Panthers hold off Redskins|Hollowell comes up big for Northside
Published 7:37 pm Wednesday, September 23, 2009
By By KEVIN TRAVIS
YEATESVILLE When Rocket Rachel is on, the Northside Panthers are a dangerous team.
Rocket Rachel Hollowell was certainly on Tuesday. The sophomore pounded 13 kills and had two blocks in leading the Panthers (6-5, 3-3) to a four-game win 25-22, 23-25, 25-14, 25-20 over a pesky Roanoke squad in Tuesdays Four Rivers Conference volleyball clash.
Hollowell really came alive in the fourth game, especially after a replay was called with the teams deadlocked at 14-apiece.
The sophomore had a thunderous slam that gave Northside a 15-14 lead, and the Panthers wouldnt relinquish it.
We just tried to get it back, Hollowell said. We just wanted to work as hard as we could.
Hollowell followed that with a nifty tip that gave Northside a 16-14 edge. Whitney Lewis, who had nine kills, rattled off four points during a key run that gave her Panthers a 19-14 lead.
Hollowell had a couple of service points a short time later for a 23-18 lead, and Jordans Cooke serve capped the match.
Hollowell played a pivotal role in the win as she proved to be a dominating presence at the net.
I think Ive improved a lot (since the beginning the season), Hollowell said.
Her coach agrees.
Rachel has come alive this year, Northside coach Tami Wagaman said. She hits it out a lot, but shes still only a sophomore. Shes learning, and when she gets on top of it, shes a good hitter. Shes also a lot more vocal this year.
Roanoke actually kept Northside quiet early, using a 9-2 run to take a 13-9 lead in the first game. Freshman Jordan Woolard, who tallied seven kills, had three spikes and Cooke rattled off six straight service points to give Northside a 17-14 lead. Roanoke pulled within 24-22, but Hollowells bash gave the Panthers the win.
Hollowell played strong again in the second game, but Roanoke was able to take a 25-23 win. A late 6-1 spurt gave the Redskins the momentum at the end of the game.
Her teams play against the Redskins didnt sit well with Wagaman.
Its like this every game, Wagaman said. I feel like a broken record. I tell (my players) to quit playing down to others and play their game. They dont; they dont play their game and they dont show people how good they really are.
Thats frustrating as a coach, to know how good they can be, but they play down.
Savanna Boyd got hot from the serve line, while Lewis and Hollowell had clutch smashes early in the third game, giving the Panthers an 11-3 cushion. After two more Hollowell kills, Sara Credle served the final three points for a 25-14 win, and a 2-1 lead in the match.
The teams played evenly early in the fourth game, until Hollowell took over at the net.
The Panthers play at Southside on Thursday.