Knights too tough for Warriors|Move on to third round of playoffs

Published 1:23 am Wednesday, October 27, 2010

By By BRIAN HAINES,, Sports Writer
WILLIAMSTON — The Riverside volleyball team earned a free pass into the second round of the NCHSAA 1-A state playoffs, but it didn’t need any help advancing to the third round as it swept North Edgecombe 25-7, 25-9, 25-13 on Tuesday.
“We worked hard last week to get ready for the playoffs and I thought we came out very focused tonight,” Riverside coach Herbie Rogers said.
The win hands the Knights, the No. 1 seed from the Four Rivers Conference, a 20-2 record as they move on to face the winner of the No. 5 Camden (11-10) – No. 2 Princeton (14-8) matchup on Thursday at home.
Riverside was scheduled to play Kipp Pride in the first round of the playoffs, but when Kipp Pride could not muster enough players for the game it forfeited.
Rogers and his team used that extra time to practice and on Tuesday the Knights looked sharp in their victory.
“Our girls decided they wanted to practice on Saturday so we ended up coming out here and working for about two hours,” Rogers said. “It was kind of like a game, we got to spend a lot of time with the girls working on some things. They worked extremely hard on Saturday.”
The Knights came ready to work on Tuesday as they jumped all over the No. 2 seeded Warriors (12-9) Tar Roanoke Conference) right from the start.
Riverside jumped out to an 18-4 lead in the first game before closing it out with a 25-7 victory.
In the second game the Knights continued to click as they excelled in all phases of the game. Trailing 3-6, Meredith Robertson helped crack the game wide open as she served her team to a 15-0-0 run en route to a 25-9 victory. Robertson’s strong serving was accompanied by good play at the net by Rachel Baker, Madison Brandon, Paxton Copeland, Emily Griffin and Karly Stevens.
Baker led the team with 12 kills, while Copeland added 10 and Brandon chipped in 7.
Behind the net players, Riverside got good efforts from Perry Ange and Jessie Anne Rogers.
“I thought everybody played well,” Roger said. “We did a good job passing, that’s something we talked about, that we really want to be sharp with our passing. I thought our passing was right on today.”
Rogers said he was also pleased with the team’s serving.
“We did a good job serving, especially Meredith,” Rogers said. “I think in all three games she had a good run for us. She is serving down at the five slot and when you get somebody serving like that out of the five slot it can really help us.”
Robertson finished the contest with a game-high 25 service points which includes five aces.
Defensively, the Knights worked well as team to shut down the Warriors’ attack.
“I was pleased with what I saw,” Rogers said. “Defensively, we know down the road that teams are going to start really hitting the ball at us and our defense is going to have to be there.”