Panthers fall short

Published 9:52 pm Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Northside’s Alexandra Cutler (8) tips the ball against Camden during the Panthers 3-1 loss to the Bruins Tuesday at Northside High School. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

YEATESVILLE — It was an up and down night for Northside as it showed flashes of great play but could not sustain it in its 25-16, 23-25, 25-20, 25-17 loss to Four Rivers Conference rival Camden on Tuesday.

When hot, the Panthers were every bit as good as the Bruins (13-4, 8-2), who entered the game in second place in the conference. However, Camden played more consistent, which allowed the Bruins to be victorious on Tuesday.

“It was a hard game to evaluate,” Northside coach Amanda McGaha said. “We didn’t play the worst we ever played, but we didn’t play the best either.”

After losing Game 1, the Panthers quickly fell behind to the Bruins in the second game but refused to give up. Camden jumped out to an 11-2 lead, but that advantage was not enough as Northside caught fire and ripped off a 17-7 run.

Strong serving by Jordan Cooke and Jordan Woolard, along with good team defense, allowed the Panthers to chip away at the lead.

Woolard smashed two aces to cut the deficit to 14-12, and the Panthers moved ahead 19-18 when a Bruins’ kill attempt sailed out of bounds. Northside’s momentum continued as it went on to win the game 25-23.

“They’re hard working kids,” McGaha said. “They want to win, it’s just sometimes their play isn’t fluid.”

Both teams featured players with good height and athleticism and McGaha said when the team was on a roll it was because it was shutting down the Bruins’ attack.

“Good defense got us back in that game,” McGaha said. “In the second game we just had good defense and that wins volleyball games.”

Helping supply that good defense at the net were Rachell Hollowell, Alexandra Cutler, Caroline Slade and Woolard. Helping supply big digs and good back row defense were Britney Alligood, Citaly Lopez, Danielle Oliver and Cooke.

In the third game, the Panthers fell behind early once again as Camden took a 9-4 lead. Northside responded with another rally, this time piecing together a 10-5 stretch that would knot the game at 14. However, this time around the Panthers could not complete the comeback and fell 25-20.

In the fourth game, the Panthers trailed early and there would be no magical comeback as Camden sealed the victory with a 25-17 win.

Sluggish starts plagued Northside all night long. McGaha said she tried different rotations in an attempt to get better starts but nothing worked on Tuesday.

“It helped in the second game,” McGaha said. “But, not in the third and the fourth.”