Chargers stun Bulldogs
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on October 20, 2010 1:47 PM
Short, sweet and to the point.
Ayden-Grifton needed just three sets to send defending tournament champion Princeton packing in a 25-23, 25-7, 25-22 victory in the semifinals of the Carolina 1-A Conference volleyball tournament on Tuesday at Rosewood.
The Bulldogs had difficulty matching the Chargers' aggressiveness at the net throughout the match. Kelsey Jones' kill and three aces from Karen-nia Edmonds gave Ayden-Grifton an 18-11 lead in the first set.
Traci Bridgers' ace helped the Bulldogs tie the score at 20-20. Courtney Eakes' ace and four Princeton errors allowed the Chargers to close out set one.
Three aces from Hillary Stafford and two kills from Edmonds were part of Ayden-Grifton's 12-1 run to start set two. The second-seeded Bulldogs (13-8 overall) committed nine unforced errors in the set and struggled to pass the ball.
The Chargers tallied 10 aces.
"Ayden-Grifton has a lot of talent and they know how to work," said Princeton head coach Trudi Rast. "Our serves were off and we were standing still instead of moving our feet to cover. We were dead all the way around. There are a lot of games where we fight back hard.
"Today, we didn't fight."
Linda Smith's ace put the Bulldogs in front 11-8 in set three. Ayden-Grifton battled back to take a 13-12 edge on Edmonds' kill and Jones' ace. Derica Jones provided four kills down the stretch as the Chargers finished off the match. She finished with eight kills, two blocks and two aces.
"I feel like we could tell before we left the school that we weren't ready," said Rast. "I think this is a very big eye-opener. Three tough practices will get us ready for the playoffs."
Princeton opens the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs on Saturday against an undetermined opponent.