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.”

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