AUTUMN WILBER prepares to receive a shot from Hanover during action on Friday, Sept. 7. Kathy Sutherland. (click for larger version)
September 10, 2012WOLFEBORO — After getting the first-game jitters out of the way, the Kingswood volleyball team took care of business at Plymouth on opening night.
However, the Knights couldn't quite squeak by Hanover in the home opener two nights later and settled for a split of the first week's action.
"As long as we keep getting better, we'll have a chance in every single game," coach Mike Christy stated.
Out of the gate in Plymouth on Wednesday, Sept. 5, the Knights struggled a little in the first game, letting the host Bobcats stay in the match before pulling away for a 25-20 win.
"We were playing a little bit careful, but we relaxed in the second and third games," Christy stated.
Kingswood won 25-11 in both the second and third games to take the 3-0 win.
The night belonged to the servers, as Kingswood turned in a strong performance from the serving line, particularly after the first game, in which they missed seven serves.
"We were a little tentative, but we went on some nice runs after that," Christy said. The Knights led 8-0 in the second game and 11-0 in the third game, basically on the strength of their serving.
"If you get the ball over, the other team has to make the plays," Christy said, noting that getting good serves is half the battle.
In the team's home opener on Friday, Sept. 7, the Knights battled with Hanover in a back and forth game that Christy said always seemed to feature a one-point difference on the scoreboard.
"There was a one-point game in every game, almost every point it seemed," the Knight coach said. "Every time I looked at the scoreboard, it seemed to be a one-point game."
The Knight coach noted his girls played the way they are capable of playing and despite dropping the first game by a 25-21 score, the Knights showed great resiliency in the second game of the night.
Kingswood trailed 24-22, with Hanover needing just one point to take a 2-0 lead for the day. However, Kingswood fought back and rallied for the 26-24 win, a win Christy called crucial to the team's continuing growth.
"That was a huge thing for this program," Christy said. "It's great knowing that they can come back and win a game that was all but done. It was nice to see."
The Knights then used that momentum to take the third game by a 25-22 score for a 2-1 lead.
However, the young Kingswood squad ran into some serve receive errors and had some tough passes in the fourth game, allowing Hanover to get back into the game and take a 25-20 win, tying the game.
That sent the teams to a fifth game and the Knights got ahead by a 9-7 score but couldn't put things away.
"We missed a couple crucial serves down the stretch and made some hitting errors," Christy said. "We couldn't get the points, we couldn't put it away."
Christy stated that the team played great defense and had good attacks and were certainly competitive all night long.
"The girls were visibly upset because they know they let me one slide, so they're really anxious," Christy said. "I think we're a team that can compete with anyone."
The Kingswood girls will be back in action on Friday, Sept. 14, at home against Somersworth and will host Portsmouth on Wednesday, Sept. 19, with both games set for 6 p.m. varsity starts.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at email@example.com or 569-3126