09/21/05 — Rosewood improves to 11-0

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Rosewood improves to 11-0

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on September 21, 2005 2:12 PM

The Rosewood volleyball program's best start in school history continues.

Facing Spring Creek, also turning in its best beginning to a season in its young program's history, the Eagles stormed from behind in the first two sets, then cruised in set three to sweep the Gators -- 25-21, 25-19, 25-13.

Rosewood improved to 11-0 overall and will take a 3-0 Class 1-A Carolina Conference mark into Thursday's match-up at North Duplin. Spring Creek (7-2 overall) exited at 1-2 in league play with a non-conference match today at home against Midway. The Gators next conference match is Thursday at North Johnston.

"It feels awesome, because they (Spring Creek) are one of the top teams in the conference. We look for them to be tough, and they are going to get better," Rosewood coach Jennifer Cochran said. "So, we're going to have to improve our game. When they get their hitters going, it will be an even a closer game."

The Gators had a lead of 12-4 in the first set and took a 9-3 advantage in game two, but each time Rosewood regrouped and turned the momentum.

In the first set, the Eagles inched back, point-by-point and eventually took charge with Stephanie Rhodes at the service line. Facing an 19-15 deficit, Rhodes served up one ace, then Courtney Hill provided two kills and Clare Narron added one spike after a long rally to even the match at 19-19.

Rosewood won the serve back at 21-21 as Abigail Barrow served out the next four points to finish off the set. Hill, who finished with 14 kills and seven blocks, had two kills in the final four points of the first set.

"When we don't serve well, that dictates our game," Spring Creek coach Deanna Morris said.

"When we get blocked a lot, we have a hard time pulling it back in."

Service errors and the inability to get into its attack plagued Spring Creek through most of the match. Leading 7-2 in the second set, the Gators served two into the net as Barrow took serve again with her team down 9-4.

Barrow went on to serve on five straight points as the Eagles tied it at 9-9 on a tip by Kelli Gurley. With Spring Creek's Lorenda Brogden battling Hill and Kasey Grey at the net, the Gators stayed close in the middle stages of the second, before Rosewood took the lead for good at 14-13 on back-to-back aces by Hill.

From there, the Eagles won 10 of the next 12 points to surge out to a 23-15 lead, eventually winning 25-19.

"We just stayed focused. We had to get a groove going," Cochran said. "We had more free balls, so we were able to execute and find their holes. We weren't really hitting it hard, but our girls can see where to put the ball."

The Eagles never trailed in the third game as their service game and Hill's play at the net proved consistent. The Eagles served up five aces in the third set, while Hill had three kills and one block. Barrow's tip sealed the sweep at 25-13.

Gurley and Barrow both turned in solid games setting and also finished with seven and five digs, respectively. Grey added four blocks, while Narron notched four kills.

Brogden finished with four kills and two blocks to lead the Gators at the net as Margo Sauter finished with seven assists. Tomeka Pride (three aces) and Brittani Billups (two aces) paced Spring Creek from the service line.

"They blocked hard and we couldn't get it over them. We were over-passing and they capitalizing on our errors," Morris said. "I'm disappointed, because it was like somebody else walked on the court besides my team."