REYNOLDS – North Henderson junior Caroline Marsh had everyone’s undivided attention whenever she went to play any kind of shot Tuesday.
Reynolds was wary of the former two-time All-American but had seen her before.
And in the end, the Rockets had enough collective firepower to advance to the third round of the NCHSAA 3-A volleyball playoffs with a 3-0 home win inside Roberts Gym.
The set scores were 25-20, 25-21 and 25-15.
Towson (Md.) recruit Emily Russell smashed a team-high 18 kills to go along with 13 digs and five blocks. South Carolina recruit Courtney Koehler gave out 28 assists and also made 10 digs and three blocks.
Other statistical leaders were Kendra Rice (13 digs, five kills and three aces), Melissa Cavagnini (21 digs), Maitland Moore (four kills) and Delaney McCullough (two kills and two blocks).
Next up for the fifth-seeded Rockets (20-2) is a match Thursday at No. 4 South Iredell (23-1), which eliminated No. 20 North Buncombe on Tuesday in three sets, 25-10, 25-9 and 25-7.
“I was a little worried about (Tuesday’s) match,” Reynolds coach Lori Ledford.
“Because I knew that (Knights coach Sue Moon) would have her girls ready to play and she did. It’s a great win for us.”
Reynolds and the No. 12 Knights (15-7) met in the regular season – a 3-1 road win for the Rockets on Aug. 27. Monday’s rematch was all Reynolds.
Ledford said the Mountain Athletic Conference 3-A champions were prepared for a dynamic hitter like Marsh thanks in part to the first match. Marsh still got her share of stats – 21 kills, 16 digs and six blocks. Alex Oates added 19 digs and 18 assists. Megan Edwards made 23 digs and Teegan Bullock scooped out 12 digs.
Moon was proud of the way that her team progressed throughout the season. The Knights were 0-4 at one point.
“We never could find our groove and that level of play we needed tonight. I don’t know why,” Moon said.
“But I’m so proud of the improvement this team made. They learned constantly. And I like this group a whole lot.”
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