POWHATAN – Bryson Amorese had already established her presence on the court.
The versatile sophomore setter was in the back getting the first touches to keep several incoming Cosby attacks afloat. She was also in the middle setting up attacks for her Powhatan teammates around her.
But five-foot-four Amorese made a play for the highlight reel up front at the net.
She tipped an incoming ball across the top part, and the Cosby defender right in front of her went to block it back over…
…but instead pushed the ball further into the netting…
…thus securing match point and a 25-22 second set for the Powhatan Indians.
It was one of several big plays that helped the home team secure a thrilling 3-0 sweep (26-24, 25-22, 25-19) of historic power Cosby.
“It was really exciting, especially to take them in three sets,” Amorese said. “That was really exciting to do, because we knew they were gonna be some competition.”
The keynote triumph also had Powhatan coach Cindy Bryant excited.
“This was a huge one,” Bryant said, pointing to Cosby Girls Volleyball’s strong history. “To come in and take them in three tonight was super…I’m super proud of all of them, great team effort.”
Over the prior weekend during the Virginia Volleyball Showcase at Richmond Volleyball Club, Powhatan in its last match made what Bryant said was a tough decision to try a 5-1 rotation – five hitters and one setter – as opposed to the 6-2 setup that the team had initially been using.
It paid off, helping Powhatan get a 2-0 win over Midlothian in the invitational.
The Indians again employed the 5-1 scheme in their first two sets on Tuesday against Cosby, with Amorese at the setter spot, and the Indians clawed their way past the Titans utilizing the formation before returning to the 6-2 look to take advantage of the Indians’ team depth in the third and final set.
Amorese throughout the match smoothly shifted roles between defender and setter. She complemented her 22 assists with 8 digs.
“It’s definitely hard at the beginning,” Amorese said of transitioning between roles. “But then you kind of get into the rhythm, with your other players, too, of: ‘Who’s gonna get the next ball?’”
Six-foot power hitter Sierra Ellison, who the previous week committed to DePaul, launched the ball with a cannon of an arm for a team-leading 14 kills on Tuesday. She also went low and had wide reach to make several big digs – eight in total - to keep points alive.
Middle force Star Bryant tallied up 10 kills as she hit a couple of airballs so hard that they ricocheted off of defenders, and also lasered a couple of blocked comebackers across the hardwood for no-doubt winners.
Tennis standout McKenna Adams was yet another force in the back for Powhatan; she made three digs, and her passing was on point Tuesday night according to her coach.
While five-foot-11 sophomore middle blocker Nina Marsho didn’t have a large quantity of blocks, the ones she did make went a very, very long way. Reaching up in time on two incoming darts, she batted down the two shots on back-to-back plays at the net.
The first set up match point.
The second won Powhatan that first set by a nail-biting score of 26-24.
That narrow opening-set victory marked a huge shift in momentum for the Indians as they overcame a slow start that saw them trailing Cosby as far down as 14-8.
“They were able to rein it in and hunker down and get the job done,” Coach Bryant said. “I’m proud of them.”
Powhatan returns to the court on Monday, Sept. 9 with a road match at Hanover at 7 p.m. before hosting Monacan on Tuesday, Sept. 10 at 7 p.m.