Story and Photo by Brennan Waldorf
The Patriots had only one senior on their varsity squad but had the advantage as their school size is nearly double the size of Broadwater’s.
The Patriots were able to defeat the Vikings in four close sets (25-22, 20-25, 25-1, 25-20).
The Vikings, who returned Emily Nordwall to the lineup after a short absence due to a concussion received in a previous game, started off slowly and found themselves behind in the first set. The Vikings, down 7-1, turned the set in their favor after several strong plays by Virginia Ross. The Vikings tied the score at 14 and took the lead but the Patriots would not go down without a fight. The Vikings led the majority of the set and found themselves up 22-20 before sliding after a few bad serves. The Patriots pushed and found themselves taking the first set 25-22.
The Vikings again found themselves in similar water the next set, facing another 7-1 deficit before Mary Blake Leland got behind the line rallying her team back and after 9 unanswered points by the Vikings the score was 10-7. The Lady Vikings didn’t gain much ground but would lead the rest of the set with Virginia Ross and McKenzie Mabalot providing a formidable front that would dominate at the net and record several blocks. The Vikings secured the win when Mabalot lofted the ball just over the front row finding the open space between the defenders and finished the set 25-20.
The third set was the most lopsided set of the four as the patriots Grace Bickley zoned in and delivered several hard blows to the Vikings’ squad. Bickley led the game in kills, recording 14 on the night, hitting mostly from the outside. Her efforts did not come easily as the Vikings jumped at the net and had several blocks but found them deflected out of bounds, and the Patriots led comfortably the majority of the set, winning 25-17.
The final set was a must win for the Lady Vikings and they kept it close at the beginning. Both teams endured long volleys and the Patriots led the entire set. They eventually built a 5-point advantage but the Vikings battled, closing the gap to 22-19 before eventually falling 25-20. The Patriots move to 8-4 on the season, winning both meetings with the Vikings. Virginia Ross would led the stat sheet with 5 blocks, 5 kills, and 4 aces. Mckenzie Mabalot led blocking with 7, along with two kills. Mary Blake Lealand led serves, finishing with two errors on 24 attempts.