Time off aids Knights

Who needs constant action if River Ridge can pull off sweeps of foes like Land O'Lakes.

Published October 5, 2006

NEW PORT RICHEY- Evidently, practice makes perfect. Well, maybe not perfect, but pretty darn good.

That's the impression River Ridge left after its solid 25-14, 25-20, 25-11 victory over Land O'Lakes on Wednesday at the Royal Knights' gym. River Ridge, coming off of a stretch in which it had only participated in two games in the past two weeks, played with uncharacteristic poise for a team that features just one senior.

"We played real good offensively," River Ridge coach Heidi Castelamare said. "As well as defensively. We had very few hitting errors. Brittany Frey did a great job, as well as Emily (Lehman). But honestly, this was a total team effort.

"I don't think there was anybody who had a real bad game. Everybody was right up there."

River Ridge (16-1 overall, 8-0 in Class 5A, District 5) sandwiched two easy victories around a difficult second game.

After the Royal Knights jumped to an early 3-0 lead, the Gators (11-7, 5-3) battled back to tie it at 4, 5 and 8 each before finally taking the lead 10-8 on a block by Kayli Keough.

Numerous hitting errors from both teams kept the game tight, with Land O'Lakes' lead eventually reaching 19-14 following a block by Danielle Priest.

But after a side-out, Lehman reeled off nine consecutive service points, including four aces, to pull River Ridge ahead.

Lehman finished with a game-high 10 service points and six kills. Frey added nine service points and a game-high seven kills, including five in the decisive third game.

"During the time off, at least game-wise, we've tried to work a little bit more on our consistency," Castelamare said. "And some defensive stuff we've been working on. We've got a big tournament this weekend.

"My goal is to get us better for districts."

Keough led the Gators with six kills.