The Rock Hill volleyball team won all three games and handed crosstown rival Northwestern its first region loss of the season Thursday night in the Rock Hill High gym.
The Bearcats, ranked No. 7 in Class AAAA, won the first game 25-11, recorded a 25-18 win in the second game, and claimed the third one 25-16.
When Sutton Alexander scored on a kill Rock Hill led 11-6 in the first game of the night. The Bearcats, behind two kills by Emily Russell and Alexander’s block, went on a 9-4 run to lead 20-10.
With Gracie Barnes serving Rock Hill scored the next four points for a 24-10 lead, and after Northwestern scored, Rock Hill won the first game on the next point.
Barnes’ kill broke a 4-4 tie in the second game and started the Bearcats on 12-2 run that resulted in a 16-6 advantage.
Northwestern called timeout, regrouped and got back in the game. Behind Ann Marie Johnston, Madison Martin, and Julia Panas, the Trojans cut the score to 24-18. But Rock Hill won the next point and won the second game.
The Bearcats scored the first four points in the third game and led 9-2 on an Adele Robinson kill. When Panas recorded a pair of kills, the Rock Hill lead was trimmed to 10-6.
The Bearcats went on an 9-2 spree and led 19-8 when Alexander recorded another kill. Northwestern did not quit. It cut the margin to 20-13 when Johnston scored on a block. Rock Hill won five of the last eight points to claim the third game.
“This was extremely big for us tonight,” said Rock Hill coach Cindy Elder. “We played very well, and Gracie Barnes was outstanding. We did exactly what we wanted to do, and that was to keep the ball away from their libero, who is an very good player.”
Emily Russell had 11 kills and 3 blocks for Rock Hill. Barnes added 7 kills and 6 aces for the Bearcats, and Alexander had two kills and two blocks. Christen Bragg had 27 assists.
“We definitely did not play very well tonight,” said Northwestern coach Andrea Carrigan.
“Rock Hill was very well prepared, and they wanted it more than we did. However, at the end of the night, we are still tied for the region lead.”
Madison Martin had 4 kills and one ace for Northwestern. Margaret Culp added 8 assists and 8 digs for the Trojans. Ann Marie Johnston had 2 kills and a pair of aces, while Julia Panas had 3 kills and one block for the night.
The win gives Rock Hill a 7-1 record in Region 3-AAAA. The loss dropped Northwestern to 7-1 in the region.