Rock Bridge volleyball rolls to district semifinals

Monday, October 28, 2013 | 8:01 p.m. CDT; updated 9:34 p.m. CDT, Monday, October 28, 2013
Rock Bridge High School players Audrey Holt, left, (13) and Chayla Cheadle (6) block the ball from Mariah Fitzpatrick (3) during the first period Thursday at Columbia College. Rock Bridge defeated Hickman in two periods.

COLUMBIA — Correcting mistakes and correcting them early is why the Rock Bridge volleyball team has only lost two matches this season.

It's also the reason it handled Wentzville Holt in the Class 4, District 9 tournament with relative ease Monday. Rock Bridge won in straight sets 25-14, 25-7 and advanced to the district semifinals.

The Bruins began both sets slow but regrouped quickly and pulled away.

"We tend to start out a few points slow," Rock Bridge coach Robin Sherman said. "The first couple seem sort of slow and sluggish to me. But we seem to work our way out of it. I think it's a matter of just getting a pass, getting a few good swings in, and then we start clicking."

In the second set, the Bruins went down early 3-0 but went on two furious runs of seven and 13 points to get the victory.

"I think we just have a little trouble getting energy in the beginning," Rock Bridge senior Audrey Holt said. "We've always been pretty good about ... realizing what we have to do to get back to playing our game and getting our momentum back."

Holt, a middle hitter, is part of the reason the Bruins took over both sets early. At 6-foot-1, her height proved too much for the opposition, along with junior Sophie Cunningham and senior Kayla Cheadle, who are the same height. The Bruins disrupted the Indians at the front of the net, constantly getting points on blocks.

After the win, Holt was astonished that the team was already playing in the district tournament.

"It's kind of weird because it doesn't feel like districts at all," she said, laughing. "The season kind of flew by."

Still, Holt said she tries to treat every match the same and that she and the team are prepared for the next round. Rock Bridge will face the winner of Smith-Cotton and Hickman at 6:30 p.m. in the district semifinals on Wednesday. The match is scheduled to take place at Hickman High School.

"I think we are ready for Wednesday," Sherman said. "At this point for us, it's a pretty mental game. So let's get in there and do our best to survive and get to the next one."

Supervising editor is Erik Hall.

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