Knights cage Panthers|Riverside tops Northside in four

Published 4:59 pm Friday, September 17, 2010

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
YEATESVILLE — Northside showed a lot of fight and resiliency against Riverside, but in the end the Panthers could not handle its more consistent opponent and fell 25-19, 25-15, 19-25, 25-17 to the Knights on Thursday.
In the first game, both teams battled even until the midway point when Riverside went on a 10-5 run to expand its lead from 11-8 to 21-13. The Panthers clawed back late, but the Knights were able to hold off their rally and take the first game 25-19.
In the second contest the Knights came out hot and jumped out to a 12-3 advantage, but cooled down as Northside cut the deficit to 15-10. With Perry Ange serving, the Knights (10-1, 3-1) got in a groove and ripped off a 10-0 run to close out the game and go up 2-0.
The Panthers avoided a slow start in the third game, but trailed 15-11 before it played its best stretch of volleyball for the entire match.
Everything lined up for Northside as it got good serving, blocking and hitting and exploded on a 14-4 run to win its only game of the day.
Sarah Credle served up four aces during that run, while Hollowell, along with Jordan Woolard, Caroline Slade and Jordan Cooke were extremely effective on both sides of the ball up front.
The Knights closed out the match in the fourth game using a 15-5 run to take the score from 5-5 to 20-10 en route to victory.
Along with Ange’s solid serving, Riverside got tremendous play up front by Meredith Robertson, Karly Stevens and Rachel Baker, to go along with steady contributions from Jessie Ann Rogers and Alexis Ange.
Perry Ange tallied 11 service points, as Robertson led the team with 10 kills and Baker paced the Knights with eight blocks.
“I thought the key was that in the games that we won we dictated tempo,” Riverside coach Herbie Rogers said. “In the games we lost they dictated tempo. We got caught in serve-receive and just could not get out of it.”
Rogers said serving played a big role in Thursday’s win.
“In the first two games I thought we did a good job serving,” Rogers said. “We struggled a little bit in the third game, but in the fourth game we hit our spots and were able to keep them out of offense.”
The biggest issue for the upstart Panthers, who only have three seniors on their roster, was their inability to let go of mistakes.
“(Riverside) was able to shake off small mistakes and we weren’t,” Northside coach Mandi McGaha said. “It’s something we are struggling with right now; we get frustrated. We make one mistake and we don’t move on.”
McGaha said the sky is the limit for the Panthers, who have a good combination of height and athleticism, if they can just stay relaxed.
“They can be amazing when they’re clicking,” McGaha said. “The key to them is when they are having fun they play well. As soon as they are not having fun it’s over. You just got to keep smiling.”