Pack holds off South CentralPublished 9:36pm Monday, September 16, 2013
In the past it would have been a sure loss. However, the reinvigorated Pam Pack volleyball team survived a mid-match collapse against former Coastal Conference rival South Central and pulled out a thrilling 3-2 victory over the Falcons on Monday.
After winning the first two sets, 25-19, 25-22, Washington went south, falling 25-12, 25-17, forcing a fifth and final set.
With momentum clearly on the side of South Central (6-3), Washington (4-6) wrestled it away with a fast start on offense and used some key blocks late in the match to grind out a 15-12 victory and its third straight win.
“I think it’s always a good win when it’s against a program as good as South Central’s,” said Washington’s third-year coach Kelly Slade, who has helped foster the team’s new winning culture. “We started off great. The first two games we played great. We played excellent the last game. In the middle it was a little rough. That’s something we can work on. I’m just proud that the girls closed it out.”
After missing the past few games due to illness, middle hitter Adrian Tyson returned to action on Monday and her presence was vital as she racked up 14 kills and one block.
Washington pulled ahead 8-1 in the final set, but the Falcons dug deep and pulled out an 11-3 run that put them ahead 12-11. The Pack answered with a Tyson kill to tie it, a block to take the lead, and another Tyson kill to go up 14-12 before SC hit the ball out of bounds to end the match.
“Adriana Tyson certainly had a great impact,” Slade said. “She really just turned it on in the last game and played like she wanted to win.”
Washington got a team-high 15 kills and 12 blocks from Megan Corey, while Allison Brantley dished out 10 assists. Ann Hunt Tanner also tallied several key assists, while Caylee Jackson delivered some big serves in the win.
South Central was led by a 13-kill effort from Marissa Starkey and a 25-assist performance by Emma Hutson.
The duo fueled the Falcons runs in the third and fourth games where they outscored Washington 50-29.
However, with the game on the line, Washington was able to regroup at the start of the tiebreaker and avoid the collapse.
“Our whole team is a group of fighters,” Slade said. “We have a winning attitude and we go out and try to win every game. Even though we let it slip in the middle, our fighting spirit came out in the end.”
The Pam Pack will be back in action today when it hosts Eastern Plains rival Beddingfield.