Lady Raiders win in first round of VCC Tournament

Published 9:19 am Wednesday, October 29, 2014

After dropping the first game of the opening round in the VISAA Virginia Commonwealth Conference Volleyball Tournament, the No. 3 seeded Southampton Lady Raiders came back strong to advance to the next round of the tournament, as they defeated rival No. 6 Tidewater Academy Lady Warriors 3-1 Tuesday evening.

Southampton’s Sarah Best, right, battles Tidewater’s Taylor Laxton at the net. -- FRANK DAVIS | THE TIDEWATER NEWS

Southampton’s Sarah Best, right, battles Tidewater’s Taylor Laxton at the net. — FRANK DAVIS | THE TIDEWATER NEWS

The Tidewater Academy Lady Warriors were on a roll during the first game as they started off with a 9-2 lead with many coming off the serve of Taylor Laxton. As the match moved on, the Lady Raiders rallied and Haley Drewry tied the score at 16-all during her serving. After that the score was tied at 17-, 18-, 19-, 21-, 22-, 23-all, the Lady Warriors went on to take the first game 25-23.

Mason Pope opening serve started the scoring in the second game for SA, and it helped lead the home team in going up 8-1. During the second game, the Lady Raiders took complete control and won easily 25-20.

For the third game, once again the home team came out leading in the early minutes of the game 5-2. At the midway point of the game, the Lady Raiders held a comfortable lead of 17-10. Going down the stretch, the Lady Warriors closed as close as 22-18, but they could not do any better and lost this game 25-20.

For the fourth and final game, after the score was tied at 2-all in the early minutes, the home team opened the scoring to as much as 19-10. Having a big lead during much of the fourth game, Lady Raider head coach Crystal Butler substituted many fresh players from off of the bench. She remarked that she tries to allow all of her players to enter the game, if only for a few minutes. The Lady Raiders went on to win the final game 25-16.

“I am really proud of them as we mixed up the lineup a little, and I am glad that they pushed through that,” Coach Butler said. “We played our game and got through the hump of the first game, and I am really proud that we pulled away.”

Pope had 100 percent serving on 19 serves with 3 aces. She also had 10 digs, 9 kills and 6 blocks. Chelsea Beltrami had 100 percent serving on 26 serves with 1 ace. Drewry had 11 assists. Ashten Hinkle had 9 kills. Avery Pope had 100 percent serving on 18 serves with 2 aces. She also had 8 assists. Allison Matthews had 9 digs.

SA will face the winner of the Fuqua School (No. 2) and Blessed Sacrament-Huguenot (No. 7) match on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Courtland.