Rising Sun volleyball sweeps Indians in return to North East
Special to the Whig
— No matter what is happening between the lines, the rivalry between North East and Rising Sun never strays far from the fever pitch.
While the raucous student sections tried to out-cheer each other, the visiting Tigers stayed perfect on the season, taking care of the Indians in three sets, 25-6, 25-7, 25-9, Thursday night.
Though his team was the favorite coming in, Rising Sun head coach Rich Wilson was happy to see how his players responded to the exciting atmosphere.
“Rising Sun and North East have a history in volleyball stemming back to the ‘06 state championships when they were 2A and we were 1A,” he said. “We haven’t been here in a few years, so it was nice to come back. We like the late start and the energy in the gym with all the kids. That’s what makes it fun.”
The Tigers jumped out to big lead in the first game, setting the tone for the match. Outside hitter Breanne Haley did it all in that frame with three kills, two aces and a block.
“The biggest issue was they couldn’t handle our serves,” Wilson said.
Rising Sun’s dominance carried into the third set, though the Indians went on a 7-3 run toward the end. North East head coach Richard Bowers was happy to see that fight in his players against the reigning 2A state champions.
“The biggest thing for me is they never quit,” he said. “They stayed in the game, they tried and they got beat by a better team.”
Lacey Swartout led Rising Sun with seven kills.
The large leads allowed Wilson to substitute in more players than usual, which is key for a squad expected to go deep into the postseason again this year. He stressed the importance of playing the same way regardless of the circumstances.
“The one thing we talk about a lot is maintaining an even keel,” Wilson said. “The only time we haven’t done that was the match against Perryville for some reason, but we try to come up to a level and maintain that.”