Rock Hill dominates Spartanburg in AAAA volleyball playoff opener

October 30, 2013 

The Rock Hill Bearcats got a solid team performance and dominated the Spartanburg Vikings 3-0 in the first round of the Class AAAA volleyball playoffs Tuesday night in the Rock Hill gym.

Coach Cindy Elder’s team won the three games by nearly identical scores, 25-14, 25-13 and 25-13.

Rock Hill took control of the first game early. When Sutton Alexander scored on a block, Rock Hill was in front 8-3. Kills by Gracie Barnes and Emily Russell and a block by Alexander keyed a 9-3 run by Rock Hill that resulted in a 17-6 lead.

Spartanburg rallied to cut the margin to 21-14, but the Bearcats scored the final four points to take the game.

Rock Hill jumped out to a quick lead in the second game. When Russell scored on a kill, Rock Hill was in front 10-0. The closest the Vikings would get the rest of the way was eight points.

Spartanburg took a 1-0 lead in the final game, but Rock Hill went on a 14-3 run to take control of the game. Alexander’s kill capped the outburst and the Bearcats led 14-4. The closest Spartanburg would get the rest of the game was eight points, when the Vikings the deficit to 14-6.

“This was a very good team effort for us tonight,” said Elder. “Spartanburg is a very good team, and their strength is in the middle.”

With Russell, Alexander and Barnes playing well up front, the Bearcats were in control in the middle all night.

Russell finished with 12 kills, four blocks, and three aces. Alexander had nine kills and four blocks, while Barnes added four kills.

“Emily (Russell) and Sutton (Alexander) controlled the front for us tonight,” added Elder. “Gracie (Barnes) did a great job playing defense and serving. She is an unsung hero on this team.”

Christen Bragg turned in an outstanding performance with 26 assists. As a team, Rock Hill recorded nine aces.

“Christen (Bragg) was all over the floor tonight,” said Elder. “She really had a good game.”

The win Tuesday night moved the Bearcats into the second round against the winner of the Woodmont-Blythewood game on Thursday night in Rock Hill.

“This team is really playing well right now,” added Elder. “I feel very confident about what we can accomplish this year.’

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