09/04/09 — Rosewood ends five-match skid

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Rosewood ends five-match skid

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 4, 2009 1:46 PM

The skid is over.

Senior middle hitter Taylor Johnson just missed a double-double with nine kills and 12 service aces in Rosewood's 25-12, 25-16, 25-11 non-conference victory over Rocky Mount Prep on Thursday afternoon.

The Eagles (1-5 overall) snapped a five-match losing streak and will enjoy a seven-day layoff before playing host to perennial 2-A power North Lenoir on Sept. 10. The Hawks won the first meeting in four sets.

RM Prep, which had just six players, preferred to send balls over on either the first or second hit throughout the three-set affair. The style of play prevented Rosewood from generating a consistent offensive attack.

"We never got in a rhythm to do anything (today), but when they send balls back, you've got to be ready," said Rosewood coach Jennifer Cochran. "Every team is not going to do a bump, set, spike (in succession) so you've got to be ready to convert the free ball."

Rosewood used either middle- or late-set runs to seize control.

Rachyle McAlduff's service ace and Rachael Kornegay's kill off Alyssa Spell's assist started a 10-0 surge in the opening set. Johnson capped the set with a kill off another Spell assist.

In the second set, Johnson notched a kill off yet another Spell assist to start a 9-2 run. Again, Johnson ended the set with a kill, this time off Stephanie Hall's assist.

Spell, Hall and Chelsea Sawkiw combined for 20 assists in the match.

Cochran substituted freely throughout the contest, but it was more evident in the decisive third set. Several sophomores called up from the JV saw action either at the net or on the backline.

"We were able to see the younger players in positions and how they would react in a varsity match," said Cochran. "That's going to help us down the road."

Rosewood dispatched RM Prep with a 17-4, third-set run. Johnson served five consecutive aces to close out the match. The Eagles had 23 service aces as a team and allowed RM Prep (1-3) to score just seven points off 25 serve attempts.

Johnson is the lone holdover from the Eagles' squad that captured the 2006 Carolina 1-A Conference regular-season and tournament titles, and reached the eastern regional championship match in the playoffs.