Bulldogs sweep East Columbus on the road in second round

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Roxboro Community School volleyball team’s punishment for losing on the final day of the regular season was a likely road trip for the second round of the state playoffs — and possibly beyond.

That three-hour-plus trip down east may have been the best thing for these Bulldogs according to coach Micholene Schumacher.

RCS cruised through to the third round of the playoffs by pummeling Three Rivers champion East Columbus 3-0 (25-14, 25-14, 25- 19) Tuesday in Lake Waccamaw.

The reigning 1A East champions dominated throughout.

“We were determined,” Schumacher said. “We went in there to get it done and go home. It was less than an hour from start to finish. The people there were gracious and lovely before and afterwards, and it was a nice experience, but we shell-shocked them for sure.”

Emma Schumacher bounced back from an off night in the playoff opener with a 14-kill, three-dig effort. Payton Gentry hammered home nine kills with four digs, while Kenley Long and Madison Dunkley finished with four kills each.

Brenna Winstead continued her strong work in the middle with three blocks to go along with two kills, while Maci Clark chipped in a kill.

Libero Kelcey Mangum finished with 15 digs and two aces, while setter Grace Hawkins handed out 36 assists with three aces and a block.

The Bulldogs got home late Thursday night and will hit road again today, making an even farther drive to second-seed Perquimans (21-2).

Game time is set for 5 p.m.

The second-seeded Pirates head into the third round on a 12-match winning streak and have only dropped one set since falling to 2A power Currituck County in mid-September. Perquimans is the champion of the Albemarle Conference and feature one of the top hitter in all of 1A in senior Cayce Copley. The 5-9 senior has 315 kills this season, sixth most in 1A and had 15 kills when the teams met in the thirdround of the 2015 playoffs, won by the Bulldogs in four hard-fought sets. RCS and Perquimans have matched up the last two years at preseason team camp at N.C. State, but this is the first official meeting in three years. Three of the Pirates top hitters were on that 2015 team, as well as RCS seniors Kenley Long and Payton Gentry. Both teams will be looking to continue their roads to get back to where they’ve seen each other at team camp — the host site for the state championship.

“(Perquimans) talks junk at team camp and our girls respond well to that,” Schumacher said.

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