Lady Eagles exact some revenge
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 19, 2006 2:18 PM
Senior middle hitter Courtney Hill provided match highs of nine kills and four blocks as Rosewood avenged its lone loss of the season with a 25-15, 25-19, 25-23 victory over North Lenoir on Monday afternoon. The Eagles earned their ninth victory in 10 tries and remained unbeaten in regular-season play on their homecourt since 2004.
North Lenoir endured its fourth setback in its last five outings and exited 7-4 overall.
The Eagles, admittedly, haven't played well since their five-set loss at LaGrange less than two weeks ago. Coach Jennifer Cochran used Friday's practice to work on the passing game and it paid dividends against the Hawks.
"We didn't hit a ball at all Friday," said Cochran. "We did tennis ball drills and passed. We had not passed well at all, but tonight has probably been our best match since (the) North Lenoir (loss). We changed a couple of things around, and knew our responsibilities on the court.
"We're still not there as far as defense is concerned."
The Hawks failed to generate a consistent offensive attack all afternoon. The inconsistent passing led to free balls, which allowed Rosewood to work its offense from either the outside or middle. The Eagles smacked several short balls off shanked passes back over the net throughout the three-set affair.
"We always tell them that we want to get the pass and hit, and make them free ball it back to us, so we can set it back up," said sixth-year North Lenoir head coach Heather Humphrey Carson. "I don't know how many free balls we gave them, but it was a lot.
"We came out flat-footed the first two games. It seems like we always have the tendency to get behind, then we have to fight, fight, fight. We don't talk all the time ... are up and down, up and down."
Rosewood owned a 25-23 edge in kills during the 87-minute contest, which featured seven ties and six lead changes. Ashley Williams complemented Hill's effort with six kills. Outside hitter Kasie Braswell pounded out five kills. Senior Aubrey Reinhard dished out 11 assists, while Williams and Roxie Phillips passed out three assists apiece.
Senior outside hitter Brittany Sanders paced North Lenoir with eight kills, including four in the opening set. Kayla Sutton added six kills. Setters Lauren and Jordan Hudson combined for 14 assists.
Humphrey Carson still hasn't found a consistent opposite hitter for Sanders.
"Some games, I do have one and some games, I don't," said Humphrey Carson. "It's just that inconsistency we keep experiencing. I don't know what else to say."
The Eagles converted three of nine set-point opportunities. Phillips' kill off Williams' assist closed out the first set. The Hawks fended off two set points before Braswell slammed a kill off another Williams assist.
North Lenoir trailed 24-20 in the final set and pulled within 24-23 until Reinhard ended the match with a kill to the back corner.
"I don't think they played well tonight as they're capable of, or maybe we just played outstanding, I don't know," said Cochran. "We took advantage of it and put pressure on them where they probably didn't think we'd put pressure on them. (Sanders) didn't have the night that she had down there when she just killed us.
"I don't think she got the swings (tonight) she was supposed to because they weren't passing as well as they should have."
Rosewood continues defense of its Class 1-A Carolina Conference crown and puts its 14-match win streak against league foes on the line today at Spring Creek.
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