Volleyball: Blythewood outlasts Ridge View in 5-set Region 4-4A marathon(21-25, 25-22, 22-25, 26-24, 15-11)
In their final Region 4-4A match of the 2009 season, the Ridge View Blazersvolleyball team hosted the 7th-ranked Blythewood Bengals on Thursday,10/22/09. The Bengals entered the match in a tie for first in the region withRock Hill at 8-1. Ridge View, after 3 consecutive region wins, came into thematch tied for 3rd in the region with Spring Valley at 5-4. Obviously, thisfinal match carried opening round seeding implications for both teams in the4A state tournament next week.
This was really an amazing match, with each set going down to the wire withboth teams having legitimate chances at the end of all 5 sets. It would behard to describe how close this 5-set match was from start to finish, but youcan look no further than the overall numbers to get an idea. There were 216total points scored in the 5 sets. Of these 216 points, Blythewood scored 109and Ridge View 107. In talking to Bengal libero Courtney Personsƒ dad late inthe match, he aptly described it as an ‚ESPN Instant Classicƒ, which is aboutas well as you can describe it.
Set 1 started close with a tie score at 14. The Blazers pulled away slightlyto lead by 4 at 21-17, but Blythewood scored the next 3 to get within one at21-20. Ridge View then rallied to score 4 of the next 5 points to win the set25-21. Blythewood responded in set 2 by getting out to a large 12 point leadat 22-10, before Ridge View answered by scoring 12 of the next 14 points toget to within 2 points at 22-24 before the Bengals scored the set-winningpoint to make it 25-22. Set 3 was reversed as the Blazers built an 18-12lead, only to see Blythewood score 10 of the next 11 points to take the lead22-19. Ridge View then answered the Bengal rally with one of their own byscoring the last 6 frenzied points to take the all-important 3rd set 25-22.
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In the 4th set, the Blazers had a chance to close things out as they took a 4point lead at 12-8, but Blythewood again was able to run off 9 of the next 12points to take their own lead 17-15. Blythewood maintained the 2 point marginat 23-21, until the Blazers scored a pair of unanswered points to tie thematch at 23. After trading points to make it 24 apiece, a Ridge View serveerror turned the ball over to the Bengals, who closed out the set by scoringthe final point to win the set 26-24. Losing this hard-fought 4th set mayhave taken some wind out of the Ridge View sails, as Blythewood took a quick6-2 lead in the 15-point shortened 5th set. The Blazers battled back towithin 2 at 6-8, but was not able to get closer than 3 points thereafter, asBlythewood went on to win the final set 15-11.
For Ridge View, this was their best overall effort from start to finish ofthis season. They played inspired volleyball throughout, and rarely will yousee a group of girls want to win as badly as they did this night.Unfortunately for the Blazers however, the Blythewood group also played withenergy and motivation, and they were relentless in their ability to shut downa rally with a thunderous hit from Andrea Keesee, a big block at the net bymiddle blocker Courtney Williams, or a great dig and pass from libero CourtneyPersons. In defeat however, several Ridge View players shared the limelightwith outstanding nights of their own. Sophomore middle blocker/hitter DiaraLewis had a huge offensive night, blasting a season-high 26 kills on thenight, adding a pair of serve aces, and contributing defensively with 11 digs.Senior setter Megan Woodall effectively mixed front row and back row sets inan attempt to avoid the strong Blythewood block, on her way to an impressiveseason-high 45 assists. Woodall, in a complete effort, also tied for theteam-lead with 5 serve aces, put away 5 kills, and covered the floordefensively with a season-high 17 digs. Junior blocker/hitter KeyairaStevenson was a force, hammering 17 kills (many with authority), making herpresence felt at the net with 2 solo blocks and 2 block assists, and alsodefensively digging 11 Bengal attacks. Senior Hannah Cox was strong behindthe line, tying for the team-lead in serve aces with 5.
This was very tough loss for the Blazers, who had a chance to take out thepowerful and 7th-ranked Bengals, but it is difficult to classify this one withother losses. The Blazers played with as much heart and desire as you can askfor, playing step for step with a very talented group of Bengals.
The loss moves Ridge Viewƒs region record to 5-5, 13-8 overall. The Blazerswon the tie-break (based on points in non-Region schedule) with Spring Valleyand finished 3rd in Region 4-4A. They will take on the 2nd-seeded team fromRegion 3, the Fort Mill Yellow Jackets at Fort Mill on Tuesday, October 27.The Rock Hill Bearcats won their tie-break with Blythewood, and will enter theplayoffs as the #1 seed from Region 4, taking on Clover in round 1.Blythewood, as the #2 seed from region 4, will take on the 3rd-seeded teamfrom region 3, the Northwestern Trojans.
Ridge View (13-8, 5-5) vs Blythewood (12-3, 9-1) 2-3 (25-21, 22-25, 25-22,24-26, 11-15)
Megan Woodall 45 Assists, 5 Kills, 17 Digs, 5 Aces.Diara Lewis 26 Kills, 11 Digs, 2 Aces, 4 Assists, 1 Block solo.Keyaira Stevenson 17 Kills, 11 Digs, 1 Ace, 3 Assists, 2 Block solo, 2 Blockassists.Hannah Cox 4 Kills, 6 Digs, 5 Aces, 1 Assist.Raven Ashe 1 Kill, 2 Aces, 9 Digs, 1 Assist.Ronnisha Willis 2 Kills, 4 Digs, 4 Aces.Kendra Vaughn 1 Kill, 1 Block assist.Desiree Likely 1 Dig, 1 Block assist.
Volleyball: Blazers get above .500 at 5-4 in Region 4-4A with 3-set win overSouth Pointe (25-20, 25-19, 25-20)
The Ridge View Blazers volleyball team travelled to South Pointe on Tuesday,10/20/09 for a Region 4-4A match against the Stallions. The Blazers enteredthe match with a 4-4 region record, following consecutive wins over SpringValley and Lancaster, placing them in a tie for 3rd place in the region withSpring Valley.
The Blazers won the previous meeting between these two teams 3-1, but in arecent meeting with the 5th-ranked 4A Rock Hill Bearcats, the South Pointeteam stretched the Top-10 team to a 5-set match before ultimately losing the5th set. In set 1 of this match, Ridge View got out to an early 12-8 lead,and maintained a similar margin for the rest of the set, going on to win25-20. In set 2, the Blazers started quickly, jumping out to a 17-8 lead.South Pointe battled back to close the margin to 5 points at 23-18, but theBlazers large early lead prevailed as they won the second set 25-19.
A big plus for the Blazers has been the return of junior middle blocker/hitterKeyaira Stevenson from illness, who missed the first 6 region matches of theseason. The return of Stevenson gives senior setter Megan Woodall anadditional option as a hitter from both the front and back row, making theoffense much more difficult to defend and predict. This was evident in thismatch as Woodall varied her sets, with Stevenson banging down 14 kills, andsophomore middle blocker/hitter Diara Lewis putting away 13. Woodall, usingthe additional hitter options, distributed 31 assists in the 3-set match. Inthe 3 matches since Stevensonƒs return, the Blazers have only lost 1 set inwins over Spring Valley, Lancaster, and South Pointe.
In the 3rd set, the Blazers again took an early 12-6 lead, keeping the 6-pointmargin with scores of 20-14 and 23-17. The Stallions rallied late to score 3of the next 4 points before Ridge View closed the set out at 25-20.
For Ridge View, Keyaira Stevenson had a team-leading 14 kills, adding 9 digsdefensively also. Megan Woodall handed out 31 assists, put down 3 kills ofher own, and added 8 digs. Diara Lewis also played both ends, putting away 13kills, and digging up 9 attacks. Senior libero Raven Ashe had a team-leading10 digs, and was also strong behind the line with 4 serve aces. Senior HannahCox had 7 kills, and senior Ronnisha Willis had 3 serve aces, 1 solo block and2 block assists.
The win moves Ridge Viewƒs region record to 5-4, 13-7 overall, with a finalregion match remaining against 7th-ranked Blythewood at Ridge View on Thursday.
Ridge View (13-7, 5-4) vs South Pointe (5-8, 2-7) 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-20)
Megan Woodall 31 Assists, 3 Kills, 8 Digs, 1 Ace.Diara Lewis 13 Kills, 9 Digs, 1 Ace.Keyaira Stevenson 14 Kills, 9 Digs, 1 Ace, 3 Assists, 1 Block assist.Hannah Cox 7 Kills, 4 Digs, 1 Ace, 1 Assist, 2 Block assists.Raven Ashe 4 Aces, 10 Digs.Ronnisha Willis 1 Kill, 3 Digs, 3 Aces, 1 Block solo, 2 Block assists.Desiree Likely 1 Block assist.