POWHATAN -- The Blessed Sacrament Huguenot Knights now have a win under their belts in their return to the varsity level this fall after they routed The New Community School in straight sets (25-16, 25-19, 25-15) on Monday.
“It was excellent,” head coach Cat Ringling said of the win. “We were worried about working on transitioning, and they had no problems with transitioning tonight, so that really I think made the difference.”
The team also did not miss serves for the most part, and Ringling said that the “communication was really good tonight.”
“They also were really good about watching what was happening on the other side of the net and making sure they were where they needed to be,” Ringling said Monday. “That’s also important and part of the success for tonight definitely.”
The varsity Knights did not rotate any players from the bench onto the floor, so the same six players – Jameson Ward, Sophie Thompson, Colleen Maynes, Charlie Potter, Kennedy Dowdy and Whitney Polster – held the court through all three sets. Their endurance shone through in the win.
In addition to stringing together points for big leads on sizable service stretches in all three sets, the Knights had multiple low and diving receives to keep points alive – if not send them directly over the net – and they also made big blocks. Potter delivered a couple of blocks in the second set – including one for the first point of the stanza – and Dowdy stonewalled a huge shot by New Community for a point in the third after her teammate Ward kept the point alive by running in and getting her hands on a shallow ball in time to send it back over on a clean arch.
“We’ve been working on blocking and timing mostly…and that really paid off tonight, too,” Ringling said, “and especially, too, when some of the girls haven’t had the opportunity to have that kind of blocking going on, and you can just see that the light goes off when they get the timing right. It’s a huge advancement for us tonight…that will definitely help going forward.”
The Knights and the visitors tied up to 7-7 in the first set before a 7-0 run fueled by a 6-point serving stretch from Maynes, as well as attacks from Maynes, Dowdy and Potter, gave the Knights the lead for good. Potter put away the first set point on a kill.
In the third set, Thompson went back to serve with her Knights trailing New Community 13-12, and she unleashed a 5-0 lead-clinching run, with the visiting team unable to get any of those five serves by Thompson back over the net.
The Knights secured the set and the match on a final 4-0 burst, sparked by another kill from Potter. Maynes served through the final three points.
Per team stats, Polster contributed 4 service aces and four assists to the Knights' win on Monday.
“They did really well,” Ringling said of her players. “I’m proud of them, they are super-excited that they won, and it always feels good to win.”
The Knights (1-2) play at Richmond Christian tomorrow (Tuesday) at 6 p.m. and will host Southampton Academy on Thursday at 6 p.m.