Tigers top Pam Pack spikers in four|Williamston freshmen Rogers, Baker shine

Published 7:28 pm Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sports Editor

WILLIAMSTON — It seemed everyone left Williamston High School somewhat satisfied.
The Williamston Tigers took a 25-9, 25-7, 23-25, 25-12 victory over the visiting Washington Pam Pack in Monday’s non-conference volleyball action. The Tigers (10-1) were happy to get the win, while the Pack (0-11) left encouraged knowing they took one game.
“That was big,” Washington coach Tara Hunter said of the team’s win in the third game. “It’s always good to get a good win. We still have several communication errors, and the first two games are evidence of that. We constantly need to keep our communication up.
“That third game shows that when you talk, good things happen all the time. We need to focus on that one win, and how well we played in that one win.”
Jesse Ann Rogers and Rachel Baker, a pair of freshman, played extremely well for the Tigers. Both were near-perfect with their serving as they combined to lead Williamston in service points.
“Rachel has been playing with me for a while so I know she has a good serve,” Williamston coach Herbie Rogers said. “She has done a very good job. I thought Jesse Ann had one of her better serving games.
“To get that many service points from two freshman is always a plus.”
Strong serving by Harris Shepherd helped Williamston take the early 13-5 lead in the first game. A pair of kills from Baker, along with several strong serves from the freshman, gave the Tigers a commanding 23-8 lead. Heather Jackson’s kill capped off the first game.
Jackson, who did her usual fabulous job at setter, got the Tigers off to a hot start in the second game with an ace. A pair of big serves from Washington’s Racheal Toler gave the Pack a 5-4 lead, but the Tigers took the lead for good on a ferocious slam by Erin Bowen. The combined stellar serving of Baker and Rogers helped Williamston breeze to the second-game win.
An early block by the Pack’s Haley Hiatt seemed to ignite Washington in the third game. Lacie Anglim got hot at the serve line, while Jazzmin Gibbs and Blaklee Wolfe had some solid hits at the net to give the Pack a 13-10 advantage. Williamston tied things up at 14 before the Pack went on another run. Strong serving by Erika Sullivan and a slam by Hiatt helped Washington take a 22-15 lead.
The Tigers responded with a run of their own, pulling within 23-22 and 24-23, but Washington held on for the win.
Williamston took an early 11-3 lead in the fourth game behind the strong serving of Baker, while Bowen and Katie Paschal had some big kills. Williamston put the game away with three straight points from Paschal.
Coach Rogers substituted freely during the match.
“You just never know when somebody is going to turn an ankle, or somebody is going to be sick,” Rogers said. “You want somebody who has been on the court that can step in and play. I was able to give people an opportunity to be on the court, go through rotations and be in game-type situations.”
Sarah Nicholls, the Pack’s usual libero, changed spots to fill in for the injured Robin Lilley, who was on crutches because of an ankle injury. Hunter praised the play of Nicholls, who did a wonderful job digging some huge hits from the Tigers.
“She played all around,” Hunter said of Nicholls. “Sarah is such a universal player that she can do everything.”
Williamston (10-0) took a 25-8, 25-16 win in the junior varsity match. Alex Hardison had 10 points for the Tigers.
The Pack travels to Jacksonville today, while the Tigers play host to Southside.