Seahawks squeak by Hurricanes, Tigers tame Pack

Published 5:27 pm Tuesday, August 19, 2008

By By STEVE FRANKLIN, Sports Writer
CHOCOWINITY — Southside coach Elizabeth Pruden felt like a proud mother after watching her Seahawks battle past Pamlico County with a 24-26, 26-24, 28-26, 21-25, 15-11 win in the season opener for both teams Monday night.
The Seahawks blew leads of seven points or more in both the first and fourth games, but rebounded with an impressive performance in the decisive fifth game to defeat the Hurricanes.
Led by seniors Mandi Harding and Daneilya Whitney, Southside scored five straight points to break open a 9-9 tie in the fifth game. During that stretch Harding delivered five straight service points, including two aces, while Whitney came away with a pair of kills.
Monday’s contest was a back-and-forth affair all night.
In game one, the Seahawks jumped out to a 16-10 lead, only to fall apart and drop the first game 26-24.
In the second game, Southside appeared headed for another loss as Pamlico County jumped out to a 24-20 lead on the heels of back-to-back kills by Kaylah Blount.
But the Seahawks rallied for six straight points as Harding and Whitney each came up with a pair of kills and Becky Poole delivered five straight service points to give the Southside a 26-24 win.
Southside also had to rally back in game three. Trailing 16-12, the Seahawks rode the coat tails of Kristin Ayers serves and Whitney’s kills, as they rallied for eight straight points. Ayers came up with seven consecutive points and Whitney came up with four kills in a row to help Southside build a 20-16 lead. Pamlico County rallied to tie the contest at 24-24, but Harding once again came through for the Seahawks with a kill and two straight service points to lead the ‘Hawks past the ‘Canes 28-26.
Southside appeared to be headed for a victory in game four as they opened up a 16-8 lead. But the ‘Canes kept fighting back as Leigh Ward came up with seven consecutive service points to cut the lead to 16-15. Eventually, Pamlico County would pull past Southside, and close out the game with a 25-21 win.
But the Seahawks were too much in game five as they stayed focus to pick up their first win of the 2008 season.
Whitney led the Seahawks with 18 kills and six aces, while Harding added 11 kills and a team-high seven aces. Dorothy Jones finished with 18 assists to lead Southside and Courthey Avery chipped in with 11 assists.
The Seahawks will return to the court Thursday night when they travel to Vanceboro to take on West Craven.
Tigers spoil Hunters’ debut with Pam Pack
BY BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
WILLIAMSTON — Williamston’s Heather Jackson and the rest of the Tigers spoiled Tara Hunter’s debut as Pam Pack head volleyball coach on Monday as the Tigers swept Washington 25-8, 25-11, 25-12.
Jackson had a solid overall game, but it was her hot serving that cooked the Pam Pack on Monday, and led the Tigers to an opening day win.
Jackson had a handful of aces in the first game, but really came on strong in the second match, and at one point drilled nine straight to take the pivotal middle game.
Hunter, who as of Monday has watched her team play more games than practices, said she spent most of the time on the bench evaluating her team’s talent, and liked what she saw.
“We have only had a week (together), and that week was tryouts. We haven’t even had a practice together as a team. Based on what I saw today I was pretty pleased, and I think we have a lot of potential.”
The Pam Pack hung with the reigning Atlantic Conference champions through the beginning of the first game, but strong Williamston serving and solid net play proved to be the difference.
After Washington scored to cut the Tigers’ lead to 12-7, Williamston went on a 13-1 run to close out the game.
Jessica Clemmons cemented the game for the Tigers as her four straight aces, and five straight service points sealed the deal.
The second game started with Jackson nailing three straight aces, and foreshadowed what was to come later in the match.
The Tigers jumped out to an early 10-3 lead, before the Pack’s Destiny Tyson two straight aces and four straight service points gave Washington a little momentum as it was down 10-8.
With the score 15-10, Jackson crushed the Pam Pack’s hopes of picking up a win as she dealt nine straight aces, leading her team on a 10-1 to win the game 25-11.
Williamston coach Herbie Rogers said he was happy with the way his team opened up the season, and was pleased that the Tigers’ elevated their play as the match went on.
The Williamston coach said he liked what he saw from the veteran Jackson.
The Tigers also got a nice game from middle hitter Katie Paschal, who was a backup last season, but looked comfortable in the starting role on Monday.
Willamston’s strong play carried over into the third game, as the Tigers were able to complete the sweep with a 25-12 win. Emily Tadlock chipped in four aces, while Clemmons added a few of her own.
The Pam Pack struggled all day with its return game, but Hunter said she expects her team to right the ship as the week goes on.
Both teams will be back in action today as the Pack will travel to Northside, while the Tigers will host North Pitt.