Knights win District title|Beat Camden in five-game thriller

Published 1:47 am Friday, October 29, 2010

By By BRIAN HAINES,, Sports Writer
WILLIAMSTON — After four intense games the Riverside volleyball team found itself locked in a 2-2 tie with Camden as the two teams slugged it out for the right to call themselves the NCHSAA 1-A District champions and move on to play for a Sectional title.
The fifth-seeded Bruins (12-11, Four Rivers Conference) staved off elimination by winning the fourth game by three points and appeared to have the momentum heading into the decisive fifth game against the top-seeded Knights (21-2, Four Rivers Conference).
Perry Ange quickly changed that.
The Knights’ No. 1 server took the ball and did not give it back until her team held a commanding 11-0 lead over the Bruins. The hot start sealed flawless fifth game and allowed Riverside to top Camden 25-13, 19-25, 25-20, 22-25, 15-3 to lock up the first District title in the newly-formed school’s history Thursday at Riverside High School.
“I can’t say enough about our girls, they came out and played a great game,” Riverside coach Herbie Rogers said. “Camden played a great game too, it was a battle all night long. We knew coming in that they would be tough, they always are. I’m just so proud of the girls and how they picked up their play.”
The Knights got an outstanding effort by everyone who participated in the game as the team truly won with a team effort.
Ange paced Riverside with 23 service points, while Jessie Anne Rogers had 15 service points and Karly Stevens added 11 service points. Ange was seemingly everywhere and also hit the floor for five digs. Rogers dished up six aces, while Stevens nailed four. Both players hit their aces at critical stages in the game.
Rachel Baker led the Knights at the net with 10 kills and was followed by Madison Brandon who smashed seven and Paxton Copeland who added six. Meredith Robertson was also force up front and added five kills and a team-high three blocks.
Rogers said playing as a team is the only way the Knights can expect to advance.
“When you play at this level everybody has to be playing well because if you’re not the ball is going to find you,” Rogers said. “I thought everybody that played, played hard. I thought that everybody that stepped on the court played at a high level.”
After four extremely close games Rogers said he was surprised his team was able to win the fifth set in such comfortable fashion.
“I was really surprised. When you come to a fifth game you really don’t know how it’s going to turn out, you just know it’s going to be a battle,” Rogers said. “In all three games we won we served first so going into the fifth game I thought serving first was an advantage. I thought being able to serve first was a big advantage.”
Next up for the Knights will be a showdown with another Four Rivers Conference foe on Saturday when they take on Perquimans (time to be determined) at Riverside High School.