No. Va. sweeps as Chesapeake works out kinks
Buswell says Skipjacks ’still rusty and learning how to play together’
WYE MILLS Northern Virginia Community College spent last weekend working out the kinks by playing four matches in Howard Community College’s season-opening women’s volleyball tournament. The Skipjacks, on the other hand, had to work out their own kinks Tuesday night against NVCC.
That difference was noticeable as Northern Virginia swept Chesapeake College, 25-9, 25-13 and 25-18. The Skipjacks played better as the match went on, but never quite got in sync against a sharper opponent.
"We’re all still rusty and we’re all still learning how to play together," said Chesapeake freshman Jackie Buswell, who was North Bayside Player of the Year at North Caroline High last season. "As soon as we play together some more I think we’ll do a lot better."
Jay Covey, acting as head coach in Craig Hollidge’s absence, echoed Buswell’s comments.
"We’ve only had that lineup together for one practice," said Covey, who spent the last three seasons as the Skipjacks’ head coach and plans to serve as Hollidge’s assistant this season. "We’re not bad we’re actually going to be pretty strong once we understand what we’re doing and where we need to be on the court."
Northern Virginia already has that understanding, illustrated by NVCC’s strong court coverage and a crisply run offense that regularly set up 6-foot freshman middle hitters Elisavet Loukaidou and Rachel Barfield.
"It started clicking for us last weekend in the tournament and we knew we were onto something," said Northern Virginia head coach Marcus Robinson. "It was just a matter of putting it together."
Chesapeake had a few bright moments in Game 1 a pretty dink to an open middle by Ashaneyia Hyland; a kill and service ace on consecutive points by Becca Wooten; a kill from the outside by Buswell but NVCC broke the game open with a 9-0 run that gave the visitors a 15-3 lead.
Two more Buswell kills kept the Skipjacks close in the early stages of Game 2, but Northern Virginia used a 5-0 run to turn a 9-7 lead into a more comfortable 14-7 cushion to take control of the middle game.
Chesapeake started strong in Game 3 as a Buswell kill and a Maggie Nagle ace gave the Skipjacks 2-1 and 3-2 leads, respectively, but Northern Virginia scored the next two points to take the lead for good at 4-3. It stayed close through the first half of Game 3, with Jasmine Robinson’s kill pulling the Skipjacks within 12-10, but NVCC scored the next three points and Chesapeake never got closer than four points the rest of the way.
The Skipjacks host Garrett College next Monday at 6 p.m. as they continue a season-opening, three-match homestand that concludes next Wednesday with a 7 p.m. match against Anne Arundel Community College.
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