The second-seeded Tour Daddy Defenders started their New Providence Volleyball Association (NPVA) men’s division title defense on the right note on Wednesday night, taking down the third-seeded National Fence Intruders three sets to two to take the opening game of their best-of-three playoff series at the D.W. Davis Gymnasium.
In the earlier game that night, in the women’s division, the second-seeded Lady Warhawks took a 1-0 lead in their best-of-three series against last year’s runners-up, the third-seeded Scottsdale Vixens.
In the other men’s series, played on Sunday, the pennant winners, the Warhawks, took a 1-0 lead in their best-of-three series against the fourth-seeded Technicians. That series will return to action tonight at 9 p.m.
On the ladies side, the pennant winners, the defending champions Central Gas Panthers leads the fourth-seeded Johnson’s Lady Truckers 1-0 in their best-of-three series that also got underway on Sunday. They will return to action tonight as well, starting at 7.30 p.m.
Defenders over the Intruders
The Defenders and the Intruders got together in a rematch of last year’s championship, and it was the Defenders who walked away as the victors of game one of their best-of-three playoff series.
Jamaal Ferguson led the way for the winners with 16 points, 12 of those points coming from spikes. Jesse Delancy chipped in with 12 points in the win. The Defenders prevailed in three sets, 25-12, 25-22, 17-25, 12-25 and 15-11.
The Defenders had a dominant performance early on, easily taking the first set. Defenders’ captain Jevaughn Saunders and Ferguson led the way with four points each in that opening set.
The second set was more competitive. After falling behind early, the Intruders battled back in the second set but still ended up losing, 25-22.
The Intruders roared back to tie the match at two sets apiece as they took the third and fourth sets, 25-17 and 25-12.
Prince Wilson was a man on a mission in those two sets for the Intruders. He scored 10 points in the third set then scored seven more points in the fourth set.
He ended the night with a game-high 22 points that included 15 points on spikes. Intruders’ captain Dellan Brown also scored in double digits as he finished the night with 11 points.
A fifth and final set was needed as both teams were trying to take a 1-0 cushion in the series.
In the fifth set, the game was close with the scored tied at 7-7. In the end, the Defenders got the best of the Intruders as they won that set 15-11 to win the match three sets to two.
The second match gets underway on Sunday at 5 p.m.
Lady Warhawks over the Vixens
It was a competitive four sets as these two teams battled with each trying to take a 1-0 advantage in the series. The Lady Warhawks were able to hold off the Vixens in the end.
Barbara Kiraly was the high scorer for her team as she finished with 20 points. She had 13 of those points on kills.
Kiraly had help from Sydline Justilien who scored all 12 of her points from kills.
In the first set, the Vixens showed a lot of toughness as they managed to keep the game close. At one point, the Lady Warhawks led 10-7. The Vixens went up 20-19, and held on to win that first set 25-23. However, the Lady Warhawks came back to win the next three sets to take the match, prevailing 23-25, 25-23, 25-19 and 25-22.
In the first set, the Vixens were led by Melinda Bastian with 10 points. She finished the night with a game-high 23 total points, scoring 20 from kills.
Bastian and the Vixens got assistance from Q’Jannis Wilson who finished with 12 points.
After losing a tough first set, the Lady Warhawks fought their way to a 25-23 win in the second set. In the third set, the Lady Warhawks led 23-17 before putting the Vixens away, 25-19. That six-point victory was the largest margin of victory in the four sets played.
The fourth set was also close with the Lady Warhawks prevailing, 25-22.
The Lady Warhawks will look to sweep the Vixens on Sunday as the second match is set to get underway at 3 p.m.
Should the Vixens lose game two or three, it would be the first time in 16 years that they failed to advance to the NPVA Championships. They saw their string of 14 championships in a row snapped by the Central Gas Panthers last year.