Wolverines best Rebels

Published 11:45 pm Friday, October 24, 2014


RESERVE — For Riverside, Tuesday’s matchup at home with fellow Division IV contender Northlake Christian was perhaps a reminder youth must still be served for the Rebels before the postseason.

Northlake captured a 25-12, 25-20 and 25-23 win over the host Rebels Tuesday in non-district action on a day both teams celebrated breast cancer awareness — two survivors of the disease spoke about their respective journeys to the gymnasium crowd in Reserve before the game, and each athlete was playing in honor of a survivor.

While that part of the night proved a success, Riverside coach Chelsey Lucas-Nicholas wasn’t pleased with her team’s on-court results.

“It’s very disappointing,” she said. “We have a skilled volleyball team. I’m not sure they believe in themselves right now, and for teams to come in and beat us like this, it’s very frustrating.

“We’ve played (Northlake Christian) before. We’ve beat them before. We weren’t that team (Tuesday).”

As for the match itself, the Wolverines wasted little time jumping ahead of Riverside, taking a 14-3 lead in the first game and setting the tone for the night. Lexie White, Maddie Chiota, Blair Kent and Lia Dean all slammed home kills to propel Northlake on the run, which was also aided by a string of Rebel mistakes.

Riverside came out with a much more inspired effort in the second set. TyJah Greenup spiked home a kill and served an ace, while Briley Becker, Sydney Joseph and Hailee Eldridge each made kills of their own to push Riverside to a 13-6 lead. Back-to-back kills by Greenup and Eldridge made it a 17-9 Riverside advantage, but Northlake began pushing back. Maddy Rouyer’s kill made it 17-12, prompting a Rebels’ timeout.

It did little to stop the Wolverines’ momentum; after a Greenup kill made it 18-14, Northlake went on a 9-0 run to seize control of the game, taking a 23-18 lead. White served an ace to cap the rally off.

Riverside built another lead in the third game and led 18-15 late. Northlake scored four straight, taking a 19-18 lead on a Blair Kent ace. Becker answered for the Rebels, making a kill and serving an ace to put her team back ahead.

A White and Chiota double block put Northlake ahead 22-20, then a Greenup kill and ace tied things up at 22.

But two Rebel return errors set the Wolverines at match-point, and Chiota finished the day off with a kill that just fell inbounds.

“We played an undisciplined game,” Lucas-Nicholas said. “We didn’t do the things we know we need to do to be successful.”

Becker served seven aces for Riverside. Greenup had seven kills and served four aces. Eldridge had six kills. Abby Bourgeois had 19 assists. Maddie Duhon had nine digs and Joseph added six digs.

The Rebels have two matches remaining this season: Tuesday at St. Charles (4:30 p.m., JV then varsity) and Thursday at St. Martin (4 p.m. JV, then varsity).

Currently, Riverside is ranked eighth in Division IV in power points.

St. Charles is ranked 13th, making next week’s match a potentially significant matchup in terms of seeding.