10/26/12 — Princeton ousts SW Onslow

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Princeton ousts SW Onslow

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on October 26, 2012 1:48 PM

PRINCETON -- For the first time in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A state playoffs, Princeton was challenged.

The Bulldogs answered every attack Southwest Onslow could muster and rolled to a 25-19, 25-21, 25-19 victory in third-round play Thursday night.

Princeton (16-6 overall) plays host to perennial power Pender on Saturday.

"I am so proud of how far these girls have come," Princeton head coach Paige Renfrow said. "We lost eight seniors from last year's team and it took us a little while to get ourselves together, but now I feel like we are peaking at the right time."

The Bulldogs started the match with a fury in the first set as the Stallions appeared flat. Princeton dominated the net and jumped out to a 13-4 lead.

Southwest Onslow (17-5) made a game of it behind three consecutive kills by Taylor Marley and clawed back to within two points at 19-17. Consecutive kills by Amber Hill widened the Bulldogs' advantage and put the set away.

The second set was a back-and-forth affair with both teams showing flashes of dominance. The Stallions jumped out to an early 9-4 lead, but could not answer the Princeton offense as Hill and teammate Savanna Massengill began to reel off kills. The duo combined for nine kills in the second set alone and rallied the Bulldogs for a 25-21 win.

"I thought the last match was the best we had played all season," Renfrow said. "But I honestly think tonight was better. We covered the floor well and our hitters did a great job."

The third set was all Princeton. Back-to-back kills by Tori Paul put the Bulldogs in front 6-3 and the home team never trailed en route to the victory.

Hill led Princeton with 12 kills and one block. Massengill added six kills and two blocks, while Paul finished with seven kills.

Marley paced Southwest Onslow with eight kills. Amanda McCurry added three kills and three blocks.

"If we want to take the next step it is going to take some hard work," Renfrow said. "Lakewood and Pender are both strong teams and we have to be ready to match them when we step on the court on Saturday."