Volleyball: Princeton Turns Back Goldsboro (PHOTO GALLERY)

Volleyball: Princeton Turns Back Goldsboro (PHOTO GALLERY)

Princeton head coach Paige Renfrow could not have been more pleased with her team’s effort after a 30-28, 25-22, 25-14 victory against Goldsboro in Neuse Six 2A Conference play on Thursday evening.

“I’m so proud of my girls for stepping up,” Renfrow said. “They stepped up and played their game, and it paid off.”

Throughout the first set, no one in the gymnasium knew who would be the victor.

The squads battled back and forth, but with the score tied 16-16, the Cougars used a 4-0 run to take a 20-16 lead.

However, the Bulldogs scored five straight points to take a 21-20 lead and eventually took a 24-23 lead, but Cougars clawed back to take a 26-25 edge.

Princeton answered with a 5-2 run that was capped off with an ace from Kayleigh Klein and a kill from London Cook to give Princeton the marathon first set.

“We’ve been working on serves, and our serving really was a bonus for us,” Renfrow said. “I was telling them where to put it, and they were putting it spot on.”

The second set mirrored the first set in many ways, with the teams working through multiple ties and lead changes.

With the score tied 14-14, Princeton went on a 5-2 run to take a 19-16 lead. The Bulldogs would hold onto the lead, but the Cougars did not make it easy for the Bulldogs.

Back-to-back kills from Hallie Brown cut Princeton’s lead down to 22-21, but the Bulldogs won three of the next four points to win the second set.

“We just played well as a team,” Renfrow said. “We were gelled together and played our spots.”

Princeton started out the third set in brilliant fashion as the Bulldogs jumped to a 16-7 lead.

The Cougars would attempt to claw their way back into the set but could get no closer than eight points, and with Princeton up 24-14, another kill from Cook sealed the win for the Bulldogs.

“I stayed on them because they could not give up on the set,” Renfrow said.

Princeton (2-7, 2-0) has now won two games in a row after dropping their first seven contests. Renfrow said the Bulldog’s tough non-conference schedule more than prepared them for conference play.

“I told the girls ‘the losses in non-conference were tough because we played so hard, but we just could not make it over the hump,’ but now that we’re in conference, I knew as a coach that what we did in the non-conference would push us through.”

Both squads are back on the volleyball court on Tuesday. The Bulldogs travel to Spring Creek (2-8, 1-1), while Goldsboro (5-5, 1-1) heads to North Johnston (4-4, 1-0).