Volleyball: 4th Ranked Bengals down Blazers in 4 sets (25-11, 17-25, 25-16,25-20)
The Ridge View Blazers volleyball team travelled the short distance toBlythewood to take on the powerful Bengals on Tuesday, 10/06/09. TheBlythewood Bengals traded places in the 4A state rankings this week with RockHill, moving up to 4th after knocking off the Bearcats last week in Region4-4A play, with the Bearcats falling slightly to the 6th spot in the weeklystate Coachesƒ poll. Blythewood came into the match undefeated in the Regionat 4-0, and a solid 18-5 overall including their tournament play. The RidgeView team was coming off successive region wins over Lancaster and SouthPointe last week, moving their Region record to 2-2, and overall mark to 10-5.
In the first set, Blythewood showed how they attained their #4 ranking,jumping out to a quick 12-7 lead, as the smaller Blazers lineup had troublematching up with the tall and athletic hitters from Blythewood. The Bengalswent on to win the set easily 25-11, and it looked like it might turn into along night (or short one) for the Blazers.
The Ridge View girls were able to turn things around in the second sethowever, playing some inspired volleyball to turn the tables on the Bengals.The Blazers were able to improve their defensive court coverage, digging upseveral of the Bengal attacks during the set to extend points. They also usedsome well-placed hits of their own, avoiding the strong Bengal blockers at thenet, to gain an advantage in the set. The Blazers took an early lead in Set 2at 8-6, but Blythewood rallied to take the lead midway through the set at16-15. After a sideout tied at 17, senior middle blocker Ronnisha Willisstepped behind the service line for the Blazers, and behind her solid serving,the blazers ran off 8 consecutive points to win the set 25-17, including 5clutch serve aces by Willis during the run.
With the sets even at 1, Blythewood rebounded and won set 3 handily at 25-16leading most of the set after being tied at 10. Set 4 was much morecompetitive with the Blazers again stepping up and playing a solid all-aroundset against the high-powered Bengals. Ridge View got out to an early 11-9lead with hopes of sending this match to a 5th set. Blythewood battled backto score 7 of the next 11 points to take a slim 16-15 lead. The score stayedclose late, but with Ridgeview trailing by 1 at 19-20, the Bengals ran off 5of the next 6 points to close out the 4th set 25-20.
The Blazers put up a very nice effort in sets 2 and 4 against a Top-5 caliberteam, but came up a little short in their effort to send it to the 5th set,where anything can happen. They did an admirable job rebounding in set 2however, after getting soundly handled in the opening set of the match.Senior hitter Hannah Cox lead the offensive attack for the Blazers collecting10 kills, with sophomore blocker/hitter Diara Lewis adding 7, and senior MeganWoodall putting down 6 kills from the setter position. Ronnisha Willis wasstrong behind the service line, where she tallied 6 aces, 5 of which cameduring a single serve opportunity to close out set 2 for the Blazers. Theteam shared the defensive effort with 5 players having seven or more digs.Hannah Cox had a team-leading 9 digs, with Megan Woodall, Raven Ashe, DiaraLewis, and Ronnisha Willis each contributing 7.
Things do not get any easier for the Blazers as they travel to Rock Hill onThursday to take on the 6th-ranked Bearcats. The loss moves Ridge ViewƒsRegion record to 2-3, and their overall mark to 10-6.
vs Blythewood 0-3 (11-25, 25-17, 16-25, 20-25)
Megan Woodall 17 Assists, 2 Aces, 6 Kills, 7 Digs.Diara Lewis 7 Kills, 1 Ace, 7 Digs, 3 Assists, 1 solo blocks, 1 block assist.Hannah Cox 10 Kills, 4 Aces, 9 Digs, 2 Assists.Raven Ashe 1 Ace, 7 Digs, 3 Assists.Ronnisha Willis 4 Kills, 6 Aces, 7 Digs, 1 solo block.Kendra Vaughn 3 Digs, 1 Assist, 1 block assist.Desiree Likely 1 Kill.