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Royal Knights notch sweep

River Ridge fends off rival Ridgewood to remain undefeated.

By MIKE TOMPKINS
Published August 31, 2005


NEW PORT RICHEY - In an early-season battle between undefeated rivals, River Ridge fought off tenacious Ridgewood 25-13, 25-19, 25-12 to hand the host Rams their first defeat of the season.

"I knew Ridgewood had some talent," Royal Knights coach Heidi Castelamare said. "They have some skill players, and they beat Mitchell last week. They're a solid team. I told the girls they had to be ready, and they can't overlook anything." In Game 1, Senior Brittany Castelamare heeded her mother's advice, helping her team jump out in front 4-0, gain momentum, then cruise to the win having never trailed. Castelamare led the Royal Knights with 10 service points and 36 assists. She chipped in with three kills.

Game 2 saw a more driven Ridgewood (2-1), as the Rams led at one point 8-7. River Ridge went on a 15-4 run, however, to lead 22-12 en route to the victory.

In the final game, River Ridge (3-0) started off down 2-0, then went on an 11-2 run to put the Rams back in a hole, 11-4.

Ridgewood, behind the play of senior Caitlin Morrison (team-leading seven kills and six blocks), pulled within 11-7, but never got any closer.

The Royal Knights closed out the match with a 14-5 run.

"(Monday at Gulf) we didn't play very well," Heidi Castelamare said. "We had 27 hitting errors. Our focus was to put the ball on the court a little bit better, and place it where we needed to place it. We did that a little bit better (Tuesday night)."

LECANTO 3, NORTH MARION 0: The Panthers moved to 4-0 on the season, defeating North Marion 25-9, 25-14 and 25-12. Sarina Juster led Lecanto with 12 aces and contributed four kills. Ashley Clark had 18 assists, and Brandy Worlton finished with 10 kills and four blocks.