Date Posted: Oct 14, 2011
Game Date: Oct 13, 2011


The Winchester Star-Oct. 14, 2011 - by Kevin Trudgeon

Shenandoah Valley Christian Academy volleyball team made sure to send out seniors, Sarah Benkendorf and Allie Pieper on high note Thursday evening.

Playing their final home VACA match of the season, the Patriots cruised to a 3-0 (25-13, 25-13, 25-18) win over visiting Riverfront Christian.

Following a service error by Riverfront to open play, the Patriots scored nine of the next 11 points to jump out to a commanding 10-2 lead right out of the gate.

Junior setter, Kayla Freemire fired an ace to notch the score a 1-1 and then Pieper went to work, recording three kills and three aces against the defensless Rams.

Back-to-back aces by Riverfront's Grace Snyder closed the  deficit to 14-7 later in the game, but SVCA responded with a 7-0 run, which included kills from Pieper, Benkendorf and freshman Krista Freemire, and cruised to the win.

"Sarah just started with us this year and she's a good passer and she's been a real consistent play for us,"  Coach Wheelock said.

"And Allie's just an athlete.  Even before she got her hitting down she made a difference just because of her height.  She moves really well and she's a force for us."

With Pieper sitting in the second game, Riverfront looked to make things interesting as they capitalized on three straight hitting errors by the Patriots to take an 8-5 lead.

But on a night devoted to the seniors a freshman stepped up as Krista Freemire stopped the run with a kill from the outside before serving for 11 straight points to turn the 3 point deficit into a 16-8 lead.

A hitting error halted the momentum momentarily, but the Patriots quickly put together 6-0 run and Freemire clinched the second game with a one of three kills in the match.

"One thing we've really been trying to do the whole season is to try and keep up the intensity on the court," said Wheelock, who was without freshman Carol Bartholomew due to a foot injury.  "Even if the other side isn't quite as intense, we're trying to keep it up so that we're having to go a fourth or fifth game.  We want to get it done in three."

That was certainly obvious in the third game as SVCA turn it down the stretch, turning an 18-17 lead into a 25-18 win behind kills from Pieper and Benkendorf and a pair of aces from freshman Amber Miller to clinch the match.

The Patriots will close out the regular season with a road match to Shenandoah Valley Academy on Monday before heading down to Mt. Carmel in Luray for VACA north regionals on Friday and Saturday.