Panthers rally past PamlicoPublished 9:58pm Tuesday, September 3, 2013
PINETOWN — One week after dropping a five-set match to Columbia, Northside proved it has what it takes to leg out a long victory as it pulled out a five-set win over Coastal Plains Conference rival Pamlico on Tuesday.
The Panthers (2-2, 2-0) took the first set 25-20, but dropped the next two, 25-16, 25-23. With the game on the line, Northside was able to bounce back to earn a 25-16 victory in the third set, then overcame a 7-3 deficit in the tiebreaker to win 15-12.
“It was extremely good to win this game because last week we played Columbia in a very similar game where we went into a tiebreaker and they just could not pull it out,” Northside’s first-year coach Barry Boyd said. “You could see that was very demoralizing, so we needed this bad.
“Tonight they got to see that when they do play with focus and that kind of intensity they can win.”
The intensity was evident from both teams as Pamlico (2-4, 0-1) was led by a strong frontcourt that was guided by Kelsey Guimbal and Laichelle Sparrow. The Panthers answered with the combo of hard hitters Alex Cutler and Alex Adams, but in the end it was a little bit of luck and some strong serving by Brianna Swain that proved to be the difference.
Down 12-8, two Panthers players collided in an attempt to play a hard hit ball from Pamlico and both seamed to get a piece of it as it ricocheted towards Adams. Showing quick reflexes, Adams managed to get it just in time as the ball went up and trickled over the net to pick up the point.
“It was just one of those things you can’t teach,” Boyd said. “Something like that just happens and it can establish the momentum you need to push through to the end. Right after that play we had Brianna Swain serving and she was dead on. It’s amazing how a play like that can build up momentum.”
From that point on the Panthers outscored the Hurricanes 6-0 highlighted by back-to-back aces from Swain to win 15-12.
The Panthers will be back in action today when the face Columbia in a rematch of last week’s game.