Washington spikers show improvement|Fall short to North Pitt

Published 1:02 pm Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sports Editor

Haley Hiatt did everything she could to lead her Washington Pam Pack volleyball team to victory. The junior served up some bullets, had a few kills and even added a couple nifty blocks at the net.
However, Abby Wynne helped power North Pitt to a four-game win over Washington in Wednesday’s non-conference match. The Panthers (1-1) posted a 23-25, 25-21, 25-13, 25-22 victory over the Pack (0-2).
While Washington lost for the second time this season, second-year coach Tara Hunter was pleased with her team’s effort.
“We definitely had improvement,” Hunter said. “We moved our feet a lot more and we were talking more. We’re trying to get used to the new rotation we’re using, but it was a lot better than Monday.”
A big block by Jasmine Gibbs gave Washington an early 3-1 lead in the first game. North Pitt responded with seven straight points for an 8-3 advantage. The Pack rallied behind some big serving from Robin Lilley and Hiatt.
Lilley rattled off five consecutive points, including a pair of aces, to knot the game at 11-apiece.
North Pitt pulled away again, going up 22-16. However, Hiatt got the hot hand at the serve line. She uncorked seven consecutive points, including four aces, to give the Pack a 24-22 lead. Racheal Toler’s tip capped the game, giving Washington the 25-22 win.
Hiatt, who finished with 17 points, eight kills and four blocks, earned praise from her coach.
“Haley was phenomenal in her serving tonight,” Hunter said. “That’s one of her best serving nights ever. She really proved herself to be a very good, solid, consistent server.”
The momentum of the first-game win carried over into the second as the Pack jumped out to a 5-1 lead. The Panthers answered with an 8-0 burst, going up 9-5. Wynne’s serving helped North Pitt push its lead to 16-9.
Thanks to Hiatt’s serving, Washington pulled within 17-16. However, the Pack couldn’t get any closer as North Pitt evened the match with the 25-21 win.
It was all Wynne and North Pitt in the third game as the Panthers cruised to a 25-13 win.
Washington looked to even things up in the fourth game. A sweet kill by Erika Sullivan and five straight points off the hand of Gibbs gave Washington a 7-4 advantage. North Pitt once again used a big run, taking a 9-7 lead.
Alex Everette notched four straight points for Washington to give the Pack a 16-15 advantage.
Wynne, who also did some damage at the net with 10 kills, helped the Panthers take a 19-16 lead.
A pair of blocks by Hiatt forced a tie at 19-apiece. The teams were also tied at 20 before North Pitt attempted to pull away. Lilley’s kill kept Washington alive at 23-22, but the Panthers tallied the final two points for the victory.
Hunter is hoping the solid play will carry over into Monday’s match at Southside.
“I hope that will give them a lot of confidence,” Hunter said. “Just because you’re down 10 points early in the game doesn’t mean it’s over. We came back several times.”
Washington’s junior varsity team (0-2) fell in two games, as North Pitt posted a 25-21, 25-22 win.