Seahawks edge Panthers

Published 9:25 pm Thursday, September 22, 2011

CHOCOWINITY — A hot start by Southside in the fifth and final match against area and Four Rivers Conference rival Northside allowed the Seahawks to hold on for a 21-25, 25-13, 25-19, 20-25, 15-9 victory on Thursday.
The Seahawks (6-13, 2-3) haven’t always come out of the gate swinging in fifth sets this year, but the team put forth a quality effort early in the final game as Marlin Edwards served Southside to a 7-3 lead.
“Usually in the fifth game we don’t’ come out on top, we don’t start out strong,” Southside coach Elizabeth Pruden said. “I stressed the importance of coming out of the gates strong. We got to serve, and we got the side (of the court) we like, so everything was set for us.”
Northside (2-4, 2-3) did a nice job recovering as rallied back to cut the Seahawks’ lead to 9-8, but the Panthers would not get any closer as they were out-scored 6-1 down the stretch.
“We got up, but they caught up to us,” Pruden said. “I got a little nervous but I told them to keep fighting and they did, they fought through it.”
The Panthers struck behind its tall, talented and athletic frontcourt of Rachel Hollowell, Jordan Woolard, Alexandra Cutler and Carolina Slade, but Northside’s attack stalled when it failed to set up its big hitters.
“We passed good in the first game and the fourth game,” Northside coach Mandi McGaha said. “But, in the games we lost we had some terrible passing.”
The scrappy and undersized Seahawks got a tremendous effort from Kjadia Morning and Valerie Ruffin up front, while Macy Paramore, Corey Watford, Sondra Sparks and Katie Laughhinghouse all made plays when they needed to.
In the end, it was that group effort by the Seahawks that allowed them to win.
“We don’t have height, but knowing were you’re going, being athletic and being scrappy and trusting your teammates is how we got through it,” Pruden said.
Aside from their net players, the Panthers got good play from Jordan Cooke, Danielle Oliver and Britney Alligood in the loss.
After the game McGaha said her team needs to continue to develop a winning mentality.
“When we won we had good momentum and when we lost we didn’t,” McGaha said. “I want to say some of that is an attitude thing, a confidence thing. I still have a young team, we only have three seniors, so I think it’s a confidence thing.”
The Panthers will look to rebound on Monday at home against Plymouth, while Southside will be back in action on Tuesday against at home against Camden.