The Ridge View Blazers volleyball team travelled to Rock Hill to take on the 6th-ranked Bearcats on Thursday, 10/08/09. After losing to 4th-ranked Blythewood two days previous in 4 sets, the Bearcats would be the 2nd Top-10 ranked opponent of the week for the Blazers. The Rock Hill Bearcats traded places in the 4A state rankings this week with Blythewood, moving down to 6th after losing to the Bengals last week in Region 4-4A play, with the Bengals taking over the 4th spot in the weekly state Coaches’ poll. Rock Hill came into the match with the loss against Blythewood being the lone loss on their Region record at 4-1, and a solid 12-3 overall. The Ridge View team had evened their Region record at 2-2 with successive wins over Lancaster and South Pointe, before losing to Blythewood on Tuesday, moving their region record to 2-3, and overall mark to 10-6.
Rock Hill is a very well-balanced team, with excellent floor coverage and consistently strong serving throughout the lineup. In set 1, the Blazers kept pace with the Bearcats, using a well-rounded effort of their own, with neither team being able to take the upper hand. After being tied at 17, Rock Hill made a run, scoring 8 of the last 10 points to win the set 25-19.
In set 2, the Blazers looked intent upon evening the match at a set apiece, as they came out strong from the start. Winning points normally start with an accurate back-row pass, and Blazer libero Raven Ashe demonstrated this as she flashed some nice hands in this set, receiving serve, and tallying several of her team-high 11 digs on the night. The passing from Ashe and Hannah Cox, coupled with the setting of Megan Woodall and some big hits from blocker/hitter Diara Lewis looked to be a winning formula in set 2, as Ridge View built leads of 17-13 and 21-15. The inconsistency of the night for the Blazers though, came from behind the service line. Ridge View is a team that normally puts pressure on their opposition with some tough serving, averaging just over 16 aces per match through the first 16 matches this season. In this match though, there would only be 4 total aces for the Blazers, as Rock Hill did a great job returning serve, and Ridge View had a larger than normal number of serves that were hit out of play. With the Blazers up 21-15 looking to close out the set, Rock Hill, as Top-10 teams often do, took advantage of a couple of Ridge View unforced serve and hitting mistakes to make a late run. The Bearcats scored 8 of the next 10 points to tie the set at 23. Ridge View battled back to have chances to win with set points at 25-24 and 27-26, but were turned away as Rock Hill won a heart-breaker 29-27.
This set took the wind out of Ridge View’s sails, and the momentum shifted to Rock Hill as they won set 3 easily at 25-11 to win the match in 3 straight. For Ridge View, sophomore Diara Lewis banged out a team-leading 16 kills in the match, also adding 2 solo blocks and a block assist. Senior setter Megan Woodall followed with 7 kills of her own, mixing in some attacks to add to her 21 assists for the match. Senior libero/defensive specialist Raven Ashe contributed a nice defensive effort returning serve and accumulating 11 defensive digs to lead the Blazers in that category. The Blazer girls played some energetic and inspired volleyball in set 2, but were unable to close out the set against a talented Rock Hill group. Next up for the Blazers are two very important Region matches against Spring Valley on Tuesday and South Pointe on Thursday. Ridge View can move into a tie for 3rd place in Region 4-4A with a win over Spring Valley on Tuesday, who is currently 3-3 in region play.
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Ridge View (10-7, 2-4) vs Rock Hill (13-3, 5-1) 0-3 (19-25, 27-29, 11-25)
Megan Woodall 21 Assists, 7 Kills, 4 Digs.Diara Lewis 16 Kills, 6 Digs, 3 Assists, 2 solo blocks, 1 block assist.Hannah Cox 5 Kills, 2 Aces, 7 Digs, 1 Assist.Raven Ashe 11 Digs, 1 Kill, 1 Assist.Ronnisha Willis 2 Kills, 2 Aces, 7 Digs.Kendra Vaughn 2 Kills, 2 Digs, 2 Assists, 1 block assist.Desiree Likely 1 Assist.