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Rams avenge loss to Northeast

LASKER – After upsetting Ridgecroft earlier in the season, Northeast Academy entered last Thursday’s matching hoping to go 2-0 against their Tarheel Independent Conference foe.

The Lady Eagles started strong, but Ridgecroft gained momentum and took the match in three close sets, 25-22, 25-20 and 25-22.

“They have the drive and determination to win,” said first-year Ridgecroft School Head Coach Susan Nabinger. “We’ve been working on our teamwork and it’s finally paying off.”

In the first set, Northeast took an early 18-10 lead but the momentum shifted and Ridgecroft took advantage of some Lady Eagles miscues. They pulled with one, 22-21, after winning five straight points behind Emily Cooke’s serve.

The Lady Rams went ahead after Northeast couldn’t return Caitlin Harrison’s serve. Mary-Kate Morris’s spike gave Ridgecroft a 24-22 lead and Harrison aced her next serve, giving the visitors a 25-22 victory in the first set.

Northeast fell behind early in the second set, but consecutive tips by Jennifer Sykes pulled the Lady Eagles within two at 20-18. Three straight Ridgecroft points with Harrison serving got the Rams within one point, but her serve into the net gave Northeast a chance to come back.

After winning the next point, Northeast’s return was hit out of bounds, giving Ridgecroft the 25-20 win.

The Lady Eagles took a 4-0 lead in the third set behind the serving of Sykes. Morris’s spike cut the Northeast lead to three but her serve was short, giving the Lady Eagles another point and the serve. Lacy Pfieffer served for two points before Northeast lost possession.

A tip by Cooke and a Lady Eagles return in the net pulled the Lady Rams within three. After exchanging points Cooke served for four straight Ridgecroft points, giving the Lady Rams their first lead of the game.

Northeast tied it up but a short serve gave Ridgecroft back the lead. The Lady Eagles pulled within one point twice, including a tie at 22, but they could never regain the lead as they fell, 25-22.

“When we were up 18-10 in the first game and we lost – that gave them the momentum and deflated us,” said Northeast Head Coach Cap Pfieffer.

Sykes recorded two aces, digs and blocks and was credited with five assists and three tips. Callie Burgess had six digs, three kills and two tips.

Ridgecroft also took a straight set win in junior varsity action. The Lady Eagles took an early lead, but Ridgecroft got their serve going and took control, winning 25-18 and 25-20.