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Pack falls in opener

Washington’s Megan Corey (left) spikes the ball during the Pam Pack’s 3-0 loss to Riverside on Monday at Riverside High School. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

WILLIAMSTON — The Washington volleyball team’s improvement was noticeable but it did not translate into a win as the Pam Pack was swept 3-0 by Riverside in both team’s season opener on Monday.
The Pam Pack lost 25-15, 25-18, 25-21 against a quality Riverside team that has won four straight Four Rivers Conference titles and after the game Washington’s second-year coach Kelly Slade was encouraged by the team’s debut.
“I think we did good. I think we came out and were aggressive and we worked on some plays that we had set up that were really successful,” Slade said. “Now, we know what we need to work at in practice so I’m excited to get back into the gym and get the kinks out.”
Junior middle hitter Megan Corey was a force at the net as she led the Pam Pack with six kills, while setter Allison Brantley dished out four assists. Senior Justyce McKissick and sophomore Adriana Tyson got it done on defense as they combined for five blocks. However, the group could not overcome a staunch Knights team that seemed to be able to answer every Washington rally.
Riverside senior Jesse Anne Rogers racked up 18 service points in the Knights’ victory, while Alexis Ange tallied 10.
Senior outside hitter Madison Brandon spearheaded the Riverside attack as she accounted for six kills and eight service points to lead the team to a season-opening victory.
“I thought offensively we played pretty good, we hit the ball at them and that’s what you got to do to be successful,” Riverside coach Herbie Rogers said. “We had a lot of girls that served the ball well and hit it in the spots that it needed to go to and kept them out of offense.”
The Knights started strong as they won 25-15 in the first match before taking a 25-18 victory in the second. The Knights completed the sweep winning 25-21 in the third match.
The Pam Pack showed improvement in each match it played and overall Slade felt a lot better about this year’s debut than last season’s.
“I think it was fantastic,” Slade said. “Compared to last year we are more prepared and our games were a lot closer and we were more competitive.
“We had a bunch of rallies that went back and forth a couple of times and I think we did a good job.”
Out of all the aspects of the game, Slade said what made her the happiest was team’s chemistry.
“I think that we all worked well together as a team,” Slade said. “I don’t think any one player stood out, but I think we did a good job working as a team.”
The Pam Pack will be back in action today as it hosts J.H. Rose in its first home game of the year, while the Knights will travel to North Pitt.