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home : local sports : local sports

9/20/2013 10:31:00 AM Email this articlePrint this article 
Lawrenceville's Kazia Frederick passes to a teammate during the loss to Red Hill.
First win over Indians since 2002
Saluki spikers queens of county
BRIDGEPORT - When they're not pitted against each other, Lawrence County's high school volleyball teams tend to struggle.

But the Lawrence County rivals were going face to face Thursday evening in the Red Hill High School gym, which meant that one or the other was guaranteed to taste victory for the first time this season.

After three hard-fought games, it was coach Sarah Will's Red Hill Salukis that responded to the challenge with a 25-16, 23-25, 25-22 Little Illini Conference conquest of the Tribe.

It was Red Hill's first victory over the Indians since Oct. 1, 2002. Prior to Thursday, the Indians had defeated the Salukis 17 straight times.

"The girls have worked so hard for this," said Will, whose team is now 1-6 overall and 1-1 in the LIC. "I'm glad to finally get another win."

The Salukis entered the match having lost 12 straight dating to last season. The Indians, now 0-11 overall and 0-4 in the LIC, have dropped 19 straight matches, dating to last season.

Lawrenceville, after evening the match by winning the second game, looked to be on the way to victory. The Indians jumped to a 9-1 lead in the decisive third game, but a number of missed serves down the stretch proved costly.

"It was a tough blow," second-year LHS coach Trinity Britton said. "It was kind of how we've played all year - we couldn't finish."

Trailing 9-1 in the third game, the Salukis fought back with an 11-1 run. Junior Kenedee Whittaker started the RHHS run by serving three straight points. McKenzie Wolfe, also a junior, followed with seven straight service points to put RHHS ahead, 12-10.

The Indians forged one final tie at 12-all, before Baelee Holloway reeled off six straight service points to put the Salukis in command, 19-12.

The Indians fought back to within 24-22 when freshman Brianna Mefford hit on two straight serves, including an ace. But the match ended when a Mefford serve went into the net.

Wolfe and Holloway both served 14 points for the Salukis. Six of Wolfe's points came on aces, while Holloway served five aces. Whittaker added seven service points and Andi Tennis six for the Salukis, including two aces each.

Wolfe topped the Salukis with eight kills, while Holloway added five and Emilee Ellingsworth four. Ellingsworth added a pair of blocks.

Whittaker topped the squad with 18 assists, while Tennis paved the way with three digs.

Morgan Mefford and Brianna Mefford served 10 points apiece for the Tribe, while Kazia Frederick chipped in with nine service points. Morgan Mefford totaled six aces and Brianna Mefford five.

Osmon and Abby Higginbotham both had five kills, while Frederick and Brianna Mefford both had four. Osmon and Amanda Seed both had two blocks.

Osmon and Morgan Mefford shared team honors with eight digs, while Higginbotham and Brianna Mefford both had five.

Osmon led the team with six assists, while Higginbotham was credited with four.

Red Hill never trailed in the first game after taking an early 8-2 lead. The Salukis held a 22-16 advantage when Holloway took the ball and served three straight points to end the game.

The Salukis threatened to win the match in two straight, as they held leads of 17-13 and 23-19 in the second game.

Frederick rallied the Indians from behind with five straight service points to force a third game.

The last time Red Hill defeated Lawrenceville in volleyball was in the 2002 season. The Salukis decked the Indians, 15-4, 15-13, on Sept. 24, 2002. The teams met again a week later with Red Hill winning, 15-7, 15-4.

Thursday's junior varsity match was just as competitive, although the Salukis won in two games, 28-26, 26-24.

Haylee Croslow had five aces and Madison Carter four for LHS. Carter added two kills while Croslow led the way with four digs.

The Indians have pulled out of Saturday's Flora Invitational and return to action Thursday when they'll host Robinson in LIC play.

Red Hill will visit North Knox, Ind., on Monday before traveling to Hutsonville for LIC action on Tuesday.


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