10/12/12 — Princeton caps unbeaten conference season with win over Rosewood

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Princeton caps unbeaten conference season with win over Rosewood

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on October 12, 2012 1:48 PM

Princeton was the top volleyball team throughout the Carolina 1-A Conference regular season, and showed why on Thursday night.

Not even the emotion of archrival Rosewood's senior night could derail the Princeton attack in a thrilling 21-25, 25-21, 22-25, 25-21, 15-7 victory. The Bulldogs (11-6 overall) finished the regular season with a perfect 10-0 record in league play.

"We knew that we had already locked up the top seed for the conference tournament so tonight was about finishing the regular season strong," Princeton head coach Paige Renfrow said. "I was really proud of the girls for fighting back once we got behind."

The teams split the first two sets.

The third set appeared to be headed in the Bulldogs' favor, but a late Rosewood rally turned the momentum around. The Eagles scored the last seven points of the set, and back-to-back kills by Lexi Mercer capped the comeback.

Princeton bounced back in the fourth set with a strong start and grabbed a 5-0 lead. The Bulldogs never trailed in the set and evened the match at two sets apiece.

"There were times when we had the momentum and just could not sustain it," Rosewood head coach Jennifer Cochran said. "It all came down to the service line. Princeton was able to come back because they did a really good job on serve as a team."

Princeton never trailed in the final set as it built an early 4-1 advantage. Rosewood tied the set at 6-6 on a kill by Anna Ingram, but fell behind for good when Princeton's Kasey Edwards toed the service line for six consecutive points.

Edwards led the Bulldogs with six kills and four blocks. Savanna Massengill added seven kills and one block. Amber Hill added five kills.

Crystal Allen paced Rosewood (14-7, 7-3) with six kills and three blocks. Ellen Morgan finished with nine kills. Mercer added five blocks and three kills.

"We wanted to give (Princeton) a match and I felt like we did that," Cochran said. "We got swept earlier in the season so tonight was a much better effort. Maybe we will get another chance to play them in the tournament."

Princeton and Rosewood each drew an opening-round bye in the season-ending conference tournament, which begins Monday.