Tigers wrap up another title

Published 3:26 am Wednesday, October 8, 2008

By By STEVE FRANKLIN, Sports Writer
WILLIAMSTON — It was a Tuesday night to remember in Williamston.
On a night when Williamston honored departing seniors Jessica Clemmons, Kirsten Taylor and Emily Tadlock in their final home match, the Tigers also sewed up their fourth straight Atlantic Conference regular season championship.
Junior Katie Paschal recorded 20 kills, Clemmons had 13 service points and nine kills and Erin Bowen added 10 service points and eight kills as Williamston nipped Southside in five sets, 25-17, 24-26, 26-24, 20-25, 15-6.
Williamston took control of game one midway through the opening set. After Southside went ahead 16-14 on a kill by Kristen Ayers, the Tigers rattled off six of the next seven points, as Paschal came up with three kills and Bowen had four servce points to give Williamston a 20-17 lead. The Tigers closed out the first set on four consecutive service points by Heather Jackson to win the first game, 25-19.
In game two, Williamston looked to take a two game lead as they led 24-21 late in the set. But Southside went on a 5-0 run behind four service points from Ayers and two kills and a block by Daneilya Whitney to steal game No. 2, 26-24.
In the third game, the Seahawks took control early, racing out to a 7-2 advantage. But the Tigers came battling back midway through the match behind five straight service points from Taylor to cut the Southside lead to 11-10. A couple minutes later, Williamston went ahead 15-13 on two service points by Bowen and a pair of kills by Paschal.
It’s a lead they managed to hand on to thanks to four service points and three kills from Clemmons in the closing points to seal a 26-24 third set victory.
In game four, the Seahawks took control midway through the match as Courtney Avery rattled off five service points in a row to give the Seahawks a 14-11 lead. ayers added two more service points in her next serve to stretch the lead to 17-12. The Tigers could claw no closer as Southside’s Mandi Harding and Whitley each recorded a pair of kill down the stretch to help the Seahawks force a fifth-set tiebreaker with a 25-20 win in game No. 4.
In the fifth set, it was all Tigers.
Williamston raced out to an 8-2 lead behind five service points and two kills from Clemmons and never turned back as it romped Southside 15-6 in the final set to clinch the 2008 Atlantic Conference regular season title.
Despite the tough loss, Southside coach Elizabeth Pruden was proud of her girls.
Whitney led Southside with 15 kills and three blocks, while Harding had eight kills. The Seahawks also got nine service points from Becky Poole and eight service points from Caitlin Bogart.
Taylor had eight service points and three aces in her final home match, while Tadlock had one kill for the Tigers.
Williamston finishes the regular season with a 13-5 record (10-3 in conference) and will play next in the Atlantic Conference tournament against Roanoke next Tuesday. Southside (11-8, 6-5 in conference) will try to bounce back tonight against Plymouth, before hosting rival Northside on Thursday evening.