TIC rivals clash

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 30, 2004

MERRY HILL – A few good volleys marked the second meeting between Northeast Academy and Lawrence Academy.

Meeting for just the second time ever in volleyball, the Lady Warriors downed the Lady Eagles in straight sets, but not without some defensive pressure from Northeast.

And, while the Lady Eagles didn’t get a win, improvement was the name of the game.

&uot;We’re still growing, still improving,&uot; NEA skipper Charles &uot;Cap&uot; Phieffer said. &uot;It goes back to what I’ve said earlier this year, we’re gaining experience. Dealing with schools that have a 10-year head start on you, it’s hard to break through.&uot;

Set number one saw the Lady Warriors run out to a 5-1 advantage behind the serve of Catherine Outten. The senior setter had four points off serve, including one that came courtesy of a kill by Jodi White.

Northeast rallied to cut the advantage behind Rebecca Harrell’s serve, but two was as close as they were able to get.

White had a pair of points, including an ace to push the Lawrence advantage to five (8-3).

The teams exchanged defensive points until Outten came through with four more points to give Lawrence the 21-10 lead. From there, the Warriors won on defensive points to take the first set 25-12.

Neither team could break away during the opening stages of the second set.

After Lawrence led 4-1 behind Outten’s serve, neither team could get more than a two-point lead.

The Lady Eagles were led by the serving of Lindsey Bridgers, Brooke Bennett, Jessica Duncan and London Harrell.

With the teams deadlocked at 10-all when Outten had four straight points to put the lead to 14-10. Northeast battled back to get within 16-14, thanks to a solid serve from Bridgers, but Katelyn Sexton stopped the NEA rally to set up a trio of points by Gabby Layton.

Lawrence went on to grab the 25-19 win in set two.

Ruth Stotesbury served the Lady Warriors into the lead in set three and they never looked back.

Thanks to solid serving from Morgan Phelps and Layton and kills from Sexton, Jessica Johnston, Outten and Layton, the Lady Warriors took the match 25-13.

&uot;They have improved a lot and gave us a good match,&uot; Outten said after the close of the match. &uot;We had some very good rallies.&uot;

For her part, Lawrence volleyball boss Gennia Winslow was pleased to see Northeast improving, but not satisfied with her team’s effort.

&uot;We have to put today behind us and get focused on Thursday,&uot; Winslow said. &uot;We are glad to have the win, but now we have to get ready for Terra Ceia.&uot;

The Lady Warriors traveled to Halifax Academy yesterday (Wednesday) in a match that finished too late for press time. They will travel to Terra Ceia today to meet the Lady Knights in a key matchup inside the Tarheel Independent Conference.