Rolesville’s volleyball team refused to give up Wednesday night.
Hosting Wake Forest, the team against which the Rams made history in winning the program’s first varsity volleyball game last week, Rolesville found itself down by two sets.
The Rams pulled away from a pair of ties in the third set before winning the nail-biter in five (13-25, 15-25, 25-18, 25-21, 18-16), leaving the visiting Cougars winless on the year.
“We tried to stay positive, even though we didn’t play very well in the first two sets,” Rolesville coach Brian Harris said. “We knew that if we could just continue to play and continue to do the things that we do well that we could get back in the match. Then, we started to get some confidence.”
Up, 2-0, Wake Forest was nine points away from a sweep before Rolesville tightened up, the errors the Rams committed in the first two sets slowly melting away.
Rolesville erupted after winning Set 3 but fell behind, 8-1, in the next before two Hannah Escala aces got the Rams going.
Serving contributed largely to both team’s success.
Rolesville junior setter Carson Evans captured the first four points in Set 4 to force a Wake Forest timeout. Two consecutive aces from Rolesville’s Hannah Stroot put the Rams up 10-6.
The teams were close late before a Rolesville kill forced a final, where they went blow for blow in a riveting Set 5.
“They took it really hard,” Wake Forest coach Scott Love said about his Cougars who were seeking revenge. “We’re young. We start two freshmen and three sophomores. The experience is good for them. It’s hard. We had good things happen, but all of a sudden things start to tighten up a little bit, then the pressure comes on. Some of that is just growing up.”
When Rolesville broke up two ties in the third set with the Cougars on the verge of winning the match, it gave the Rams confidence to finish strong. They were down by seven points to start the fourth set and didn’t panic. Coming back from a two-set deficit helped drive them to the end.
They said it
Love on meaning behind match: “It was pretty significant. With Snapchat and Twitter and social media, they keep track of each other pretty well. They knew they wanted to win and they knew they had something prove.”
Three who mattered
Ashley Stroot, Rolesville: The junior captain mattered the most at the net. She led the game with seven blocks, several sparking momentum late for the Rams. She had a team-high nine kills, too. Her younger sister, freshman outside hitter Hannah Stroot, led the game with eight aces.
Ta’Yanna Harvey, Rolesville: Her set-claiming kill drove the Rams to fight in Set 5.
Molly Northcutt, Wake Forest: Northcutt led the game with 10 kills, including some timely attacks to put Wake Forest ahead. She contributed nine digs, picking up her defensive efforts near the end.
Escala, Rolesville: She anchored an effective serving core through the last three sets. The sophomore setter found Ashley Stroot to claim a 15-14 lead in the thrilling fifth set before coming out with an ankle injury.