10/28/11 — Hill has 17-kill effort, Princeton knocks out Dixon

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Hill has 17-kill effort, Princeton knocks out Dixon

By Rick Scoppe
Published in Sports on October 28, 2011 1:48 PM

Jacksonville Daily News

HOLLY RIDGE -- Princeton took care of yet another Coastal Plains Conference member and advanced to the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A sectional volleyball playoffs.

Amber Hill led the way with 17 kills, and Princeton downed CPC tri-champion Dixon 25-22, 17-25, 25-17, 25-18 on Thursday evening. The Bulldogs (21-2 overall) return home Saturday against Lakewood, which eliminated two-time defending state champion Pender in five sets.

First serve is 4 p.m.

Dixon concluded the year 14-7 overall.

"It's unbelievable," Princeton coach Paige Renfrow said of winning three straight over CPC foes. "It's really been something."

Renfrow said her team, which features eight seniors, simply refuses to lose.

"They have the desire to win," she said. "It's in their blood. They have the heart. If they get down, they pick themselves back up. They have been an unbelievable team to coach."

After the teams split the first two sets, the momentum swung Princeton's way during a key stretch in the third set. With the score tied at 13, Hill had a kill and then back-to-back aces that Dixon let fall, thinking they would be out.

They were in, however, and then Hill smacked another kill from about the middle of the court that was just in at the back corner before a miscommunication on Dixon's part let the ball fall to complete a 5-0 run by Princeton.

"When you get hits like that, when you get shots on the line, when your hitters are working as hard as they can go, it pays off and it (pushes) our momentum up and it gets our fans into it," Renfrow said. "We just seemed to have a whole new outlook on the game."

Dixon never quite recovered, with Princeton taking a 2-1 lead when Hannah Woodward blocked a spike by Hannah Sorensen for the winning point.

In the fourth set, Princeton used a 10-2 scoring surge to go up 14-6 behind three straight aces by Nicole Melvin and back-to-back aces by Linda Smith. Dixon never got closer than five after that, with Savannah Massengill's kill clinching the match.

"We have really been working hard on serves because when we got later in the season when we played against Rosewood our final game and then in the conference tournament we slacked off on our serves," Renfrow said. "We've really been pushing hard on serves and it's paid off come the playoffs. They've really stepped up and made clutch serves when we needed them."