Knights top Tigers in three to advance

Published 9:06 pm Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Riverside head coach Herbie Rogers (center) and his team huddle during their 3-0 victory of Creswell in the second round of the NCHSAA 1-A playoffs on Tuesday at Riverside. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

WILLIAMSTON — It was more of the same for the Riverside volleyball team as the final score of its second postseason game looked a lot like its first one, as the Knights swept Creswell to advance to the third round of the NCHSAA 1-A playoffs where they will host Perquimans on Thursday.
After downing Mattamuskeet in three matches on Saturday, Riverside (23-1) cruised past Creswell 25-13, 25-14, 25-5 on Tuesday.
The win was the 17th straight for the Knights, whose only loss of the year came at the hands of 4-A J.H. Rose earlier this season.
Creswell (15-8), the No. 2 seed from the Tideland Conference, got off to a strong start and held a brief 6-5 lead in the first match until Knights’ coach Herbie Rogers made some key changes.
“It took us a minute to get adjusted to some balls coming over on passes, and I think once we made the adjustment and knew what we were looking for we played really well after that,” Rogers said. “A lot of times we expect a pass to set up a hit, but the ball was coming over on the first pass and we weren’t exactly where we needed to be.”
After the shift in positioning, the Knights reeled off a 14-5 run that put them up 19-11 after a Kasey Hall ace as they went on to win 25-14.
As with Saturday’s playoff opener, the Knights, the No. 1 seed from the Four Rivers Conference, grew stronger with each game and looked extremely crisp on offense.
“I liked the way we ran our offense, especially once we got going,” Rogers said.
Led by net players Madison Brandon, Rachel Baker and Jesse Anne Rogers, Riverside was a sensational up front, while libero Alexis Ange and Hall, the setter, came up with key plays throughout the evening.
“Those girls have been around a long time and they play a lot of volleyball for us,” Rogers said. “For us to be good they have to play well and they have done that for us.”
Rogers led Riverside with 17 service points, while Hall had eight. Brandon smashed a team-high nine kills, while Baker was right behind her with seven.
The Knights stormed past the Tigers in the second match and took a 16-4 lead after a Brandon ace, which led Rogers to call on his backups who excelled for the second game in a row and closed out the match with a 25-14 victory.
“They got a chance to play and they seem to be getting better and better,” Rogers said of his subs.
The third game was Riverside’s strongest as Jesse Anne Rogers served the team to a 13-0 lead before the second string came in and finished off a 25-5 victory for the sweep.
The Knights will be back in action on Thursday when they host Four Rivers Conference rival Perquimans, the No. 2 seed from the conference who beat Manteo in three sets on Tuesday to advance.