Northside picks up second win over Washington, sweeps series

Published 11:10 pm Wednesday, September 13, 2017

PINETOWN — Northside went into Wednesday’s clash with Washington confident and looking for retribution. The Lady Panthers had won on the Lady Pack’s court a week prior. That was the source of their confidence. They were driven further by wanting to defend their court after Washington’s football team escaped Pinetown with a victory this past Friday.

PHOTOS: Washington at Northside volleyball

The Lady Panthers rode the wave to complete the season sweep in a 3-0 sweep of Washington. All three sets were as competitive as could be, but the Lady Pack couldn’t deliver in high-pressure scenarios.

Summer Campbell carried Washington as it faced a sweep in the third set. Northside led, 24-21, before a kill and ace from the Lady Pack junior made for a 24-24 tie in the third set. However, Washington had three serving errors late, giving the ball back to Northside each time a win was within reach.

“I don’t know if it was jitters or being exhausted … There was no excuse. The girls who served have fantastic serves,” Washington coach Kendall Hihn said. “It had to have been pressure.”

Grace Armstrong’s serving ace broke a 13-13 tie midway through the opening set. It sparked more than that as Northside went on take a 20-13 lead on a run punctuated by a kill from Savannah Slade.

Washington, as it would the entire match, showed it would go down without a fight. A handful of hitting errors by Northside coupled with stellar work in front of the net by Emme Davis let Washington close the gap. It pulled within one, 22-21, before Emori Smith and Armstrong closed out the set, 25-21.

“I will say this about Northside: they came out wanting this game. They came out thinking, ‘We want to win this, no questions asked,’” Hihn said. “After the last game going to five games and the football game Friday, I told them (Northside) is going to be out for blood.”

Washington and Northside matched each other blow for blow to start the second set. The home side slowly pulled away, though, building a lead as large as 17-12 at the halfway point. Again, though, the Lady Pack wouldn’t go away. A kill and consecutive aces by Campbell cut the visitors’ deficit to 19-18. Elisa Wilkins’ back-to-back aces gave them their first lead since early in the set.

Davis’ kill on a hard-fought point made it 24-21, putting Washington within a point of evening the match at 1-1. Smith came up with a trio of kills, though, as Northside stormed back to win it, 26-24.

The Lady Pack stormed out of the gate in the third set. Davis, only a sophomore, continued to help carry her side as she had two aces and key defensive work to drive an 8-2 lead.

Mackenzie Seiler keeps the point going with a dig.

Northside came right back. It’s stout work up front helped close the gap to 8-6, and the Lady Panthers eventually tied it at 10 apiece thanks to miscommunication on the other end of the court. Washington would push back, extending its lead to as much as four points at the midway point.

Jessica Foster’s serving was complemented by top-notch hitting all around fuelled a 5-0 run that gave the Lady Panthers a 21-18 lead. Washington would tie the set four times down the stretch, but serving errors let Northside close out the sweep.

Northside took on Beaufort County and 1-A Coastal Plains Conference rival Southside on Thursday. Visit for coverage, including video highlights and photos from the match.