Panthers sweep Indians in Chesapeake showdown
Special to the Whig
— Perryville and North East’s first two matches were tightly contested Thursday night.
The Panthers held off a focused Indians team in the first and third games and comfortably won the second for a home sweep (25-21, 25-9, 26-24) in Chesapeake Division volleyball.
It appeared that Perryville would win the first game easily as it started with a 10-2 lead before extending it to 18-8 midway through the frame, but North East battled back to within two at 23-21 thanks to a 13-5 surge. The Panthers settled down and scored the final two points to win the set 25-21.
After making adjustments to its lineup between the first and second games, Perryville took the lead early and never looked back en route to a 25-9 win. One reason for its strong play was the serving of Erin Murphy, who recorded four aces in a 9-0 frameclosing run.
“We made a couple of substitutions with our outside hitters. In the first set, we made a lot of hitting errors, so we made a couple of adjustments with some substitutions,” Panthers head coach Matt Borelli said. “The biggest thing was Erin Murphy’s serving. She went on a really long serving run. She’s been doing that all season. It was really on point, and that’s what helped us get such a big lead in the second set.”
Murphy credited her teammates.
“I felt good. I love serving. I think I did pretty well,” said Mur-
phy, who had 19 service points and six digs. “I think my team did great getting the balls back over. They didn’t mess up at all, and that helped me serve more.”
The third game was tight throughout as there were eight ties and five lead changes with the final lead change occurring when Perryville went on a 5-1 run to turn an 18-17 deficit to a 22-19 lead.
North East pulled within a point on three occasions down the stretch, including as late as 2524, but Gabby Goodnow notched the final kill of the match to give the Panthers a 26-24 victory in the third to complete the sweep.
“It was back and forth. We made a lot of serving errors, setting and passing errors. What I told the girls is that we didn’t play our best game tonight, but a positive to take out of this is we were able to get the win even though we weren’t our best,” Borelli said. “That’s a positive to take out of this. We just hung in there.”
Indians head coach Rich Bowers liked the way his team played in the first and third games, and he hopes that they can learn from that.
“We communicated and played smart in the first and third games, and if the kids can take what they did in those two games and realize that we communicated and played smart, they make the mistakes instead of us making them,” Bowers said.
The Panthers got 24 assists from Rose Porch, eight kills, seven digs and five blocks from Gabby Goodnow and seven kills and four blocks from Teri Wennersten.
Morgan Mock led North East with seven digs, three kills and two aces, Loren Deaver had six digs, Anna Gamble recorded four kills and a block, Madison Stitely had four kills and Deidra Taylor added four aces.