KVA volleyball

Kerr-Vance Academy volleyball player Cheyenne Owen (center) knocks the ball over the net while her teammates Regan Tanner (5) and Katelyn Balentine (7) look on during their team’s 3-0 victory over Crossroads Christian in the Vanco Outdoor Classic on Saturday.

HENDERSON — With the rain pouring outside Saturday morning, the 2020 edition of the Vanco Outdoor Classic at Kerr-Vance Academy took place inside the school’s gymnasium, where the volleyball program hosted its local rival in Crossroads Christian.

KVA controlled the contest through all three sets to secure a 3-0 victory and improve to 8-1 on the season, which left first-year head coach Casey Ellington satisfied about her team’s consistency with the NCISAA 1A Playoffs approaching.

“This feels awesome,” Ellington said. “The girls played great today. They moved their feet and they were ready for the ball to come back over. They could have put the ball down more when they were hitting, but overall it was a great day.”

KVA started the game off by pulling ahead 6-1 in the first set, but CCS senior Anna Parker executed several great serves to tie the game. Both sides traded leads and ties several times until KVA finally gained the upper hand and obtained a 25-16 win.

CCS was not able to recapture that consistency in the second set after going down 6-0, as a handful of solid sequences were not enough to catch KVA, who entered the final set with momentum on their side after winning 25-11.

A 25-13 victory by KVA in the third set ended the game and caused CCS to fall to 0-9, but CCS head coach Greg Hardy believes that his team continues to show improvement and was proud of how his team handled themselves on KVA’s home court.

“I thought we started out more ready than we’ve been,” Hardy said. “A lot of our key players stepped up and played aggressive, but once the momentum shifted away from us, it was hard to pick it back up. KVA is a great team and we toed the line with them for just a little bit, but we just haven’t put everything together yet.”

While Ellington believed that hesitance and lack of communication initially kept CCS around, she praised her team for playing more aggressive in the second and third sets and is confident that her players can maintain that energy through the postseason while simultaneously embracing every moment out on the court.

“We’re working on defense in practice so the girls know where to go,” Ellington said. “I want them to have fun when they play. It’s not always about winning, but I still want to see them play good and enjoy themselves.”

KVA will host St. Thomas More Academy today at 5:30 p.m. before wrapping up the regular season against Pungo Christian Academy on Friday. CCS will conclude their regular season today as well when they battle Grace Christian on the road at 6 p.m.