It had been two weeks since Rolesville had won a volleyball match, but for Rams co-captain Ashley Stroot, it felt like an eternity.
Thus it was fitting Stroot did her part Tuesday afternoon to put an end to Rolesville’s losing ways, piling up 10 kills, two assisted blocks and a pair of aces as the Rams ended a three-game losing streak with a 3-0 (25-16, 25-10, 25-21) victory over visiting Knightdale in a Greater Neuse River Conference match.
The victory kept Rolesville (10-7, 5-4) at worst a game behind third-place Garner and was one it really needed if it was going to entertain thoughts of qualifying for the N.C. High School Athletic Association tournament in October.
“We were a little flustered by the three losses, we really needed to get back on track,” Stroot said. “This game meant a lot to us, we had to prove a point that we could come back after a two-week (drought).”
Aside from a sloppy third set, it was a dominant effort by the Rams against Knightdale (4-16, 1-9). Over the first two sets the Knights were never able to string more than two consecutive points together.
The third set was close throughout, with Knightdale leading 14-12 at one point before Rolesville responded with seven straight points to take a 19-14 lead. It got no closer than three the rest of the set before Kristina Edwards ended things with a match-clinching kill.
Both teams played quality volleyball in the early going of the match, with Rolesville nursing a 12-10 lead before the Rams went on a 9-2 run – sparked by consecutive points won by Ashley Stroot on a tip and a block – to seize control in the set and ultimately the match.
THEY SAID IT
“We got out of our system a little bit in our other matches, playing good teams like we were that is difficult,” Rolesville coach Brian Harris said of the three-game losing streak, which came against upper-echelon GNRC teams Clayton, West Johnston and Garner. “I felt like today we did a good job of defense and moving the ball. Knightdale had some very nice cut shots, so we had to adjust to that, but overall I thought we did a really good job.”
THREE TO KNOW
Ashley Stroot, Rolesville: The senior was all over the place, particularly offensively as Knightdale’s front line had limited success slowing her down.
Hannah Stroot, Rolesville: The sophomore filled up the stat sheet, compiling 15 digs, eight kills and a pair of aces for the Rams.
Carson Evans, Rolesville: The Rams’ other co-captain had 10 digs, two assisted blocks and four aces.
BY THE NUMBERS
4: The number of times over the first two sets that Knightdale managed to score consecutive points.
10: Total aces for Rolesville.
33: Assists tallied by Rolesville, 22 coming from Hannah Escala.
Rolesville hosts Southeast Raleigh on Thursday before visiting East Wake on Oct. 4. Knightdale’s next three matches are at home, the first of those against unbeaten Clayton on Thursday.