Knights hold off Seahawks

Published 9:40 pm Thursday, October 13, 2011

CHOCOWINITY — It will go down in the books as a 3-0 sweep, but both Southside and Riverside know their contest was much closer than the final result would indicate.

Riverside, which locked up the Four Rivers Conference championship on Tuesday, brought its undefeated record to Southside where the Seahawks battled hard on their Senior Night for three straight games but fell 25-23, 25-21,25-18 to the Knights.

With the win, Riverside improved its record to 19-0 (13-0) and after the game coach Herbie Rogers was happy to escape with a win.

“We made some key plays at key times, my hat’s off to Southside I thought they really came out and played well tonight. They came ready to play, (Southside coach Elizabeth) Pruden does a good job with them,” Rogers said.

Rachel Baker led the Knights with eight kills, while Madison Brandon smashed seven and Alex Hardison hit five. Jesse Ann Rogers paced the team in service points while seven, while Peri Ange, Alexis Ange, Shaniro Caceres and Rhonda Manning each made key plays.

Pruden’s Seahawks (10-10, 4-9) put forth a tremendous effort in a game that took on a playoff-type atmosphere as her team held late leads in both Game 1 and Game 2 but could not sustain them.

Southside got big games from everyone that touched the court and was led by Kyadia Morning, Valerie Ruffin, Macy Paramore, Katie Laughinghouse, Sondra Sparks and Marlin Edwards.

In the first contest the Seahawks never trailed until Riverside took a 23-22 lead and won 25-23. The second matchup followed a similar pattern as the Knights trailed up until it briefly took a 16-15 lead, which it lost on the next point. Riverside would eventually tie the game up 18 and finish on a 7-3 run to pull out a victory.

Up until late in the third game, neither team had a lead bigger than four points, while the two schools were tied 22 times.

“We stepped up our game, we knew it was Senior Night and the girls were trying to play for our two seniors (Valerie Ruffin and Kyadia Mourning),” Pruden said. “We had nothing to lose and they had plenty to lose because they hadn’t lost yet. Our players just went out and played relaxed.”

After the game, Pruden praised the work of her two seniors.

“Valerie Ruffin has been with me since she was a sophomore and has been a great asset. She’s my middle hitter and I can always count on her and she will be missed a lot,” Pruden said. “Kyadia has been a big help on backline defense and has played really well for me.”

Southside will close out the regular season on Tuesday at Northside, while the Knights will look to finish the regular season undefeated as they host South Creek.