Riverside’s run comes to an end

Published 7:04 pm Monday, October 31, 2011

Williamston — The Riverside volleyball team’s run at a state title came to an abrupt end on Saturday as the Knights lost their Sectional Round showdown with NCSSM 15-13, 25-10, 25-13 on Saturday.
Riverside (23-1) streaked into the playoffs as it completed the regular season with a perfect record en route to grabbing the Four Rivers Conference championship and a No. 1 seed.
From there, the Knights continued to dominate, as they did not lose a single match leading into Saturday’s game. Riverside swept Northampton-West in the first round, then won in three straight over Manteo before doing the same to Camden to win the school’s second straight district title.
On Saturday, the team’s run at perfection came to an end as No. 2 NCSSM (16-7, Carolina 12) executed well, as it attacked behind some strong serving and height and athleticism.
“I thought their serving was outstanding,” Riverside coach Herbie Rogers said. “They had a lot of jump-servers that hit jump floats and we just did not do a good job of passing off of that.”
Riverside was led by Paxton Copeland, who had a team-high eight kills, while Rachel Baker added four service points and two kills and Peri Ange tallied six service points.
The Knights played well, but NCSSM was able to score in bunches to earn the victory.
“We came out in the first set and played very well, but they just kind of took over,” Rogers said. “They had several five-point runs on us and when they do that it’s hard to get things going.”
Rogers said he was proud of the effort his players put forth this year.
“Up until the last game we’ve had a great season,” Rogers said. “This team ranks right up there with some of the top ones (Rogers has coached). It’s about trying to establish a tradition at Riverside and this team is adding to that.”