Voyager Academy Volleyball team lost at home against conference archrival Roxboro Community High School by a score of 3 - 0 Sets (16 - 25; 19 - 25; 6 - 25).
The Lady Vikings are glad this week's slate of games are finally over. The schedule has been brutal having had to play on three consecutive nights facing very stiff competition. Already fatigued, tonight's match-up versus their most fierce antagonist Roxboro Community School is one they'll want to quickly erase from memory. Fresh off being chased home by Lady Bulldogs residing in downtown Durham, the Lady Vikings couldn't find a way to tame the menacing snarl and bite of the Lady Bulldogs from up the road in Durham County.
Although the schedule doesn't get any easier for Voyager after the Labor Day break with a couple more heavyweights looming around the corner, the Vikings can use a breather to recuperate, get fully healed from injuries as well as get back to practice and work on some basics. Facing the reigning conference champ in the first of the two team's (home & home) match-ups didn't go as planned for the Vikings. Voyager had hoped they would have their starting middle blocker (Kiera Degroat) back for the game, and be at full capacity in their quest for the conference title belt. However fate would have it otherwise, as the Viking veteran Sophomore still has not been cleared to play due to her nagging back injury.
With most of its season opener team present, the Voyager coaches tried some reshuffling once again. Not having had an opportunity to dress rehearse in practice, the on-the-floor rotation personnel seemed to lack chemistry. Recognizing the frailties before them and smelling blood, Roxboro took no time to pounce on the disoriented, injury plagued Viking team. The Lady Bulldogs from RCS jettisoned out to a double digit lead early in the first set. Troubled by a plethora of service and service receive errors as well as subpar ball control issues that constrained their ability to ignite the offense, the Viking found themselves being hammered by their opponent and abruptly faced a twelve point deficit.
Down now by a 17 - 5 score in Set 1, along came "The Beast" in the form of Viking's Senior Captain Caitlin Leggett (OH). After taking a pass from Viking Setter Kaley Stone on the right side of the court, and as if to say "enuf of this", Leggett propelled herself into RS attack mode catching the opposing team off guard. The hard hit ball ricocheted off a Roxboro player only to pop back across the net into the waiting locked & loaded view of Junior Kamryn Boyce (MB) who alertly smashed the ball across the net for the Viking kill. Finally with a glimmer of success on their side, the Viking "Beast" went to the service line to simply put it -- take over the game.
With pure rage in her eyes, Leggett proceeded to empty the clip, rapid firing ten consecutive semiautomatic assault weaponry service points (including five aces) at the totally astonished Roxboro clan. Ducking for cover, the RCS Lady Bulldogs looked up at the scoreboard that now displayed 17 - 16. Their huge lead had been completely obliterated, and now "Game On". Walking over to their bench for medical treatment and recovery thanks to a timeout called by their coach, the RCS team shook their heads wondering what kind of military-style weapon had just hit them. The Viking's Senior Captain had almost single handily brought the team back from the abyss, providing the inspiration and spark for the team to believe and know they could win the game.
Back on the floor from licking their wounds, RCS finally ended the beastly run thanks to a ball that caught the net cord and luckily bounced on the Viking floor in their favor. Rejuvenated and now inspired however, Voyager's support infantry initiated their attack tactics only to be recanted by their own continuation of unforced error prone ways. Switching sides for Set 2, the Voyager troops matched body blows with the defending champ, but weren't quite able to land a much needed knockout punch in the end. Knowing that they had their chances to take down Roxboro even without a key member of the corps, the out-of-sync and now deflated Lady Viking had no remaining battery power in Set 3.
"Player of the Game", #4 Caitlin Leggett (13 service points, 14 digs) provided leadership once again, while Katie McLamb (5 kills, 11 digs) and the rest of the Viking forces to include Kamryn Boyce, Zarria Bratts, Stacey Oxendine, Ashlyn Annis, and Summer Matthews combined for 14 kills and 47 digs. Setters Briggs Rose and Kaley Stone kept the Viking attack in motion. The game also saw the return of Junior Alyssa Greene (OH) in reserve who had been out since the season opener due to an ankle injury.
Voyager's head Coach Steve DeLuca commented. "We're disappointed we didn't play much better, and we know we got some work to do in practice. Our ladies will be fine."
Voyager Academy (5 - 4 record) host Franklin Academy in their next game to be played on Wednesday, 9/6/17. Game time is 6 pm.