Mariners sink PanthersPublished 8:20pm Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Northside may have lost the battle, but the Panthers still have the rest of the war to fight.
On Wednesday, co-Coastal Plains Conference champions Northside and East Carteret met up at a neutral site to duke it out for the conference’s No. 1 seed in the postseason and the Panthers came up short, losing in three sets.
The Mariners, who topped Southside on Tuesday to clinch a their share of the conference crown, continued to play red-hot volleyball as they won their 10th straight game to garner the No. 1 spot.
On Wednesday, the Panthers got off to a slow start and never recovered.
“We started off flat and we got in a hole. The girls fought back hard a couple of times but we just seemed to get too far down in each set to pull it out,” Northside coach Barry Boyd said. “The girls played hard, but East Carteret played harder. They deserved to win.”
While the Panthers played with intensity, they simply could not sustain momentum.
“The biggest difference in tonight’s game was that we just could not get our offense going,” Boyd said. “We were not getting good passes from the back row to our hitters and when we did East Carteret did a terrific job of blocking at the net. That really was the key.”
With the loss, the Panthers will take the conference’s No. 2 seed and are in line to start off the playoffs at home this Saturday.
Boyd is hoping that playing back in Pinetown will rejuvenate his club.
“I think the girls right now, after two losses on the road need a game at home,” Boyd said. “I think that will be big for us.”
Northside has a couple of days to get back on track and Boyd said he will use that time to practice the fundamentals.
“We’re going to work on the basics,” Boyd said. “We’re going to work on our passing, setting and hitting because that’s slipped a little bit in the last week or so. We want to get that back up to speed and work on getting the ball to our strong offensive players. I also think we can do a little bit better of a job blocking at the net, so we will be working on that.”