Rock Hill made quick work of Clover on Tuesday night with a 3-0 win (25-14, 25-9, 25-23). The win was expected against a young, up-and-coming Blue Eagles team.
Rock Hill is South Carolina's fourth-ranked team in Class AAAA. Tuesday's win moved its record to 13-1 overall and 3-0 in Region 3-AAAA.
The Bearcats were led by a pair of Division I college recruits. Christina Vereb had 17 kills and eight digs. Karis Watson contributed a dozen kills. Vereb will play for South Carolina and Watson for Clemson next year.
Rock Hill has more than just two players though. Coach Cindy Elder has a total of eight seniors on her roster. She said it is important that everyone does their part.
"They are going to do their thing every night," Elder said of Vereb and Watson. "What we really need is for everyone else to play their best if we are to achieve our goal and win it all."
On Monday, Rock Hill played at No. 3 Dorman. The Cavaliers have won 11 state titles and are the defending champions. The match is one of several Elder has scheduled for her team against the state's best competition. Rock Hill will play in a tournament at Wando High School on Oct. 8-9 where they will play No. 1 Aiken and No. 2 Wando.
Rock Hill played great at Dorman. They won 3-0 (25-13, 25-17, 25-20). Vereb collected 12 kills and 13 digs. Watson had 10 kills and Makala McCrorey had 13 digs.
Elder has coached for 28 years. When asked if this was her best team, she wasted little time saying that it is.
The match pitted college roommates against one another. Elder and Dorman coach Paula Kirkland shared a room at Winthrop.
The coaches have squared off several times over the years. Elder says they handle volleyball professionally but added that the win was "sweet."
She couldn't remember a South Carolina team ever beating Dorman 3-0. The win was big and made for a joyous ride back to Rock Hill.
Returning to region play on Tuesday, Rock Hill broke open a tight first set by peeling off six straight points to take an 18-9 advantage. Vereb, wearing a wide white headband, had two kills in the run.
The Bearcats jumped out to a big lead in the second set.
Watson attacked with her team ahead 17-6 but Clover handled her hit. As the point continued Watson was set up for another kill from the center of the net. Her punishing blow sent the ball to the feet of her opponents. Clover had no chance.
Clover coach Sean Cowley knew what his team was in for on Tuesday.
"Sometimes there's not a lot you can do. We tried to capitalize when (Rock Hill) was not in attacking position. But when they start swinging, we are back on our heels," Cowley said.
Cowley had three sophomores and a freshman on the court at times against the Bearcats. Telliya Patton and Lindsay Richardson led the Blue Eagles.
Rock Hill plays at home on Thursday against Gaffney and then hosts the Bearcat Invitational on Saturday.
ROCK HILL 3, CLOVER 0
(25-14, 25-9, 25-23)
Rock Hill -- Christina Vereb (17 kills, 8 digs), Karis Watson (12 kills), Demmie White (5 digs), Makala McCrorey (3 aces)
Clover -- Telliya Patton, Lindsay Richardson
Records: Clover 4-5, 1-2 Region 3-AAAA; Rock Hill 13-1, 3-0