Panthers spike Vikes

Published 9:56 pm Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Plymouth’s Aviyana Smallwood (10) hits the ball during the Vikings 3-0 loss to Northside Tuesday at Northside High School. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

PINETOWN — It’s been an up and down season for the Northside volleyball team but on Tuesday it was mostly up as the Panthers topped Plymouth in three games.
Northside (4-6, 4-4) held momentum and the lead for the better part of three contests as it topped the Vikings 25-15, 25-11, 25-23 in Four Rivers Conference action.
The Panthers played sound at the net as middle hitter Jordan Woolard tallied a game-high 11 kills and outside hitter Alexandria Cutler totaled eight, while Britney Alligood accounted for 24 assists.
“We went out strong and started off strong and that kind of set the pace for the whole night,” Northside coach Tami Wagaman said. “You can’t knock Plymouth, they’re a lot stronger team than they used to be and they’re hitting good and they’re scrappy and my girls had to be just as scrappy tonight. I credit my girls for hustling tonight.”
Plymouth coach Julie Styons said the bottom line was that her team just did not play consistent volleyball.
“In the first two games we just made too many mistakes. There were too many simple errors,” Styons said. “The last game we played more like what we are capable of playing, so I was pleased with the last game.”
The Vikings (3-8, 0-8) kept pace with the Panthers until midway through the first game as Northside turned a 9-7 lead into a 14-7 lead as Danielle Oliver served five straight points, with the last one being an ace as the Panthers would go on to take a 25-15 victory.
“Danielle’s always a consistent server, so when you need someone to get the serve up and over there are two or three girls that I want in that situation and Danielle is one of them,” Wagaman said.
In the second game, the Panthers pounced early as they jumped out to a 10-2 lead. Plymouth, who got strong play from Aviyana Smallwood, Megan Kelly, Lauren Rogerson and Tracy Baker, responded and went on a 5-1 run that cut the deficit to 12-8.
The Vikings would not get any closer as Woolard, Cutler and Caroline Slade routinely whistled spikes across the net and took a 21-10 lead after a Woolard kill.
The Panthers would close out the match on back-to-back Cutler aces as they won 25-11. Cutler would finish the game with team-high seven aces.
Though they trailed by two games, Plymouth played hard until the end and gave a gutsy effort in the third match. The Vikings managed to tie the match four times, with the last one knotting the score at 23 all. However, Northside managed to earn two straight points to take a 25-23 victory and pull off the sweep.