After Lakeside’s defense denied Greenbrier standout hitter DeJhana Cotton three times, Lady Panthers’ setter Breanna Dixon put an end to the marquee matchup between two of the area’s top volleyball teams.
With bodies flying all over the court and seemingly every point won a hard-fought one, Dixon’s lone kill in the best-of-three match gave the Lady Panthers victory by the slimmest of margins, downing the Lady Wolfpack, 25-27, 25-15, 26-24 on Thursday.
The victory evened the season series at two wins apiece and temporarily created a three-way tie for the top seed in Area 2-AAAAA between the Lady Panthers, Lady Wolfpack and Houston County with the area tournament just a week away.
Ending the tri-match, the Lady Wolfpack (22-14, 5-1 area) defeated Evans’ Lady Knights 2-0 as did the Lady Panthers (27-8, 5-1).
“That was a great match, the way we went at each other,” Lady Panthers’ head coach Maureen McCormack said. “Both teams are young mixed in with a little bit of experience, both teams have improved as the season’s gone on, so hopefully next weekend it makes things pretty exciting.”
From the outset it didn’t look like the anticipated matchup would happen as the Lady Panthers jumped out to a 14-5 lead.
The Lady Wolfpack came back, however. They tied the game at 16, fell behind 21-16 then rallied once more for the 27-25 win.
The Lady Panthers used a late 9-2 run to win Game 2 as Dixon, who finished the match with eight aces, served out the final
One of Lady Panthers’ Holly Sweeting’s nine kills tied the final game at 18, then the teams traded points until a Greenbrier hitting error and Dixon’s kill ended the match.
“You know we’ve got to clean it up a little,” Lady Wolfpack head coach Debbie Born said of her team’s mistakes.
“If we clean it up you know we’re in the game. Every time it’s going to be like this between us because they’re a good team and we’re a good team.”