Cougars cage Panthers

Published 10:43 pm Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Northside’s Jordan Woolard (4) hits the ball as South Creek’s Taryn Sutton (center, near) defends during the Cougars’ 3-1 victory over the Panthers Wednesday at South Creek High School. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

ROBERSONVILLE — South Creek stormed out to a two game lead against  Northside and then survived a late rally by the Panthers to earn 3-1 victory Wednesday in Four Rivers Conference action.
The Cougars (9-3, 3-3) capitalized on strong serving throughout the game and some timely net play as they pushed past the Panthers 25-22, 25-20, 21-25, 25-21.
“We got off to a good start. We played really good the first two games. We got some confidence going and I really thought we played well early,” South Creek coach David Eubanks said. “The third game Northside got us. We just got inconsistent and got outplayed. But, we were able to keep ourselves composed even though we got down in the fourth were able to play consistent enough to win the match.”
Consistency was the key on Wednesday, and while the Cougars found it at the right times, the same could not be said for the Panthers.
“We’re just up and down,” Northside coach Tami Wagaman said. “We play five points like we’re the No. 1 team and then we play five points like we’re not. We can’t find that consistency and that’s what’s hurting us.”
South Creek fell behind 11-7 early in the first game until Lauren Sitterson took the ball and served the Cougars on a 14-3 run that the Panthers (2-6, 2-4) never recovered from.
Sitterson led the Cougars with 15 services points and dished out a game-high eight aces, while Victoria Van Nortwick and Tayla Purvis each recorded 10 points.
“They had really good serves and we just didn’t have an answer for that at times,” Wagaman said. “Our serve-receive was just not very good today.”
The Panthers put forth a fierce attack up from as middle hitter Jordan Woolard racked up 21 kills, which was aided by a 31-assist effort by Britney Alligood.
In the second game, Northside fell behind 18-10 after a Van Nortwick ace, but rallied to cut the deficit to 22-18 after a Citlaly Lopez ace. However, the Cougars clamped down to pull out a 25-20 win.
South Creek would not be as fortunate in the third game as it let a 20-18 lead slip away and was outscored 7-1 down the stretch.
Alexandria Cutler nailed back-to-back aces to put the Panthers up 21-20 and a few Woolard kills helped complete the comeback.
“When we’re playing well you see kill after kill and us having good passes and setting it up and getting good plays,” Wagaman said. “We just need to find that consistency more often.”
Northside battled neck-and-neck with the Cougars in the fourth and final game as the two teams were deadlocked at 14 midway through the match and then found themselves tied at 20 moments later. However, the Panthers could not find the late magic that allowed them to win the third game as South Creek ripped off a 5-1 run to seal the deal.
Both teams will be back in action at home today as the Cougars will clash with Riverside and the Panthers will take on Southside.