Princeton earns return trip to 1A east volleyball finals
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on October 26, 2013 11:40 PM
PRINCETON -- Princeton has its shot at redemption.
The Bulldogs fed off the energy off a boisterous crowd and swept Perquimans 25-15, 25-14, 25-20 in the eastern semifinals of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A volleyball playoffs Saturday evening.
Princeton extended its win streak to 25 matches.
The Bulldogs entertain Raleigh Charter (20-3) on Tuesday night in a rematch of last year's eastern final won by the Phoenix.
"We learned (last year) that we've got to stay focused on our game," Bulldogs' head coach Paige Renfrow said. "We have in every match up to this point. We've got to be ready for Raleigh Charter. We've got to play our game and not let them dictate how we play.
"That experience is going to help because most of the girls on our team are returners."
Princeton (27-1 overall) played one of its most complete matches of the season. The Bulldogs covered the floor well defensively, served efficiently and put away kill opportunities.
"We almost played flawless tonight," Renfrow said. "Our defense was right on. We had practiced for their shots. We practiced for the hard shots. We practiced for the line shots. The girls that sit on the bench really helped prepare us for what we're up against."
Kasey Edwards' strong play at the net sparked Princeton during the opening set. Edwards supplied four kills in set one and combined with Jasmine Bombard on a block. The Pirates committed 10 unforced errors in the opening set.
The Bulldogs continued their strong defensive play in the second set as Perquimans found it difficult to put away kills. They routinely chased after loose balls, moved their feet and communicated as a team. Princeton took a 10-5 lead on Edwards off-speed hit.
"We were able to get up to most anything," Renfrow said. "Even if it was just a one-hand touch we were able to get it up and somebody was able to chase it down and we were able to get it back on their side and regroup."
Savanna Massengill added a pair of kills off Charley Cox's assists. Massengill finished with six kills. Edwards contributed two more kills to finish off set two.
Perquimans fought back in set three and took an 8-4 lead on Amber Stallings' kill. The Bulldogs used their defense to battle back. Edwards and Taylor Carroll combined on a block, and off-speed hits from Edwards and Massengill cut the margin to 12-10.
Massengill had a kill and two blocks down the stretch. Edwards added a kill to help close out the match and ended the night with a team-high eight kills.
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