10/19/11 — Rebels pull out four-set triumph

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Rebels pull out four-set triumph

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on October 19, 2011 1:50 PM

PRINCETON -- North Duplin was all smiles.

Rosewood was upset ... literally.

The Rebels overcame a sluggish first set and rallied for an 8-25, 26-24, 25-18, 25-20 victory in the semifinals of the Carolina 1-A Conference volleyball tournament at Princeton High School on Tuesday night.

North Duplin faces Princeton in the finals tonight at 7 p.m.

"I honestly think that tonight was the best we have played all season," said North Duplin head coach Kelly Brown. "The girls got their tails beat in that first set, but they never got down and they believed that they could come back."

Rosewood opened the match with a decisive first-set victory as Ellen Morgan dominated the net with six kills. Laura Vinson served three aces and the Eagles appeared ready to roll.

A change in the Rebels' attack led to much-improved play in the second set. By keeping the ball away from Morgan as much as possible and by controlling the game when she was on the bench, the Rebels built a 14-11 lead. After Rosewood reclaimed the lead at 16-15, the teams traded points until the Eagles found themselves serving for the set ahead 24-22.

North Duplin won the point, took back the serve and rolled for three consecutive points with Brooke Carter at the service line. The Rebels won 26-24.

From that point forward it was all Rebels.

"You have to give North Duplin a ton of credit," said Rosewood head coach Jennifer Cochran. "They played hard and they wanted this win bad. They are a senior-led team and they played very well at key times."

North Duplin built a 24-11 lead in the third set before a seven-point rally by the Eagles.

The Rebels jumped out to a 12-2 lead in the fourth set. Morgan delivered three kills in the next five points to get the Eagles back into contention, but it was not enough. Tearra Ammons collected the Rebels composure with a kill and then delivered an ace to give North Duplin a 20-13 lead and essentially put the match away.

Ammons finished with eight kills and four aces. Skylar McCarty added eight kills and two aces.

"We knew that we had to rally when (Morgan) was off the front line," said Brown. "I thought our girls did a good job of scoring when we had opportunities."

Morgan paced the Eagles with 14 kills and a block. Kerri Jo Gurley tallied nine kills and Vinson added seven kills.

Rosewood returns to action Saturday in the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs.