Seahawks spike Panthers on Senior Night

Published 3:47 am Friday, October 10, 2008

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
CHOCOWINITY — Southside and Northside clashed in a playoff preview between the Atlantic Conference’s second- and third-seeded teams on Thursday. And on the last day of the regular season, the only question left was who would have the No. 2 associated with their names.
No homecourt advantage could be won or lost Tuesday, as Northside has already been named the designated site for next week’s playoffs, but the two teams battle as if the postseason had started already.
With bragging rights on the line, as well as second place in the conference, the Seahawks won in four sets, earning a well-played 21-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-21 victory over the Panthers.
Though the game had no real playoff implications, Southside coach Elizabeth Pruden said the intensity was still high.
The win was especially sweet for Seahawks’ seniors Mandi Harding, Daneilya Whitney and Dot Jones, as it came on their last game played at Southside High School.
Both teams came out and played exceptional volleyball, with players on both sides making hustle plays throughout the night.
The Panthers (8-10) struck first with a 25-21 win, but Southside (9-9) was able to take the next three matches with an effort that Pruden said was the best of the year.
Each point was precious for both teams the whole night, as neither team held a lead bigger than five up until the fourth game when Southside held a 10-point advantage.
The one point Panthers’ fans will dwell on came in the second game, when they were trailing 24-23 and hit a ball down the left sideline that was initially ruled a point in the Panthers’ favor, but was overturned by the official who decided to do the point over.
Northside lost that match 25-23, and never won another the rest of the night.
The Seahawks ran into some tough stretches too, but thanks to several big time hustle plays by Danyelle Jedlicka, Kristen Ayers, Caitlin Bogart and Courtney Avery, Southside was able to cling on to its lead.
Northside got some clutch performances as well, as Kayla Cerny, Cameron Waters, Jamie Respess, Whitney Lewis and Amanda Beirne routinely made big plays.
In the end, it was the Seahawks’ three seniors that might have made the biggest difference in the game, as Harding and Whitney played strong at the net, while Jones dished out several assists.