10/17/13 — Princeton three-peats as Carolina 1A volleyball tournament champ

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Princeton three-peats as Carolina 1A volleyball tournament champ

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on October 17, 2013 1:48 PM


NEWTON GROVE -- Princeton seems to find the chinks in Rosewood's armor when the archrivals meet on the volleyball court.

Wednesday was no exception.

The Bulldogs disrupted the Eagles' offense with their service game and a consistent defensive effort helped lead to a third consecutive Carolina 1-A Conference tournament championship in the Hobbton High School gymnasium. Senior middle hitter Savannah Massengill provided 14 kills and six solo blocks in a 25-20, 25-16, 25-17 sweep of Rosewood.

"I've been told (winning three in a row) is hard to do," Bulldogs head coach Paige Renfrow said. "We've been building all season to get better and better, and we were able to show our deepness and our stamina tonight. We don't get tired, don't get down on ourselves and we're able to push through the tough points even when they have tough runs.

"We're able to get the momentum back."

The top-seeded Bulldogs (22-1 overall) hardly lost the momentum in the 69-minute affair. Rosewood (21-3) held a two-point lead on three occasions in the first set and once in the second set. The Eagles reeled off eight of the first 11 points in the third set, but squandered their advantage.

Massengill flourished on quick sets from Charley Cox (28 assists) and closed out blocks on off-speed shots. Princeton's back row players got either a fist or an arm on every loose ball and constantly flustered Rosewood, which never established an offensive rhythm.

The Bulldogs served the ball either short or long, and consistently found the weaker passers in the Eagles' serve-receive formation. The Bulldogs recorded just six team aces, but induced numerous transition balls that prevented Rosewood from feeding sets to its arsenal of Ellen Morgan, Anna Ingram, Lexi Mercer, Callie Thornton and Hayley Mercer.

Morgan had 14 kills.

"I thought they did an excellent job from the serving line," Rosewood head coach Jennifer Cochran said. "They served a lot to the corners and did an awesome job placing the sets, which they've done that all year. They kept the ball in the box and where it needed to go, which is how you play the game. They don't have one star, but a team of consistent players."

The Bulldogs recorded 35 team kills. Tori Paul and Kasey Edwards posted six kills apiece. Jasmine Bombard provided five kills, while Taylor Carroll had four kills.

Princeton recorded its 17th three-set sweep of the season and has won eight straight meetings against Rosewood.