Knights extend winning streak|Top Northside for 10th straight win

Published 10:34 pm Wednesday, October 13, 2010

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
WILLIAMSTON — As playoff time approaches the Riverside volleyball team continues to elevate its play and on Tuesday it extended its winning streak to 10 as it topped Four Rivers Conference foe Northside 25-14, 25-10, 25-22.
The win ups the Knights’ record to 16-1 (10-1), which has them in a tie for first place.
Riverside has been a consistent offensive team and on Tuesday coach Herbie Rogers said his defense is starting to catch up to the offense.
“One thing that we have done is get better on defense,” Rogers said. “We have really stressed that in practice and I think our girls are starting to do that.”
Riverside looked sound in all phases of the game on Tuesday as it not only played good defense, but served well all game long and got good production at the net from Meredith Robertson, Paxton Copeland and Rachel Baker.
The Knights got off to a fast start as they ran away with the first game 25-14. In the second game, they jumped out to a 20-5 lead thanks to some quality serving by Madison Brandon and never looked back en route to a 25-10 blowout.
In the third game, Riverside once again used a hot start to cool off the Panthers as they stormed out of the gate to take a 17-4 advantage. The Knights substituted freely through most of the match and gave some of their younger players valuable playing experience.
Northside (9-8) continued to battle and ripped off an 16-7 run, but could not overtake Riverside.
Panthers coach Mandi McGaha credited the Knights for their accurate hitting.
“They were really good at hitting holes on our defense,” McGaha said. “They killed us the first game on tips … They know exactly where on our 5-1 defense to hit the hole. Somebody has to get off the net to get that, but we haven’t played many teams that have been able to tip to that spot so it hasn’t been a big issue until today.”
Northside got a strong outing from Jordan Woolard, Rachel Hollowell, Danielle Oliver and Alex Cutler among others.
“I’m really proud of Alex, she is a freshman and she has had to step up lately,” McGaha said. “She’s done everything that I have asked her; I’m proud of her.”
Madison Brandon led the Knights with 15 service points, while Jessie Anne Rogers added 11 service points, two digs and two kills. Rachel Baker tallied seven service points, four blocks and a team-high five kills.
After the game Rogers said he was happy with the effort of all his players and felt his team played a good game.
“I thought one thing we did good was our serving, it gave us a chance to get a lot of free balls from them,” Rogers said. “We did a good job of passing the ball over to our setter and that helped us get into our offense pretty quick.”
The Knights will try and extend their winning streak on Thursday when they host Southside, while the Panthers will be back in action today when they play at Plymouth.