It was a packed week for the Bishops––with 20 athletic contests for the spring student-athletes.
VES baseball started the week off with strong competition from 5th-ranked VIC squad Fuqua, falling 10-0. The Bishops continue to show solid improvement against extremely difficult competition, which will greatly benefit the team as the season progresses and conference play begins. The game was well-played, but starting pitcher James Fentress ‘21 took the loss. He went four innings, allowing 10 hits, but throwing a very positive 60% strikes in the game. Jaden Waterman ‘21 led the VES offense with two hits in two at-bats, including a double in the first inning. David Basnight ‘22 (100% on-base percentage today) was thrown out at home plate while trying to score on Jaden’s double. VES committed an unusual and season-high four fielding errors, which led to two unearned Fuqua runs. Fuqua had 10 hits in the game and didn't commit a single error.
The boys were back on the diamond with a home game on Wednesday against Fork Union Military Academy. The game was a heartbreaker for the VES baseball squad, losing the lead late in a 20-15 defeat. Holding an 11-3 lead after four innings of play, and arguably playing their very best baseball of the season, the game took a turn. In the top of the fifth, VES’ pitchers surrendered five walks and their defense made six errors, allowing Fork Union to score 10 runs and take a 13-11 lead. The team was able to rally offensively in the bottom of the fifth and take a 15-13 lead, but again in the top of the sixth, they became their own worst enemy. Fork Union scored seven runs, to put the game out of reach for the Bishops. Nixon Rascoe ‘19 collected four hits in defeat, including a home run in the third inning. In earned runs, VES actually outscored Fork Union 14-10. For the game, the Bishops collected 14 hits, with Jaden Waterman ‘21, James Fentress ‘21, Jackson Mutch ‘19 and Selden Poore ‘19 all collecting two hits each.
Baseball finished the week with another home game on Saturday against Lynchburg public school foe, E.C. Glass. It was another challenging game for the VES baseball squad, as a two-out, 7th inning rally fell just short when Jackson Mutch’s fly ball to center field resulted in the third out, with runners on base and VES trailing 15-14. Nixon Rascoe ‘19 collected three hits and four RBIs, Selden had two hits and Jaden had two hits and three RBIs, to lead the Bishop offense. Patrick Schools ‘21 also collected his first career base-hit after switching from lacrosse to baseball this year!
Prior to this game, VES baseball welcomed back many former baseball alumni and rededicated the newly refurbished scoreboard at Buck Langhorne Field at Meador Park. As well, we honored four of our revered former coaches; John Gannaway, Rock Lee, Max Meador and Chip Jones. We were truly thrilled to have Bettye Lee, Jackie Meador and Jane Jones (alongside Chip) on the field prior to the game as their husbands' names were unveiled on banners permanently hung on the outfield fence. Each of the “First Ladies of VES Baseball” received a rose bouquet in appreciation for the 65+ years of combined service to VES baseball represented by their husbands' careers. Casey Kibe ’19 and Julianna Sigler ’20 sang the National Anthem and baseball capital campaign leader Mike Basnight ’72 threw out the first pitch to close out the festivities.
BOYS VARSITY TENNIS
Boys varsity tennis started their week with a match on the sunny but chilly Monday afternoon. VES welcomed Jefferson Forest for a chance for the Cavaliers to avenge last week’s 7-2 loss to the Bishops. But, the result was not what the visitors had hoped. #1 Kohl Perkins ‘22 bettered his result against JF's #1, winning 8-4. VES #2 James Cook ‘19 went to a tiebreaker and won it handily, 7-2, with some jaw-dropping return passing shots. Our #3 Leo Liu ‘19 built up a big lead, then made it interesting by letting his opponent creep back to within one game before slamming the door 8-6. VES #4 Hardt Lesko ‘22 gained his own revenge for last week's 7-9 loss by handling his opponent 8-4. Harry Cook ‘21, playing up at #5 as Xander Dirom ‘21 is on the injured list, eked out an 8-6 win, and #6 Gray Langston ‘20 won his second singles match in as many attempts 8-3. With the match decided, we played shortened (6 game, no-ad) pro sets to get people home before dark. VES took the #1 and #2 matches by identical 6-1 scores: Kohl and James at #1, and Leo & Hardt at #2.
On Tuesday, varsity boys tennis––ranked #7 in VISAA D-II—dropped a 1-8 decision to D-I #5-ranked Woodberry Forest. The matches were all close, even if the numbers don't appear that way as many games went to deuce. The young VES team acquitted itself admirably in the face of superior firepower. One real bright spot: #1 Kohl Perkins took the #1 Woodberry Forest player by a score of 8-3! Kohl continues to rumble through the competition!
The varsity boys continued their roll with convincing 9-0 victory over Hargrave Military Academy. The Bishops won 72 of the 78 games played! Singles wins by Kohl, James, Leo, Hardt, Harry and Gray. Leo's opponent was giving him fits before Leo took charge at 4-4 and ran off four straight games. Since he was taking a while, we subbed Brandon Yang in with Hardt Lesko at #2 doubles and they didn't miss a beat winning 8-0, just as Kohl and James did at #1, and Harry and Gray did at #2
BOYS VARSITY LACROSSE
Jefferson Forests boys varsity lacrosse team was on VES’ campus facing off on the field in Pope Stadium last Tuesday. It was a tough day for the Bishops. They could not quite find a rhythm and fell in overtime to a deserving Jefferson Forest squad. Wednesday brought another tough loss for the boys lacrosse team but, it was one of their best games of the year! The 11-9 defeat was definitely something to build on! Jake led the way in the cage, and the defense in front of him played outstanding! A great effort was given by all.
On Saturday, seniors led the way today on Johnson Field in Pope Stadium as the boys lacrosse team defeated Liberty Christian Academy 16-3 on Senior Day! Seniors Bryson Carter had 3 goals and 4 assists for 7 points, and Aaron Staggers had 2 goals and 7 ground balls. The senior defensive combination of Michael Brogan, Michael Caprise and Cole Roberts shut down LCA's offense. With Jake Baugher out indefinitely, Smith Winbourne stepped up huge and got the game ball!
GIRLS VARSITY LACROSSE
The VES girls varsity lacrosse team had two big conference wins last week—on Tuesday against Fuqua with a 19-5 win and then Thursday against North Cross with a 22-8 victory. The girls team came out flat against Fuqua with a 3-3 tied score after the first five minutes. After a quick reset and time out, the girls stepped onto the field ready to play with a 13-3 score at the half. Holly Koudelka ‘21 led the way against Fuqua with 8 goals and 4 assists. Ann Claire Terrell ‘21 and Megan McGrath ‘19 also contributed with 4 goals each, but the game ball went to Janiera Carr ‘20 for playing a consistent game and coming away with 2 goals, 2 assists and four ground balls.
Against North Cross the girls stepped onto the field ready to go with a quick draw control win and fast break goal scored within the first minute by Megan. The Bishops continued to dominate and moved the ball well in the midfield. Sophomores Holly and Ann Claire led the attack with 8 goals from Holly and six from Ann Claire. Sophomore Lucy Catherine Olmert played a strong game in goal with 14 saves. Our game balls went to Margaret Sprunt ‘20 for her aggressive and consistent defense and Megan for draw control wins and 5 assists.
The girls took a big win in their game against St. Gertude’s on Saturday. They came out ready to play and had a steady lead at the half with a score of 15-6. Ann Claire played a great game in midfield dominating on the draw with 7 draw controls and 5 goals. Holly led our team in scoring with 6 goals, and seniors Megan and Bebe Brogan dominated on attack with several goals and 5 assists each. With great overall play by all, VES won 22-15.
GIRLS VARSITY SOCCER
On Tuesday, the girls varsity soccer squad traveled to Richmond to take on the Trinity Episcopal squad—a powerhouse DI program. It was another hard match, but the girls showed real grit, even when the game was just not going their way. Down by five at the half, the Bishops came back onto the field and actually stepped up their intensity. The defense made strong stands against Trinity’s lethal offense while the midfield and offense really started to connect with one another. With under 10 minutes remaining, Cameron Basnight ‘19 collected the ball deep in Trinity territory and sent a cross into the box where Emme Gravely ‘20 was waiting to put a foot on it and grab her second goal of the season. The tough game was a great way for the team to learn and grow.
The varsity girls soccer team laced up their cleats again on Thursday to take on Roanoke Catholic in their first conference game of the season. The game was a resounding win, characterized by unrelenting hustle and unselfish play. Eight goals were scored against the Celts by six different goal scorers––Emme and Sally Curme ‘19 scored two each, and seniors Grace Williams, Katey Thomson, Ariel Mial and Cameron with one apiece. The girls made really nice paces and created countless chances for one another in the offensive end.
The squad ended their week with a home contest on Saturday versus St. Gertrude’s. It was a tough 0-2 loss for girls varsity soccer, but the squad should be proud of how they played. With a few players missing, the team was forced to quickly adjust to new positions which they did beautifully. Senior Katey Thomson moved from the midfield to help out on defense and our midfielders went with very little rest. Our offense, while frustrated at times by the Gators’ chippy defense, took several opportunities to play through balls and pressure the opposing goalie.
TRACK & FIELD
VES Track & Field held their first home meet of the season on Friday. Despite cold, rainy conditions, both the boys and girls teams put in great efforts. The boys won the meet, beating Hargrave (by just half a point), Banner Christian and New Covenant. The girls came in third behind New Covenant and Banner Christian. A few of the standouts from the day include:
From the girls:
Janae Bennett ‘19 came in 2nd in 100, 3rd in 200 and 1st in High Jump
Lillian Pang ‘21 came in 2nd in 400
Jenny Liu ‘22 came in 1st in 800
Rachel Xu ‘22 came 4th in 800
From the boys:
Boyd Burrus ‘21 came in 3rd in both the 100 and 200
Charlie Dodson ‘21 came 1st in 200
Daniel O’Brien ‘20 came in 2nd in 400, and 1st in 800, 1600 and 3200
Row Sterne ‘21 came in 2nd in 800, 1600 and 3200
Colin Walsh ‘22 came in 3rd in both the 1600 and 3200
Thomas Cook ‘20 came in 4th in 1600 and 5th in 3200
Saliou Diop ‘19 came in 2nd in both 300 Hurdles and the high jump
Drew Thompkins ‘20 came in 1st in high jump
Charlie Schindler ‘21 came 1st in Pole Vault
Jason Meng ‘19 came in 2nd in shot put
BOYS JV TENNIS
JV boys tennis started their week on Tuesday, arriving at Woodberry Forest under bleak, gray skies—shivering in clammy, cold air! Both coaches agreed to shorten matches to six games (instead of the typical eight) in an effort to get the match in before the inevitable precipitation. That move would turn out to be absolutely prophetic. All six singles (plus two exhibition singles) matches started and the battle was engaged! On all courts, games were frequently contested at deuce with the pendulum swinging back and forth. Eventually, that pendulum favored the Tigers and Bishops started to fall. Isaac Lee ‘21 played such a spectacular match at #2 that the 3-6 score doesn't do justice to the closeness. Isaac stayed cool, calm and collected while his opponent became flustered with his own performance. Brandon Yang ‘21, at #6, was the lone winner 6-0, extending his perfect singles record for the year. As the doubles started, the courts became slick. Coaches quickly pulled the plug as the match had been decided. The Bishops lost 1-5.
Arriving at Blue Ridge on Wednesday JV tennis set up to play seven singles matches – 3 indoors, 4 outdoors. The outdoor courts had just recently been repaired after a storm last spring blew away the surface of two of courts. The surface of all four outdoor courts is made of 1’x1’ interlocking blue plastic tiles filled with tiny holes – much like flat Lego pieces. Slick and strange bounces! Despite the surreal surface, the Bishops acquitted themselves admirably nearly winning the match in singles: #2 John Tharp won 8-2, #3 Jack Prahinski won 8-2, #4 Brandon Yang won 8-0, and #6 Sawyer Tatom (a newcomer to the starting rotation) won 8-0. Harrison Irby won a nice exhibition match at #7 singles by an 8-2 count. The squad needed one more match––out of three doubles to “seal the deal.” Blue Ridge made a very strange call and put their #1 singles player with their #7 singles player at #1 doubles. A quick strategy meeting with Isaac, Brandon and the coaches discussed the advisability of hitting nearly every shot at the #7 guy. Once our boys started doing that, they turned a 0-2 deficit into an 8-3 win. John and Jack P. brought home #2 doubles 8-3, and Jack S. and Sawyer roasted their #3 opponents 8-1. For picking up the double win in his first start, Sawyer earned the MaxPreps “Player of the Match” and a solid spot in the starting lineup.
GIRLS JV LAX
JV girls lacrosse team won Wednesday, with a final score of 11-3. Lara Wood ‘20 played a stellar game in goal, saving 5 out of 8 shots against her. She helped lead a strong defense along with Julianna Sigler ‘20, Megan Foster ’20, Annie Boyd Mutch ‘21 and Katherine Caprise ‘22. Attack crushed it with six of the goals belonging to Morgan Keller ‘21. The remaining goals came from Elizabeth Cox ‘21, who had two, and Liza Green ‘21, Mylasia Smith ‘21 and Louise Sprunt ‘22, each with one. Louise led the team in assists with four.
GIRLS JV SOCCER
JV girls soccer traveled to Chatham on Wednesday and, even though it was only their second game, the girls have already improved! They played hard in the beautiful sun, and ended the game victorious––beating the Turtles 1-0. Walker Rose ‘22 scored the sole goal––her second of the season––and the defense was solid.