10/21/09 — Top-seeded Eagles claim three-set sweep

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Top-seeded Eagles claim three-set sweep

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on October 21, 2009 1:50 PM

Satisfaction isn't a guaranteed result of victory.

Just ask Rosewood.

The top-seeded Eagles trudged through a 25-17, 25-23, 25-14 victory over Spring Creek in the Carolina 1-A Conference volleyball tournament semifinals Tuesday evening.

Rosewood (13-8 overall) faces archrival Princeton at 7 p.m. today in the championship match. The winner earns the No. 1 seed for the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs, which begin Saturday.

The Eagles must put their semifinal win in the past.

"That won't get it done," said Rosewood head coach Jennifer Cochran. "We've got to play like we're capable. We've got to step it up tomorrow."

Taylor Johnson recorded four kills for the Eagles in the opening set. Johnson's play around the net helped make up for a lackluster serving night for Rosewood.

"What do you do when you can't get your serve over in the box?" said Cochran. "We served poorly tonight and there was no communication on the court. Somehow we got it done. Serving is a mental thing and we've been battling that pretty much all year."

The Gators led 23-22 late in set two before Johnson's kill and a Spring Creek error brought the set to a close. Johnson contributed four more kills in the second set.

The Gators battled through injuries and inexperience while learning plenty of lessons all season.

"For a young team, they were very fun to coach and they worked really, really hard," said Spring Creek head coach Deanna Morris. "We've had injuries upon injuries this year. I'm proud of them for doing what they can do. The thing about a young team is their inconsistent."

The Eagles used a 7-2 run to take control of set three at 15-10. Johnson had a pair of blocks down the stretch and Laura Vinson added two kills.

"I think some changes I made in the third game sparked the team," said Cochran. "I think our kids will be pumped up for Princeton. We want to play them again and I think they want to play us again because we split."