09/12/12 — Princeton sweeps Spring Creek in volleyball

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Princeton sweeps Spring Creek in volleyball

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 12, 2012 1:49 PM

SEVEN SPRINGS -- Princeton head volleyball coach Paige Renfrow wasn't too concerned with style points Tuesday afternoon.

She was just happy with an "ugly win."

Sophomore backup setter Charley Cox handed out 31 assists for the Bulldogs, who knocked off the rust from a 10-day break and launched defense of their Carolina 1-A Conference title with a 25-21, 25-18, 25-11 conquest of Spring Creek.

The Bulldogs (2-6 overall) snapped a six-game skid and extended their win streak to 15 straight against conference opposition. The Gators (3-3) obliged their guests with 28 unforced errors and endured their second consecutive loss.

"We did have flashes of good play," Renfrow said. "We were real sluggish coming off almost two weeks of just practice and no games. "Spring Creek is a pretty good team, but we were not playing our ball ... were letting them dictate our tempo. We have to find it in our brains that we're going to play our tempo and not the other team's.

"We're bad about playing to the other team's standards."

The Gators hustled after loose balls, dug out a few hits and found themselves locked in a 19-19 tie late in the opening set. They took their final lead, 21-19, on a Princeton miscue and Dianna Correna's service ace.

An unforced error and Amber Hill's ace led to a 21-21 deadlock. Princeton capped the set-ending, 6-0 run on Taylor Carroll's kill off a Cox assist. Cox filled in for starter Lauren Woodard, who missed the match with strep throat.

The Bulldogs seized an early five-point lead in the second set and kept that advantage due to the Gators' inability to transition from defense to offense. Princeton's backline found its rhythm through a steady diet of transition balls from Spring Creek. Cox handled the passes with ease, fed her hitters and the efficient offensive work led to a second-set win.

Spring Creek head coach Deanna Morris said her team missed outside hitter Rachel McCollum, who rolled her left ankle in P.E. class on Monday. The sophomore's absence created changes in an inexperienced lineup that has just two returning starters -- Ford and Martinez.

"We didn't have a chance to practice without her," Morris said. "The girls didn't play their game. When someone is injured like that, it really does a (mental) number on the girls. Princeton played a good game and they wanted it."

The Dogs controlled the third set.

Six hitters combined for 14 kills as Princeton flourished on offense. Spring Creek labored to close out blocks and didn't move defensively to cover hard-angle shots.

Princeton finished with 32 kills as a team, including eight each by Kasey Edwards and Tori Paul. Hill supplied seven kills.

"Our outside hitters dominated tonight with solid shots to the corners ... was real proud of them for that," Renfrow said. "I'm not going to say the second game was real solid, but the third game I felt like we were solid and pulled it back together."