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Preps

Royal Knights rally to defeat Mustangs

River Ridge erases a 2-1 deficit to defeat district and conference volleyball rival Mitchell in five games.

By JAMAL THALJI
Published September 1, 2004

NEW PORT RICHEY - Mitchell is going to be pretty good this season.

And River Ridge? Well, the Royal Knights already are good.

In fact, River Ridge proved it is again the best team in Pasco County in Tuesday night's 23-25, 25-20, 18-25, 25-18, 15-10 season-opening win. The Knights overcame a 2-1 deficit, winning the last two games to upend their Sunshine Athletic Conference and Class 5A, District 5 rival.

Physically, Mitchell (0-1) was better. Outside hitter Kari Wiedinger was unstoppable, as the senior 6-foot leader dominated the net and led both teams with 22 kills.

But mentally, defending district champion River Ridge (1-0) was the better team, led by Tricia Thomas' 15 kills.

"It was the momentum, and I think our experience helped us out a lot," Knights coach Heidi Castelamare said, "I have a lot of experienced girls at skill positions and they know what to do with the ball.

"I have a lot more juniors and seniors than they do, but (Mustangs coach Joe Dixon) has some good athletes. Kari did a phenomenal job tonight. We couldn't stop her."

Dixon wanted to make sure Wiedinger wasn't too down after the loss, especially after her performance.

"Kari did an awesome job tonight," he said. "I was talking to her and I didn't want her to dwell on any negatives. She was by far better than anybody. She was by far the best player in the gym."

[Last modified September 1, 2004, 01:10:40]


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