County rivals play classic
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on August 31, 2011 1:47 PM
The first-ever meeting between perennial volleyball powers Rosewood and Wayne Christian turned into an instant classic Tuesday evening.
And the county rivals battled for a great cause, too.
Outside hitter Britney O'Hara cranked out a match-high 14 kills during Wayne Christian's 25-20, 25-14, 22-25, 19-25, 15-7 triumph in the fourth installment of the "Serving Up A Cure" series.
Players from each school read from a pamphlet which had the names of family members, friends and neighbors who are either fighting cancer or succumbed to the killer disease before the match. Donations, concession sales, money from baked goods and a silent auction benefited the Wayne County Relay for Life.
"We had been looking forward to this," said O'Hara. "(The cause) puts more emotion into it. You're in it to win because you always are, but there's more than just winning in matches like these. It's awesome, makes your heart feel good."
Katie Isenhower passed out a match-leading 25 assists and served five aces for Wayne Christian, which improved to 6-0 overall -- its best start with fourth-year head coach Rick Moore. Jessica Swets contributed nine kills and Carly Hightower pounded out seven kills.
Sophomore middle hitter Ellen Morgan paced Rosewood (5-1) with eight kills and three blocks. Laura Vinson posted eight kills, while Anna Ingram and Megann Tyndall logged five kills apiece.
Rachyle McAlduff dished out 11 assists.
"I think that right now they are better than us," said Rosewood head coach Jennifer Cochran. "They played well."
Wayne Christian ran a fluid offense, attacked transition balls and controlled the first two sets behind O'Hara and Swets. Rosewood struggled in its serve-receive game and was off balance in its offense which committed 20 hitting errors during that stretch.
Cochran tweaked the lineup to start the third set and her team fixed its service game. Ingram's solo block against Hightower and kill off McAlduff's assist gave Rosewood its biggest lead, 16-11, in the set.
The visiting Eagles fended off four set points before Tyndall closed it out with a kill off Stephanie Hall's assist.
Morgan's kill off McAlduff's assist gave Rosewood minimal breathing room in the fourth set. Vinson's ace and another Morgan kill extended the advantage to 21-16 and Wayne Christian never threatened.
"I have to give it to Rosewood," said Moore, who didn't use a substitute during the five-set affair. "Their serve-receive got better and they just came alive. When their passing was good, their hitting was good and it turned into a much-closer match."
O'Hara mashed two kills to start the decisive fifth set and Rosewood never rebounded from its slow start. Cochran's team climbed to within 7-6 on Morgan's kill, but O'Hara and Swets put the game away at the net and service line.
"That fifth set we had high intensity, grabbed the momentum and pulled through," said O'Hara.
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