Ali Frantti wore No. 17 instead of the No. 5 listed on the roster. If she was trying to stay inconspicuous, she failed miserably.
In fact, Richmond-Burton's all-everything outside hitter seemed to be everywhere Thursday night, leading R-B past Burlington Central, 25-19, 25-18, in Big Northern East action in Burlington, denying the host Rockets a share of the BN-East championship.
If Frantti wasn't blocking everything in the middle or hitting lasers from the outside, she was serving aces and digging up balls in the back row and the Rockets couldn't find an answer.
"We really competed out there," said Central coach Marv Leavitt. "There were a couple of little runs where, if we stop that and not give them the leads, that would be a difference maker, but they're a really good team. That's one of the best players in the state right there."
The Rockets never led in either game but stayed close throughout.
Lexie Bouza had 9 kills, 3 aces and 7 digs for the Central Rockets (20-8, 8-2). Jenna Schudel added 5 kills. Setter Jess Emrich had 18 assists and 10 digs. Libero Allie O'Reilly led the defense with 21 digs. Lauren Wiltsie had 10.
"Allie is one of the best liberos around," Leavitt said. "She's really playing great."
The Richmond Rockets broke open Game 1 with a 5-point run to go ahead 8-3. The last 4 points were served by -- who else -- Frantti, who had an ace during the run. Central got back within 1 point three times, the last time at 19-18, but Richmond finished the game on a 6-1 run.
Frantti finished with 11 kills for Richmond (26-1, 10-0).
Game 2 was more of the same, as Richmond would start to pull away, Burlington would close the gap, and Richmond would pull away again.
After an ace by Bouza tied it at 7, Kim Russell knocked down a kill for Richmond. Frantti then served 4 more points, including an ace, for an 11-7 lead. Central closed to 11-9, but Richmond slowly pulled away thereafter.