If there needed to be a reason to believe the athletes of East Ridge and Woodbury take their crosstown rivalry seriously, look no further than the second set of Thursday’s volleyball match.
After an East Ridge hit sent the ball off a Woodbury player and flew toward the stands, a pair of Royals sprinted over to try to keep the play alive. In the process, the Woodbury players took out a couple of chairs, including the seat of coach Brad English. Unfortunately for the Royals, the ball hit the floor and gave East Ridge a point.
That moment was just part of a match that was filled with intense moments for both sides. In the end, the Raptors flexed their muscles and pushed past Woodbury in four sets 28-26, 25-21, 25-13 and 25-19, to stay unbeaten in conference play and take singular hold of the top spot in the Suburban East.
After a hellacious first set that saw Woodbury battle back from trailing 24-20 to win the set 28-26, East Ridge settled in and dispatched its crosstown rival 28-26, 25-21, 25-13 and 25-19 on at East Ridge High School.
East Ridge (16-3, 6-0) controlled most of the match despite losing the first set. The Raptors, ranked No. 4 in Class 3A, recovered from the opening-set loss with solid play from their outside hitters, while senior middle hitter Avery Burger finished with a match-best 24 kills.
Junior outside hitter Lauren Galvin was also a major force, tallying 16 kills for the Raptors.
The Royals (16-2-1, 5-1) trailed throughout most of the match, including during the first set. Despite trailing 24-20, Woodbury roared back and went deep into the set before pulling off a 28-26 win.
Sophomore middle blocker Braiziah Dixon finished the opening set with four kills and had seven in the match to go along with a pair of blocks.
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