Tidewater advances in VCC tourney after beating SA

Published 8:56 am Wednesday, November 2, 2011

WAKEFIELD—Despite a strong start, Southampton Academy lost 3-1 to rival Tidewater Academy in the first round of the Virginia Commonwealth Conference volleyball tournament Tuesday night.

The Lady Raiders won the first set 25-17, largely on the opening service of Brigitte Bradshaw, before losing the next three sets 17-25, 11-25 and 20-25.

“Brigitte has had strong serves throughout the season,” SA Coach Sarah Nixon said after the loss.

The Lady Warriors not only came back from a one-set hole in the match but also a three-game losing skid with the home win.

“We weren’t moving our feet (during the first set) and I think we were a little too excited,” TA Coach Amanda Binford said. “My team’s always slow to warm up. We decided to play to win instead of playing not to win.”

Tidewater led by as many as five points at 12-7 in the fourth and final set, but Southampton scored five straight points to tie the set up at 12 apiece.

The teams swapped points back and forth before the Lady Warriors pulled away on a seven-point tear to go up 24-17 in the final stanza.

The Lady Raiders rallied for three straight points before Tidewater put away the final point to end the final set 24-20.

“Tidewater’s a tough team, and tonight just wasn’t our night,” Nixon said.

In the win, TA’s Taylor Pruitt had 10 kills and four digs. Cary Beahm led the team with 13 kills and added three digs. Tyler Stephenson added 11 assists for the Lady Warriors; Samantha Dunn had four assists. Courtney Haywood and Falon Williams had four kills apiece.

Southampton’s Katelyn Newsome had 17 kills and eight blocks.

Tidewater, at 12-5, will move to the semifinals of the VCC tournament at Farmville on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

“I’m elated and I couldn’t be happier,” Binford said of TA’s performance. “I couldn’t be prouder.”

Southampton Academy’s season ends at 9-8.

“It was a good season,” Nixon said. “I was proud. I had a lot of young players step up.”