Walsingham Volleyball grinds out 3-1 win over Norfolk Christian

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(Photo taken by Michael Sherman)
(Photo taken by Michael Sherman)

Walsingham Volleyball picked up its first conference win of the season, beating Norfolk Christian 25-23, 26-24, 26-28, 25-19 in Chismer Athletic Complex to improve its record to 8-3 (1-0 TCIS). The Trojans next take the court on Thursday, September 29 when they face TCIS rival Norfolk Academy.

1st Set: Walsingham 25, Norfolk Christian 23
Walsingham established an early edge in the first set, using a four-point run that included aces from Grayson Norris (’17) and Olivia Hinojosa (’19) to move ahead 11-7. The Ambassadors rallied, using a 5-1 run to draw even at 12-12 and later pushed ahead 16-15. Walsingham took four of the next five points, punctuated with a kill and ace from Cat Williams (’19), to take a 19-17 lead. Norfolk Christian again bounced back, moving ahead 21-20 and again at 23-22. The Trojans were the ones to find the final run, winning the the last three points, the last on an ace from Chelsea Marcombe (’17), to claim the set 25-23.

2nd Set: Walsingham 26, Norfolk Christian 24
The second set largely resembled the first, with both teams struggling to maintain momentum or protect a lead. Walsingham appeared poised to control the set after moving ahead 14-10 with a five-point run that featured a kill and block from Cat Williams, but the Ambassadors would draw even at 15-15, 16-16, 18-18, and 19-19, before finally surging ahead 22-20. The Trojans re-grouped, winning three straight points that included a block from Cat Williams and a lengthy volley that was eventually won on a Cat Williams kill. Norfolk Christian re-took the lead 24-23, but Walsingham finished on another three point run to claim the set, the final two points being won on kills from Olivia Hinojosa and Chelsea Marcombe.

3rd Set: Norfolk Christian 28, Walsingham 26
Seeking to close out the match, Walsingham leaned heavily on Lejla Topcic (’17) in the third set. The Trojans used a 7-2 run that featured four kills from Topcic to move ahead 12-8, only to see Norfolk Christian win the next five points. Down 17-15, the Trojans used a five-point run of their own, again featuring two kills from Topcic, to go ahead 20-17. After trading points to move ahead 23-20, Walsingham was unable to slam the door, allowing the Ambassadors to tie the match at 23-23, move ahead at 25-24, and eventually win the set 28-26. The result squandered an epic performance from Topcic, who in total accounted for 11 kills and two aces in the set.

4th Set: Walsingham 25, Norfolk Christian 19
With momentum firmly belonging to the visitors, the Trojans found themselves down 6-1 early. The Trojans used a four-point run that included a kill and two aces from Cat Williams to move within 6-5, and later used a 5-1 run to draw even at 10-10. The teams traded points until the Ambassadors won three straight to take a 16-13 lead, before Walsingham finally was able to string together an extended run for the first time all night. The Trojans took five of six, punctuated by a Chelsea Marcombe kill, to move ahead 18-17, and closed the set out on a 6-0 run featuring kills from Lejla Topcic and Cat Williams to win the set 25-19 and the match 3-1.

Standouts
· Lejla Topcic led the Trojans in kills (20), aces (6), serve attempts (21), digs (36), and tied for the team-high in serves received (28).

· Cat Williams accounted for a team-high three blocks, in addition to adding seven kills and four aces.

· Gabby Deschenes (’19) carried the load as the setter, registering a team-best 34 assists.

· Libero Catherine Schumacher (’18) tied for the team lead in serves received with 28.

Submitted by Michael Sherman

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