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Lady Eagles upend Ridgecroft

AHOSKIE – A late rally came up short.

Northeast Academy used a feisty defense to quell a late rally by Ridgecroft School here last Thursday and score a Tarheel Independent Conference road win on the Rams’ senior night.

While the Lady Eagles were pleased to have their starters back on the floor after a rash of sickness, Ridgecroft was suffering from an outbreak of sickness on its campus.

“It’s the first time in almost a month I’ve had all six of my regular starters,” said Northeast mentor Cap Pfeiffer. “We’ve been battling illness for what seems like forever.”

For her part, Rams’ coach Susan Oliver said she was disappointed not to have her full regiment of players.

“We’re not making excuses, but it certainly hurt us,” Oliver said. “We were without Mary Kate Morris, who is a starter, and had several other girls playing despite being sick.”

The match didn’t look like it would be very competitive early as Northeast rolled out to an easy 25-14 win and followed that up with a 25-18 win in the second game. The Lady Rams, however, battled back with a 25-17 win of their own in the third set. Northeast closed out the match with a 25-20 win in set number four.

In the first game, the Lady Eagles got a key kill from Lauren Edwards to take an early 9-6 lead.

Just a few points later, Brittany Bolton rolled off two straight including an ace before Jennifer Sykes served four consecutive points to give Northeast a 17-9 lead.

Kelly Sykes had a tip and Lacy Pfeiffer added three straight on her serve as the Lady Eagles took a 21-10 lead and went on to a comfortable 25-14 victory.

In game two, Jennifer Sykes got Northeast started on the right foot with four straight service points. Ridgecroft answered with a pair of points off the serve of Lindsay Jacob.

Edwards and Kelly Sykes each had kills to get Northeast back ahead 6-4, but Brice Harrison stopped the run with a kill for the Lady Rams. Emily Cooke then rolled off back-to-back aces as Ridgecroft surged ahead 7-6.

Northeast came back thanks to another Edwards kill and then a tip by Jennifer Sykes. Edwards had two service points, the second of which was capped by a Pfeiffer kill as Northeast went back ahead 12-8.

Cooke’s tip and a service point from Jacob helped Ridgecroft close within 16-12 moments later, but they wouldn’t get closer. Kelly Sykes had three straight service points, one of which came via a Pfeiffer kill, as Northeast went ahead 22-14 and never looked back as they took the set 25-18.

The Lady Eagles weren’t able to pull away at all opening the third game as the teams went back-and-forth early. Mary Myers pushed Ridgecroft ahead with back-to-back serving points, one of which came on a Cooke tip to give the Lady Rams a 6-4 lead.

Sarah Taylor Best, however, rolled off three straight on her serve to edge Northeast back into the lead at 8-6.

The teams battled back and forth with Jennifer Sykes getting a key kill for Northeast only to be answered by the same from Jacob. Sara Hackney and Jacob each had kills for Ridgecroft moments later as the Lady Rams edged ahead 13-10.

Pfeiffer had a kill and tip back-to-back as Northeast pushed back ahead 15-14, but a Cooke kill led to Jacob rolling off four straight service points including an ace. Cooke also had a block during the spurt as Ridgecroft led 19-15.

Northeast got as close as 19-17 after a Pfeiffer kill, but Cooke had another kill and Myers rolled off six consecutive serves, one of which came by ace as the Lady Rams won 25-17.

Trailing 2-1 in the fourth set, Edwards had a key dig and then Best had a great shot on a save which was followed by a Kelly Sykes kill as the Lady Eagles pushed ahead 4-2.

Moments later, Kelly Sykes recorded another kill which, along with a Jennifer Sykes tip and Best dig helped the Lady Eagles go ahead 9-3.

A pair of service points by Elizabeth Brinkley got the Lady Rams back within 9-6, but Northeast then pulled away as they scored six of the next seven points to take a 15-7 advantage.

Kelly Sykes had a kill for Northeast and Pfeiffer added a service point to give Northeast a 19-10 lead and they went on to a 25-20 win.

“I thought we played well defensively,” Cap Pfeiffer said. “One thing we’ll do is get on the floor. All of the girls did well. We hustled. We covered. We had a real desire back.”

Jennifer Sykes had five aces during the afternoon while Bolton had three aces. Pfeiffer and Kelly Sykes had two aces each.

The win boosted the Lady Eagles to 10-5 overall and 3-5 in the Tarheel Independent Conference.

JV Volleyball

In junior varsity action, the Lady Eagles scored a 25-23, 14-15, 15-13 win over Ridgecroft.

Kelsey Lassiter had two aces and a dig for Northeast while Lindsey Bryant had two aces, two kills and three tips. Ashley Flythe added two digs, one ace and one kill while Taylor King had one dig.

The Northeast jayvees are 5-6 overall and 3-4 in the TIC.