Riverside on a rollPublished 8:25pm Monday, September 30, 2013
CHOCOWINITY — Though the playoffs are nearly two weeks away, the Riverside volleyball team looked like it was already in postseason form as it swept Southside 25-13, 25-13, 25-13 on Monday.
“Last Thursday we had a set that – we didn’t lose it – but it was not the best set and we really wanted to be consistent today,” said Knights first-year coach James Ward. “That was a big thing for us and we did ok with that.”
That was perhaps a bit of an understatement by the reserved Riverside coach, as the Knights rolled in all three sets, winning by identical 25-13 scores.
With the win, the Knights have strung together 10 straight sweeps and haven’t lost a set since their Aug. 27 3-1 victory over North Pitt.
“We’re just trying to stay focused every night,” Ward said. “We have four more conference games and we’re expecting everybody’s best shot, so we have to be ready.”
Serving was the key on Monday, as Riverside scored in bunches thanks to strong efforts by Tayla Wynn, Erica Gurkin, D’Aysa Wilson, Lawson Perry and Dani Roberson.
“Tayla Wynn stepped in and did a good job,” Ward said. “We tried to get some of our juniors out there and she stepped up and played the whole third set and ran the offense and served well.”
Gurkin led the Knights with 12 service points, while Wilson added 10 and Wynn tallied nine.
The Seahawks struggled receiving serves, but showed flashes of potential throughout the matchup.
Kaijia Mourning and Andrea Waters were a presence at the net, while Katie Laughinghouse came up with some key serves.
After dropping the first set, Southside fell behind 9-3 in the second before a Waters kill and two Mourning aces brought the score to 10-6. However, Riverside would rip off another run to put the set out of reach.
In the third set, Riverside stormed out to a 19-4 advantage, but the Seahawks fought until the end, finishing the contest on a 9-6 run.
Both teams will be back in action today as Riverside faces North Edgecombe and Southside takes on Lejeune.