Our Varsity Girls Volleyball Team traveled to Trinity Academy on Thursday, September 22nd. The Warriors set the tone in the first set behind the hot serving of Junior Rebekah Leshnock who scored 7 points in a row. The Warriors led 10-3 but Trinity went on a run of their own to even out the score. "We knew coming into this game that it would be a tough match do to the size advantage of Trinity," said Coach Lighbourn. The Lions took full advantage of their taller hitters matching up against the smaller blockers of the Warriors. During the next 3 sets the Warriors could not get enough defensive stops to close out the match. The Warriors will be in action again on Friday, September 23rd as they travel to take on Wake Christian Academy.
Our Varsity Volleyball Team hosted Wake Christian on Tuesday, September 20th. The Varsity Volleyball Team marched into competition on Tuesday ready to try and bounce back from a loss the previous week. The Warriors soon found themselves in a toe to toe battle with the Bulldogs of Wake Christian. The score went back and forth in the first match with both teams swinging big and making plays. The Bulldogs would eventually take the upper hand following a few service return errors by the Warriors. Having lost the first match the Warriors were prepared for another face off but would find themselves in another hard fought battle as the Bulldogs were not letting up. The Warriors were now down 2 matches to none. The Warriors were able to regroup and come out swinging for the third match. Some big serves by Freshman Grimsley McNairy and Junior Skyler Woods put the Warriors on a roll and they continued to gain momentum throughout the match. The Warriors were able to secure the third match and found themselves heading into unfamiliar territory, a fourth match for the first time this season. During the fourth match the Warriors traded the with the Bulldogs. A few calls that were not in the favor of the Warriors seemed to take a little steam out of their engine and there were unable to regain control of the match. The Warriors ended up with a 1-3 loss. The Warriors will be in action again on Thursday, September 22nd as they travel to Trinity Academy for a 5:15pm game time.
Varsity Volleyball Comes Up Short In Conference Play
Written by: T. Clifton
Our Varsity Volleyball Team hosted conference opponent Grace Christian on Tuesday, September 13th. "We struggled a bit at practice with our communication and focus on Monday. We were hoping that wouldn't carry over into the game," said Coach Romel Lightbourn. The match was a hard fought contest with multiply lead changes. Lack of communication during big volleys proved to be costly for the Warriors. Unfortunately, Grace Christian took the lead and closed the first match with a win. The next two matches were similar to the first. The Warriors played a hard fought contest but just made too many errors during crucial times. The Warriors will be in action again on Thursday, September 15th as they travel to Cary Christian to take on the Knights at 5:30pm.
The varsity volleyball team played Cary Christian at home on Thursday September 8th. The Warriors jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the first set and never looked back. The offensive power of the Warriors proved to be too much for the Knights to handle as they won the match in 3 straight sets. "We are getting better with our in game rotations and are playing better as a team," said Coach Romel Lightbourn. Newcomer Skyler Woods has been a consistent presence on the floor for the Warriors with her serving runs, volleyball IQ, and court awareness. Rebekah Leshnock and Greyson Woody also provide leadership and a dominant offensive presence for the Warriors. Come out and support our Warriors as they face Grace Christian at home on Tuesday, September 13th.
The varsity volleyball team played Thales Academy of Rolesville on Tuesday, August 30th at home. The team played a consistent controlled match against Thales and "are getting better as we play more matched" said head coach Romel Lightbourn, "but we are still learning to work together during tight and chaotic situations". There continues to be great leadership by veteran player Rebekah Leshnock who has a strong presence offensively in particular. She lead the team in attacks with 11 kills and had a few serving runs of 5 or more points that allowed the Warriors to easily pull away from the opponent. Greysen Woody, another dynamic right-side also contributed with 9 kills. Lightbourn added "we always overemphasize the importance of mental toughness and challenging ourselves to minimize our mistakes when we play teams that are not as strong. We are getting better every day and the team is trusting the process." The team plays again on September 1st at home at 5:30pm against Neuse Academy.
The varsity volleyball team took on Arendell Parrott on August 25th. The team played near flawlessly for the entire match. Our clean and aggressive game made it very difficult for the Patriots to respond because our Warriors limited their unforced errors and kept putting the ball to their opponent out-lasting them for what would be Parrott's errors. Though the Patriots seemed to dominate the net-play with great athletes and good blocking the Warriors powered through with smart shots and good coverage of their hitters. The long, hard-fought rallies were boosted by some really impressive defensive plays on our home court. "Our defense was phenomenal", said Coach Lightbourn. "This was the best match we've played yet", he added. The group was led offensively by junior Rebekah Leshnock and freshman Grimsley McNairy who notched 13 and 11 kills respectively. In just three short weeks "we've really been able to cultivate a team identity on and off the court that will make us hard to beat", added Lightbourn. The team swept Parrott in sets, 3-0 and left little room for them to be hopeful about a win taking the sets 25-16, 25-21 and 25-21. Well done Warriors! The team returns to the court at home on August 30th at 4:30 against Thales Academy-Rolesville. Come cheer them on!
The Varsity Volleyball team traveled to Ravenscroft on Tuesday, August 24th and after a bit of a dog fight came out victorious. Though the team's defense was up and down throughout the match the Warriors took set one in a tight game 25-19 after some plays were kept up allowing our girls to fine the other side of the court after some good swings. Ravenscroft continued to execute their game plan which took its toll on the team and the Ravens took the second set. With a new team early in the season the Warriors are still sorting out what clicks and what doesn't. After a 7-1 run by the Ravens early in the third the team needed to answer. A smart time out by coach Romel Lightbourn got the girls back on track and they chipped away at the lead. The team caught fire behind their veteran leadership and won in exciting fashion, the third set narrowly with a score of 28-26. "Winning the third really got the girls fired up and the momentum changed", said Lightbourn. They then wen ton an 8-1 run and never looked back dominating the fourth set winning 25-10. "Tonight’s match against Ravenscroft opened our eyes as far as what we need to work on as a team", he added, "but I am so proud of how they fought for this win." The Warriors play again tomorrow, August 25th against Arendell Parrott. Come support watch our Warriors fight for another win!
The Varsity Volleyball and Varsity Boys Soccer teams took on Friendship Christian in their first home games of the season yesterday, August 16th. They each kicked off their season with home wins!
The boys varsity crew started off strong and played well for an early season game. They had good possession throughout and capitalized on scoring opportunities early. Landon Breswitz put 2 goals in the back of the net and Sebastian Casas and Charles Hatton each notched a goal. As the game continued the Warriors fatigued slightly but kept up an impressive competitive spirit and great team chemistry for the new crew. "It's always positive to start out with a win so we're excited about that. There is plenty to improve on and it was nice to see where to go from here", said head coach Cornejo. "We will work to improve out fitness level and soccer IQ for our younger players but this will be a great season", he added. The team finished with a 4-1 victory over the Falcons. Allowing just one tough goal and having an overall outstanding game in net was Jack Sena. The team plays again on August 25th at home against previous conference opponent Arendell Parrott at 4:15pm.
The girls varsity team came out to a roaring start for their first home match of the season. They previously played in a pre-season tournament last weekend so had some experience already under their belt. With first game jitters well behind them they put several points on the board before the Falcons could score any of their own and never looked back. In the first and third sets the Warriors held the opponent to single digit points and sealed the win in three straight sets. The Falcons never had a chance to respond after strong play from freshman Grimsley McNair and junior Rebekah Leshnock. It was a full-team effort though and contributions offensively from all areas of the court including many attacks from the middle. "The team did a tremendous job staying engaged and paying attention to detail", said head coach Romel Lightbourn. "With strong leads we were able to try a couple of different line-ups and everyone worked well together. We are definitely getting stronger as we play more games so I'm excited to see what the outcome will be this season", he added. The team plays again on August 23rd at Ravenscroft at 5:15pm.
The Varsity Volleyball team opened the falls sports for St. David's athletics with the first competition of the season. This past weekend they traveled to Calvary Day School to compete in the Cougar Classic. The team started off play on Friday, August 12 and continued play on Saturday the 13th. With a quick turn around and a lot of games squeezed in two days the team's early competition proved challenging but the girls rose to the challenge and finished the tournament with a winning record, 3-2 in matches.
They hit the ground running in the first match of their season and the tournament against High Point Christian. The girls went point for point against their opponent all the way to point 18 where the Warriors were able to pull away in the end. The tight scoring match was a great start to the tournament and while very intense, gave the team a sense of their abilities. Coach Romel Lightbourn said that in this opener he was particularly "proud of the team for stepping up and closing out such a tight first match."
Their remaining matches were no less a challenge than the first. Friday's second match against Hickory Grove the team appeared to have been worn thin from their first game earlier in the day. More mistakes and the opponents scrappy defense pushed them to 3 sets where St. David's finally sealed the win with a compelling 15-8 finish in the third. The following day they played strong opponents in Fayetteville Christian and Coastal Christian and weren't able to pull out a victory losing in two sets to both. Their third match of the day and final match of the tournament however, they turned things around and won decisively against Gaston Day.
Coach Lightbourn capped up the weekend nicely by saying that "playing this weekend allowed me to see the competition and to gauge where we need to be in the next couple of weeks. We had some highs and lows and did some good things this weekend. We will go back in the gym and work on the small things." The team plays again tomorrow, August 16th at home against Friendship Christian at 5pm.
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!
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.
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!
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.