10/07/09 — Princeton picks up key Carolina 1-A victory at home

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Princeton picks up key Carolina 1-A victory at home

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on October 7, 2009 1:46 PM

PRINCETON -- Trudi Rast's birthday celebration was a little bit sweeter after watching her team execute in the clutch.

The Princeton head coach saw her team hold off a charging North Duplin squad in all three sets of a 25-20, 25-22, 25-23 home victory on Tuesday evening.

The Rebels rallied from a 20-14 deficit in the first set to pull within 21-18 in the Carolina 1-A Conference match. A pair of kills from Erin Schultze and Hannah Wood's service ace allowed the Bulldogs to close out the opening set.

North Duplin fought off four set points in the second set on three consecutive aces by Angelica Favela and a Princeton error. Megan Gerrell's kill put to rest the Rebels' comeback hopes.

Third set followed the trend of the first two as a back-and-forth battle. The Rebels (7-7 overall, 4-3 CC) claimed an early 10-7 lead and also had a 15-12 advantage.

Unforced Bulldogs errors gave North Duplin a 22-21 cushion, but it wouldn't lead again. Rebecca Harlan's ace and off-speed kill put the finishing touches on Princeton's victory and began Rast's birthday celebration.

"Our kids dug deep and really focused," said Rast. "North Duplin is a good team and they're a really good volleying team. Anytime we can beat North Duplin it's good for us because they're a very good team. I'm excited about celebrating my birthday like this."

Rebels head coach Heather Best was focused more on her team's progression throughout the course of the season than a difficult conference loss.

"I thought in general we did well because the last game we played against them was a completely different story," said Best. "Princeton is a very good team and it's hard to get anything down on them. For us to do as well as we did I'm extremely proud of their effort.

"I'm not going to dwell on the fact that we lost the game, I'm going to look at how well we played based on how we played against them the last time and the strides were making as a team."

The Bulldogs (11-5, 6-1) play host to Goldsboro on Thursday, while North Duplin entertains Ayden-Grifton.