Rosewood takes Carolina VB title
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 21, 2010 1:47 PM
The big points.
A little revenge.
All those factors worked in favor of Rosewood in the Carolina 1-A Conference tournament championship Wednesday evening. Middle hitter Ellen Morgan delivered match highs in kills (16) and blocks six in a 26-28, 25-15, 25-23, 25-20 triumph over Ayden-Grifton at the Eagles' Nest.
The top-seeded Eagles (18-4 overall) completed the league sweep -- regular-season and tournament crowns -- for the third time in head coach Jennifer Cochran's career.
"I thought we played really well today," said Cochran.
Setter Alyssa Spell effectively used her offensive options and spread 26 assists among five hitters. Laura Vinson cranked out nine kills, while senior middle hitter Rachael Kornegay supplied eight kills and two blocks.
Stephanie Hall and Megann Tyndall combined for eight kills in the four-set affair.
"The outside players tipped a lot. They might not have had a hard shot, but Laura and Megann mixed it up a little bit," said Cochran. "We played together as a team a whole lot better than we did yesterday (Tuesday vs. North Duplin)."
Rosewood avenged its only league loss in regular-season play. The fourth-seeded Chargers handed the Eagles a four-set defeat just two weeks ago.
Karen-nia Edmonds emerged Ayden-Grifton's offensive leader with four kills and six service aces in the opening set. She served five straight aces late as the Chargers (10-11) rallied from a two-point deficit to take a 22-18 lead.
The teams combined to squander four set points before Courtney Eakes served a low, line-drive ace to the Eagles' midcourt, which clinched the set.
Morgan and Kornegay combined for five kills and three blocks as Rosewood dominated the second set. The Eagles trailed 13-5 in the second set when Vinson and Tyndall began to stretch the Chargers' defense with their consistent work from the outside.
Vinson's kill off Spell's assist pulled Rosewood within 15-13. Ayden-Grifton kept a two-point advantage until Spell served an ace to forge an 18-18 tie. The Chargers committed a hitting error and Kornegay answered with consecutive off-speed hits off Spell assists.
The teams battled to ties at 21-21, 22-22 and 23-23 before Morgan responded with a solo block and set-clinching kill.
"They really didn't know what to do with our backside hitting," said Cochran. "They had no backside defense and they couldn't get into their (offensive) system, which is something we picked up on yesterday watching the game (against Princeton)."
Vinson, Tyndall and Kerri Jo Gurley (four aces) spearheaded Rosewood's 10-2 run to start the fourth set. Ayden-Grifton steadily whittled away at the deficit and tied it at 20-20 on Olivia Bjerkeset's ace.
Morgan's kill gave the Eagles a sideout and ignited a match-clinching 5-0 run. Rachyle McAlduff polished off the tournament championship with an ace.