They’d like to forget Labor Day Weekend, but remember everything else so far this season.
Patrick Henry’s boys volleyball team continued its winning September, sweeping former Colonial District nemesis Mills Godwin Tuesday night, 25-18, 27-25, 25-20. The Patriots, now 8-4 on the season, battled the Eagles point for point before breaking open late to win set one, losing a lead late before rallying to survive set two, then opening a lead early and withstanding another Godwin rally to take set three and the match.
Power wasn’t as necessary as the Patriots found numerous ways to win points; on finesse, on finding the open hole in the Godwin defense, even the occasional soft serve. Sam Boyd served up 38 assists over three sets, while Lucas Pienkowski had 10 kills to go with three aces.
Patrick Henry may be 8-4, but is 1-0 in a huge late September stretch that continues Thursday night when the Patriots go to Deep Run, then finishes with a showdown with Douglas Freeman.
“Now we get Deep Run,” Pienkowski said after the win. “That’s gonna be tough.”
Meanwhile Lee-Davis won its third match in a week, sweeping Highland Springs Tuesday night, 25-13, 25-16, 25-21, while Hanover survived a five-set marathon over Conference 20 rival Glen Allen, taking the tiebreaker in dramatic fashion, 18-16.
On the girls side, Atlee continues its winning ways, reminding Hanover, and the rest of the Richmond area, that they are still the team to beat. After struggling through half of the first set, the Raiders went on a 13-3 run to take the set en route to a 3-0 sweep over the young Hawks on Thursday night.
Lauren Stanford stood in at libero in place of the injured Melanie Snyder, spending the night setting up Clarke Tyler, Molly Jarvis, Rachel Stanford, and Kylah Blackmore for kill after kill. The performance left Atlee head coach Curtis Carpenter, honored by the homestanding Hawks on his birthday before the match, somewhat satisfied.
“There’s some things I’d like to see improved on, including our serve-receive,” Carpenter noted. “We’ve been working on it, and we’ll work on it more.”
As for Snyder, she is recovering from stress fractures in both shins, and Carpenter hopes she will return by early October. After a three-set sweep of Varina Tuesday night, the Raiders are 9-1 and go to Highland Springs Thursday before returning home to face Henrico Tuesday.
As for Hanover, 6-5 after a subsequent loss to Glen Allen Tuesday night, with such a young core, the team is exciting to watch, but head coach Karl Lippa also must survive the growing pains.
“We’re the feisty puppies,” Lippa explained. “The sophomores are puppies, like attack dogs. There are moments where, OK, it’s the growing side of it. But what I like the most? With a puppy, they’ll go at anybody. Our sophomores aren’t intimidated by anybody.”
That attack mentality will serve the Hawks well in matches to come.