Northside rolls past rival Southside for 5th-straight win

Published 10:22 pm Thursday, September 14, 2017

CHOCOWINITY — Southside defended its home court well in the early goings of its first meeting with Northside. The Lady Seahawks notched a 25-19 win in the first set, but couldn’t slow the streaking Lady Panthers as they won their fifth-straight match, 3-1.

PHOTOS: Northside at Southside volleyball

Northside opened the season with a 3-1 loss at 1-A Coastal Plains Conference foe Riverside. Since then, it has swept its series with Washington and barreled past league opponents in Tarboro and South Creek.

“We came out playing hard. Sometimes I’ve got to coaching style,” Northside coach Michelle Leathers said. She also coaches the Lady Panthers’ basketball team. “A lot of these girls know me coaching basketball. They had to dig it out.

“… We played really, really hard (against Washington on Wednesday). They came out for us in the first set. I knew we’d dig down deep and have the pride.”

After dropping its first and only set of the match, Northside stormed out of the gate thanks to Brooklyn Hudnell’s serving early in the second set. She notched three-straight aces to help the Lady Panthers find their groove early. Consecutive kills by Maggie Craig and an ace by Hannah Paramore leveled the set at five apiece.

Hannah Paramore gets a dig. She and the Lady Seahawks spent a lot of Thursday’s match on the defensive.

Grace Armstrong asserted herself with a couple of kills. A few Southside errors and a trio of aces by Logan Jefferson created a 15-1 run for the Lady Panthers as they evened the match with a 25-7 win.

“We went out of the gate talking. Talking and moving their feet,” Southside coach Atyana Starkie said. “We got to the next game and we got excited. It was like, ‘I messed up. I messed up again.’ I said, ‘Shake it off and play volleyball.’”

Hudnell took over at the beginning of the third set, too. Southside had the serve to start, but her tip at the net gave Northside the first point. She had five aces as the visitors went on to jump out to an 11-0 lead. Southside tried to chip away, but five serving errors kept giving the ball back to Northside.

The Lady Panthers claimed that set, 25-8, to take a 2-1 lead. Southside quickly went from having the edge to being backed against the wall.

The home side held its own in the fourth set. Southside tied it three times early on before another serving error gave the Lady Panthers a lead they’d never lose. The Lady Seahawks got as close as 13-12 before Emori Smith’s serving helped fuel a 7-1 surge. Armstrong’s presence in front of the net featured strength in her hitting and blocking, and finesse with well-placed tips as Northside closed the match out with a 25-15 win.

Northside hopes to stay hot at Jones Senior on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Southside hopes to get back in the win column at Bear Grass on Monday.