Smithfield: Sports

In volleyball, Princeton rolls over Hobbton with excellent net play

Last week was a big one for Princeton volleyball.

The Bulldogs climbed to 15-1 overall and 9-0 in conference play with three wins in three days. They defeated a tough Rosewood team Tuesday, avenged an earlier loss to Bunn on Wednesday and rolled Hobbton three games to none on Thursday.

“I knew this would be a good game to play after playing two very strong, very tough games,” Princeton coach Paige Renfrow said of the Hobbton match. “Our girls were spent coming into this game, but they have a lot of desire. They refuse to show fatigue.”

In toppling Hobbton 25-6, 25-12 and 25-12, Princeton had excellent net play from senior Savanna Massengill, junior Kasey Edwards and sophomores Hailey Wood and Taylor Carroll. All had several winners and great pressure on the Wildcat hitters.

“Our setters feel comfortable setting any of these girls because we’re so solid at the net,” Renfrow said. “We haven’t had this in several years.”

The first game was one of spurts. Massengill scored seven consecutive points on her serve with three aces, while Edwards scored eight straight toward the end with five service aces. All but one of Hobbton’s points in the first game came as a result of Princeton miscues.

The second game started off more back and forth, with each team trading a point here, a point there. With the score tied at 6 apiece, Princeton senior Jasmine Bombard served up 10 straight points to open up a big lead. Carroll was a big part of the offensive attack with several outside winners.

Hobbton, which fell 0-16 overall, got some aggressive net play from Nina Devone and Kaylee Matthews. who got a hand on many of the Bulldog hits at the net. Going into the third game, however, not much could stop Princeton.

Massengill’s strong serve opened up an 8-3 lead in the third frame, and then Hobbton started trading one point for three points or one point for four. The Wildcats would break serve, then not be able to hold it themselves. The back and forth continued until Princeton rallied for four straight points to win the game and the match.

“We always have each other’s back, and we’re always gonna be there and help out,” Edwards said. “We just play really well together. We got to the fourth round of the playoffs last year before we lost to Raleigh Charter. Our goal is to make it to states this year.”