The Varsity Volleyball Warriors played their final match of the 2021 season on Saturday, October 23rd in High Point in the NCISAA Championship hunt. "The feeling of being in the quarter finals with my teams was indescribable. The girls were hype, both crowds were loud and the atmosphere was so electric" Coach Romel Lightbourn said. During the opening set, both teams were point for point all the way up to 23-23 where Senior Samantha Leshnock got the last 2 kills to close out the first set.
St. David’s knew this match would be a dog fight and the team that made the least mistakes would win. High Point Christian protected their come court and took the second set 18-25 but the Warriors responded and won the third as Leshnock, the team captain, took the team on her shoulders and lead the team to a 25 - 22 victory over High Point in the third set.
Each set was very close but during the fourth set Emma Walsh went down with a severe sprain and from there the team, unable to recover the hiccup, had a couple of miscommunication errors and loss the fourth set 19 - 25. The Warriors fought extremely hard in this game but ended up giving it up in the final set where High point gain momentum and never looked back winning the fifth set 15-10.
Coach Romel said "As a coach, I am extremely proud of the way they competed. I told them it would take every we have to win this match and they left everything on the court. They played a phenomenal match but we fell short of a couple of points. Our seniors played such an important role in the growth of our program and the development of this team. Seniors, we love you and you will definitely be missed."
The 7 seniors will be missed by teammates, coaches, and parents. The 2021 season was a great one, with amazing competition and amazing memories that will never be forgotten.
Varsity Volleyball played Arendell Parrott Academy for the third time this season on Thursday, October 21st. Only this time, the game was a playoff match in the first round of the NCISAA hunt for championship.
The Warriors needed to secure this important victory to move forward in playoffs and they did just that. With a slow and nervous start and Parrott executing the Patriots took that first set 18-25. But the ladies persevered through the next three sets to win the match. The Warriors responded to that first set loss with great energy and better rhythm and dominated in the second set finishing 25-12. The next two sets were more difficult, as Parrott fought back as hard as they could. Even so, the Warriors sticked to their game plan and defeated them for the third time this season.
Senior Anisa Barutis played exceptionally well with 10 kills and 3 blocks. Sophomore Grace Viera served 2 tough serves during very pivotal moments in the fourth set allowing the Warriors to win the match 26-24. Senior Samantha Leshnock served aggressively from the enplane adding many aces to the stat-board as well. Coach Romel Lightbourn added that he is "really happy with how hard they all played. It was an important game to win and they executed really well." The ladies will play High Point Christian Academy at High Point on Saturday, October the 23rd. Wish them luck in the second round of playoffs!
On Thursday, October 14th, the Varsity Volleyball team fell to the Wake Christian Bulldogs at home. The match was an out of conference game, meaning it did not affect the Warriors’ standing in their conference. Even so, the Lady Warriors were still hoping to pull off a win over the Bulldogs. Unfortunately, the game did not go their way. The ladies battled closely with Wake Christian, but they fell off at the end of each set due to unforced errors and lack of effort. Finishing out at the end of each set is something the Warriors struggle with and that they hope to improve heading into playoffs. Head Coach Romel Lightbourn stated that the ladies need to “keep the momentum from the beginning to the end of the game and minimize the errors that cost them a loss by the end of the match”. Lightbourn wishes to see his team fight harder to win at the end of the sets and fight harder in matches overall. The Bulldogs were a strong team with a powerful offense. The Warriors had a strong defensive night, but the offense is what mainly costed the loss. The ladies are working bettering all aspects of the game before playoffs and are determined to win in playoffs.
The Varsity Volleyball ladies beat the Arendell Parrott Patriots on Friday, October 8th. Friday night was a special night for the team, as they celebrated their 7 seniors. The team and coaches honored the seniors before the match with a celebration of their time playing volleyball at St. David’s. The seniors will be truly missed, as shown by the coaches, families and teammates. The seniors certainly led the team Friday night to defeat Parrott. Senior outside hitter Samantha Leshnock led the team in kills, with creative offensive plays. Senior middle blockers Aysia Foster and Margaret Batchhelder had standout games, with many blocks and impressive kills.
Coach Romel Lightbourn commented that he will "miss the seniors and is very grateful for all their contributions to the volleyball program through the years".
Although the first two sets of the match were rocky, the Warriors found their rhythm and fought back to beat the Patriots. The team is ecstatic to win on senior night, and especially to a big rival like Parrott. The team looks forward to their next match vs. Wake Christian at home. The game is at 5:15 on October 14th. Please show out and come cheer for the team!
On Tuesday, October 5th, the Lady Warriors played the Grace Christian Eagles in a Pink-Out match at home. The team battled the Eagles in back to back matches, the previous game being Thursday, the 23rd before Fall Break. The Warriors ended Tuesday with an unfortunate loss in a hard-fought five set match. The ladies were hoping to come out on top in this match in order to secure first in the conference. Although the Warriors lost, they are glad to have improved from the previous game at Grace. The serving game was much better in this match, along with communication. These are two key components of the game that the team will continue to refine.
Coach Romel Lightbourn said of his team, "they played so much better in this second match-up against Grace Christian. I'm proud of them for the improvements they made over break and coming into this match."
The ladies’ next match is Friday, October 8th, another rematch, this time against the Arendell Parrott Patriots. This will be a big game, and key win for the Warriors, in order to finish 2nd in the conference. The Warriors hope to sweep the Parrott in 3 sets, as they did in the previous match with the Patriots. Please come out to Friday’s game and show your support!
Against a worthy opponent, Thursday, September 23rd Varsity volleyball couldn't close out a win. Despite knowing how tough the match would be and how important it was to get a win on the road Grace protected their home court. St. David's put up a great fight and keeping it very close in both set scores of 25-22 they lost the first two sets. The team's compete level was excellent and in continuing to push they snagged the third set extending the game. Those line-up adjustments and better execution helped them to a 25-22 set win in the third. Grace Christian responded and closed out the match with a fourth set win 25-12. Though the Warriors seemed to have lost their steam they will return to the court with renewed resolve on October 5th in a PINK-OUT match at home against the same opponent, Grace Christian. Come support our Warriors in this rematch!
The Lady Warriors defeated the Knights Tuesday, September 21st at home. Tuesday’s match had a great crowd turnout with spectators dressed in a white-out theme to support the team. The crowd gave so much energy to the players and aided them to their 3 set success. Unlike the past matches against Cary Christian, the Warriors were able to terminate the Knights in straight sets rather than the four or five long and grueling matches they've become accustomed to. They were able to do so using solid communication, executing on defense, and utilizing the offense. There was also some aggressive and controlled serving which resulted in quite a few service aces in the match. Leading servers being Junior Greysen Woody and Senior Livy O’Han. The team is thrilled to have won their past three meetings with the Cary Christian Knights and looks forward to their next match at Grace Christian on Thursday, September 23rd.
The Varsity Volleyball ladies beat Arendell Parrott Academy in 3 straight sets Thursday, September 16th in Kinston. The team is thrilled to have broken their 5 set match streak, and especially against one of their biggest rivals, the Patriots. Defense was key in this game, as Parrott has a strong offense. The Warriors displayed the tenacious defense they have been working on in practice by never letting a ball drop and certainly not without a body hitting the ground. Not only did the defense perform well, but so did the serving and offense. The first set was tight, as the team was working to figure out their opponent. The ladies closed the set out by finishing 25-23. The second set improved, with a score of 25-19. The third and final set was the best of the match, 25-12. The team is ecstatic to have won this important conference game and hopes to bring tonight’s performance in the coming matches. The team will play Cary Christian for the second time on Tuesday, September 21st. The game is home, so if you are able, come out and support the team!
Varsity volleyball once again pulled off a five-setter win on Tuesday, September 14th at home. The past four wins for the ladies have all been matches that go to five sets, showing proof of their tenacity and grit. The team has gotten in a rhythm of taking matches to the final set, but plans on making a full effort to finish the coming games in three. A rocky game with a tough first set and third set loss had the Warriors on the ropes. Although these losses were setbacks for the team, they did not let it determine the tone for the end of the game. Instead, the ladies fought hard with strong serves, creative attacks, and aggressive defense to finish the match. Junior Greysen Woody was a standout server, serving 6 consecutive points in a row. Senior Samantha Leshnock once again led the offense with the most kills and impressively notching 7 kills in a row in the 4th set. Coaches Romel Lightbourn and Tacara Moxey are happy with Warriors’ performance in the final sets, but plan to work on cleaning up the errors that caused the team’s losses in the first and third sets. The team plays next at Arendell Parrott Academy on Thursday September 16th.
Varsity Volleyball once again snagged a fifth-set win on Thursday, September 9th vs. Ravenscroft. This long and tiring game to five sets has become something familiar to the ladies, but they hope to break the streak by winning in straight sets in their upcoming matches. Thursday’s game was very competitive, as the Warriors and the Ravens are closely matched. Even so, the Warriors overcame this challenge and defeated their tough opponent. Solid defense in this game was imperative, and the team brought it on. The serving game was impressive, with a great number of aces. Standout servers of the match were Seniors Livy O’Han, and Samantha Leshnock, and Sophomore Bailey Fuller. O'Han and Fuller each served 8 points. Athlete of the Week Emily Deihl did a "phenomenal job slowing down the opponent", said Coach Romel Lightbourn about her defense. He is very proud of the ladies’ performance in Thursday’s match and he says the team needs to “continue this never-let-down- aggressive-attitude” that they have brought to their recent matches. The Warriors will play New Life Camp at home next week on Tuesday the 14th. Please come out and show your support!
The Lady Warriors came out on top in their match at Cary Christian on the evening of Wednesday, September 8th. Going all the way to the fifth set, the win was difficult but well-deserved. A stand out athlete of this match was sophomore Rebekah Leshnock. The Cary Christian defense was no match for her attacks and blocks. Not only did the Warriors aggressive offense help them win the match, but the strong and persistent defense as well. Coach Romel Lightbourn is very proud of the ladies’ performance Wednesday night and says he wants the team to “carry the momentum from this game into the next match.” The team will play Ravenscroft on Thursday the 9th at home. Please come and show your support if you are able!
The Varsity Warriors Volleyball team fell to the Durham Academy Cavaliers in three straight sets during their home match on Thursday evening. The first set was lost 25-14, while the second was closer with a score of 25-19. The third set’s score was 25-16. Although the Warriors fought hard, they did not come out with their 5thwin of the regular season. Coach Romel Lightbourn said it is imperative that the Warriors “come out much stronger in the first set in order to stay strong throughout the entirety of the match.” To beat other tough, experienced teams like Durham Academy, the team will need to limit errors, keep the defense aggressive, and continue the strong serving game. The team looks forward to their next game at Cary Christian on September 8th. This will be Warrior’s second meeting with the team this season, following their win over the Knights during a pre-season tournament in Winston Salem in mid-August.
Varsity Volleyball played an away match against St. Mary's on Wednesday the 31st. Without a/c in the gym they struggled in the first two sets to adjust to playing in the extreme heat and now in masks. Distracted by those challenged they lost the first two sets 16 and 18 respectively but were able to regain composure and a tougher competitive spirit to eek out a 25-23 win in the third keeping hope alive for a match win. "We finally got into a rhythm during the third set", Coach Lightbourn said, "and our defense started to spark the team with blocks and digs." Freshman Eliza Everett started this defensive spark with 5 amazing blocks that really slowed down the opposition. Seniors Samantha Leshnock and Junior Greysen Woody led the team in attacking. The Warriors play at home on the 2nd against Durham Academy and will need your support!
ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Athlete of the Week is a new initiative to recognize the success of our student-athletes. Athletes will be recognized based on the previous week’s performances. Along with being recognized as athlete of the week, the recipients will be given a certificate and free sandwich from Jersey’s Mike’s for being athlete of the week.
The female athlete of the week is sophomore Emily Deihl on the varsity girls volleyball team. Emily was instrumental as a libero playing defense. In their game against Cary Academy she set the defensive tone with 16 digs.
The male athlete of the week is junior William Fox on the varsity cross country team. The Cross Country ran against some strong competition on a water-soaked 3K course at last Friday at Wake Med Soccer Park and posted a great time for so early in the season. William placed 8th with a time of 11:17.
The Lady Warriors first home volleyball match had huge spectator support which was a great boost to the athletes as they fought to sweep Cary Academy. The team was down 3 set points in the first game 21-24 and rallied to take an impressive 29-27 win. The team demonstrated strong leadership and maintained composure in tights sets but each time were able to control the pace of points on the board. Led by Aysia Foster, Livy O’Han, Samantha Leshnock, Margaret Batchelder, Anisa Barutis and Kyra Parker the Warriors worked to improve upon their already established defense and clean up offensive decisions. Their serving game will need to continue to remain as strong as it was Friday for their next match on the 24th at Friendship Christian School. Come support the Varsity Volleyball team at their next home game the following week on August 30th against Wake Christian Academy.
The Warriors traveled to Trinity Academy capturing their first non-tournament win of the season. As the athletes continue to bond together on the court they took the win in 4 sets coming out strong in the first with a decisive set win 25-17. Coach Romel Lightbourn sees his team making “tremendous strides in committing to play defense”, which will no doubt be an important factor in each match they play. They are still working to play with fewer unforced errors but this, he says, will keep improving as they “find their identity”. Standouts included Samantha Leshnock leading the team with 15 kills on the match and Emily Deihl set the defensive tone with 16 digs. Come support the Varsity Volleyball team for their next match at home on Friday at 5:30pm against Cary Academy.
The St. David’s Varsity volleyball team traveled to Calvary Day School in Winston Salem, NC to start their season off with a non-conference tournament this past weekend. Calvary Day School hosted five strong teams from across the state and the Warriors bested 4 of the 6 opponents they played. Their first match against Coastal proved a challenge as the team fell to Coastal’s strong offense. The team struggled to get into a rhythm playing in their first match of the 2021 season. In their second match against High Point Christian they rose to the occasion and fought to finish the win after dropping the second set. They showed impressive grit to eek out a close win in the last match 25-23. The Warrior’s defense helped take their first win of the season. In the last match of the first day St. David’s played the familiar faces of Cary Christian, though with a new season comes new talent. They started off slow allowing Cary Christian to take the first set but came back with a toughness to take the next two against a very worthy opponent. The conference matches against Cary Christian coming this season should not be missed.
Day two of the tournament brought different challenges. They faced the defending State Champions, Asheville Christian, whose intensity edged us out in a two-set loss. The Warriors, however, rallied for much of the second set almost forcing a tie-breaker and ending the set a high final score of 27-29! In the last match of the weekend against Hickory Grove the Warriors cruised through the sets finally finding a defensive rhythm. They played a clean game minimizing errors and putting a lot of pressure on their opponent who buckled in two sets. Standing out with great effort and execution this weekend was Senior Margaret Batchelder. The tournament served the Warriors well who finished with a 4-2 record and were fortunate to get great game experience readying them for the coming season. Come out and support the Warriors on their first home game on Friday, August 20 with JV playing 4:15 PM followed by the varsity at 5:30 PM against Cary Academy.