, as Poquoson cruised in the first set by 15 points. Tabb showed a bit more life in the second set, but still found itself down nine by the time the final point was scored.

Poquoson polished off the match with a decisive 25-11 victory in the third set, sending the Islanders to the Group 3A East semifinal round and putting a close to Tabb's season.

Despite the loss, Tabb Coach Mike Honeycutt said he was pleased with Tabb's postseason after taking home a conference championship.

Poquoson def. Tabb 25-10, 25-16, 25-11

Tabb: Abigail Carney (8 assists, 3 kills, 1 ace), Madi Dadez (5 kills, 5 digs, 2 blocks)
Poquoson: Toni-Anne Whitlow (19 kills, 15 digs), Hope Jennings (11 kills, 4 digs, 3 aces), Megan Saetre (32 assists, 7 digs, 2 aces)