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Rams go in for a takedown

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ROLESVILLE — After being down two sets, Rolesville’s volleyball team fought back to overcome Wakefield and earn their first conference win of the season in front of their home crowd Tuesday.

The Lady Rams defeated the Wolverines 3-2 (20-25, 19-25, 25-18, 25-12, 15-7). The win breaks a three-game losing streak. Rolesville head coach Ciara Wheeler said this is the type of game her players like to compete in.

“I think the girls like a good fight,” Wheeler said. “They like to work super hard and sometimes it takes for us to be down a couple of sets to wake that up inside of us. They settled in, started focusing and talking in the final three sets. They did an amazing job tonight.”

In the first set, the two teams were neck-and-neck all the way throughout the game. Rolesville took a late lead at 19-17, but then Wakefield stormed back off a 5-0 run to retake the advantage at 22-19. The Wolverines held off the Rams from there to win and take the first set 25-20.

In the second set, Wakefield held the lead for the majority of the game. Their biggest advantage of the contest was 19-12. The Wolverines cruised to a 25-19 victory.

It seemed as if Wakefield was going to finish off Rolesville with a clean sweep. However, first-year head coach Wheeler gave her players a short, but motivating speech before the start of the third set.

“I told the girls I plan on being here all night for five sets,” Wheeler said. “I asked the girls what they wanted to do and they started fighting back in that third set.”

It took awhile for Rolesville’s comeback to kick in as Wakefield took a 12-2 lead to start off the third set. The Rams finally rallied to go ahead 17-16 and then extended that lead to 22-18. An ace from Maya Uzoho gave Rolesville their first win of the night at 25-18.

In the fourth set, the Rams started off hot coming off their inspirational third set victory. Rolesville went ahead 15-6 and held a comfortable lead from there. Wakefield hit the ball out of bounds to give the Rams the 25-12 win, forcing the match into a winner-take-all fifth set.

Rolesville set the tone early in the fifth set to go up 6-0. Wakefield scored some points here and there to make the game more interesting. However, the Rams pulled away near the end as Wakefield’s Sarah Wilson hit her serve into the net. Rolesville emerged victorious at 15-7.

Wakefield head coach Cynthia Terrell was disappointed with her team’s performance, while also praising Rolesville for showing heart in the comeback win.

“The players were not truly focused tonight,” Terrell said. “They thought they had enough cushion and they gave the other team a chance to get back in it. Rolesville had an incredible comeback, so I have to give them credit. They wanted it more than we did and it showed.”

With the loss, Wakefield dropped to 3-12 overall and 1-2 in NAC 6 conference play. The Wolverines had won back-to-back matches heading into the contest at Rolesville. Now Wakefield has to try to get some more wins after a poor start to the season.

“We have to learn how to finish a game,” Terrell said. “The girls have to learn how to play together. We’re talented, but the girls just don’t know how talented they are yet. They made wrong mistakes at the wrong time. It’s just been poor execution for us lately.”

As for Rolesville, the win improved their overall record to 3-5 and 1-2 in the NAC 6. Now that the Rams have broken their losing streak, Wheeler said the players can focus on how they need to play games moving forward to get back into the mix.

“In the two sets we lost, the girls were trying to be too aggressive,” Wheeler said. “When they hung back and relaxed, they did much better. We have to ease our way into the game instead of coming out hot every set. We have to play smart and make sure the other team isn’t reading us easily.”

Rolesville will play Wake Forest at home Tuesday at 6 p.m. Wakefield will play at Corinth Holders on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.