Rocky Mount grabs Nash County Volleyball Title
September 2, 2010By Kent Wheeless of Nash Central High School
RED OAK - The Rocky Mount Gryphons were pressed to five games, but came out victorious in the championship match of the Nash County Volleyball Tournament held at Northern Nash on Saturday.
In the first match of the day, Rocky Mount defeated Southern Nash in a four-game match. In game one, the Gryphons jumped to an early lead and then had two seven-point runs to expand their lead to 20-6 before winning 25-10.
In game two, Rocky Mount jumped to a 5-0 lead behind the service of Timisha Walker, but the Ladybirds started a slow comeback and got to within two points at 16-14 before the Gryphons recomposed their game and closed out the game, 25-21.
Game three was a turnaround with the Ladybirds - charging to a 7-1 lead behind the service of Logan McNinch, who produced three aces to lead the charge. Rocky Mount's play was sloppy and it never seemed to get the rhythm of the game and Southern Nash cruised to a 25-12 win.
Game four reverted back to the Gryphons with Walker leading the way with three kills, a dink score and a block to push Rocky Mount to a 15-2 lead. The Ladybirds only mustered one two-point rally and Rocky Mount took the game 25-7 to advance to the championship.
In the second match, host squad Northern Nash was pressed hard before defeating the Nash Central Bulldogs in a five-game match. In game one, the Knights were ragged and confused and did not score a single kill as the Bulldogs quickly dispatched them 25-8.
The Bulldogs started game two as they ended game one and jumped to a 3-0 lead before the Knights came charging back behind the fine net play of Charise Bullock. With the score at 10-all, the Knights took 12 of the next 20 points to push to a 22-18 lead and then traded points with the Bulldogs to grab the game 25-21.
Game three found the Bulldogs ahead 10-2 as the Knights play was error-riddled. The Knights charged back and with three scoring rallies evened the game at 15-all and then pushed to a 21-18 lead behind the good net play of Kristin Ruffin.
Game four looked much as game three, but with a reverse outcome as the Knights claimed the game 25-22. The fifth game was a game of rallies with the Bulldogs jumping to a 6-1 lead behind the service of Kristen Shuford.
After a 30 minute break, the Bulldogs were back on the floor to take on the rested Ladybirds. The Bulldogs took the first and third game by identical 25-15 scores, while Southern broke a 19-all tie and scored the last six points of the second game to claim a 25-19 win.
Game four started with Central forging a 13-6 lead only to see Southern charge back and tie the game at 18-all and then again at 20-all.
The championship game produced another five-game barnburner.
In game two, Rocky Mount started hot behind the service of Brittney Battle and had a 10-2 lead before the Knights started to come back. The Knights fought back to within three points 16-13, and then Amanda Griffin scored five service points and after giving up one point was followed by Kristin Ruffin's seven service points and a game win 25-17.
Northern started game three on fire and was ahead 14-3 before Rocky Mount rallied back to trail by only 15-9. That was as far the Gryphons got as Essence Henderson scored four service points and then the Knight cruised to a 25-19 game win.
Game four reversed course when the Gryphons' Evie Hunter got her first five service points with the assistance of two kills by Walker. The Knights battled, but the Gryphons behind Walker and Battle, controlled the net allowing the Knights few scoring opportunities. The Knights closed to within six late in the game, but the Gryphons grabbed the game 25-18 to force a fifth game.
Game five was somewhat of a letdown as Rocky Mount controlled the net with kills by Walker, Battle, Tia Hudgins and Kushunn Seabreeze and Northern never threatened as the Gryphons grabbed the 15-9 game and the 3-2 match and the championship.