Northside rallies to win thriller

Published 10:11 pm Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Northside volleyball team celebrates after winning a five-game thriller over Southside in both team’s regular season finale on Tuesday at Southside High School. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

CHOCOWINITY — The Northside volleyball team headed into its season finale needing one more win to solidify its playoff standings. The only problem was Southside wasn’t so willing to oblige.
Sitting near the bottom of the Four Rivers Conference standings, the Seahawks desperately needed a win to cling on to any wildcard hopes they had, but spoiling the Panthers’ playoff possibilities would have been a welcome bonus.
In the end, Southside pushed Northside to the limit, but the Panthers were just a little bit more resilient as they held on to win a five-match thriller and punch their ticket to the postseason.
“It means everything,” Northside coach Tami Wagaman said. “We were down but we came back and fought. They had a really good server in (Sondra Sparks) who was killing us and we had to learn how to deal with that and we did. We came back and dug deep and we got it.”
Northside (6-7) was able to pull out a 25-19 victory in the first match, and in the second the Seahawks returned the favor winning by the same score.
Southside (6-14,3-11) put the Panthers on the ropes in the third match as it won 25-22.
Northside refused to roll over in the fourth as Alexandria Cutler came up with some clutch points to pull out a 25-22 victory to set up a winner take all fifth match.
The Panthers also got solid contributions from hitters Jordan Woolard, Caroline Slade and Alex Adams, while Citlaly Lopez, Danielle Oliver Cheyenne Franks came up with some big serves and saves.
In the final game, the two teams tied each other eight times before Northside was able to lockdown an 18-16 victory.
Under first-year coach Rosalyn Grimes Southside has shown flashes of potential, but on Tuesday the team saved its best for last putting on what is arguably its best performance of the season.
“The girls played their hearts’ out to be perfectly honest,” Grimes said. “I told them it doesn’t matter how you start it’s how you finish and they finished hard tonight. They left everything out on the court.”
Barring a wildcard birth, Tuesday’s game was the last one for seniors Samantha Lore, Corey Watford, Macy Paramore, Sondra Sparks, Marlin Edwards, Melvisha Dudley, DeAndria Purdue and Shacora Wiggins and Grimes thanked them for their effort after the game.
“All of my seniors have contributed greatly to our team this year,” Grimes said. “I have some great hitters, Sondra Sparks and Marlin Edwards did a good job setting. Samantha Lore came off the bench at the beginning of the year and became one of my powerhouse hitters and so did Melvisha Dudley. It was a big help to have all those seniors.”