Washington volleyball sweeps aside Northside

Published 7:53 pm Thursday, September 6, 2018

Contrary to the slow starts that have plagued the Washington volleyball team this season, the Pam Pack came out flying against Northside on Wednesday. Through grit and determination, the Panthers came back to tie the opening set, but Washington managed to hold on, eventually winning all three sets, 26-24, 25-20, 25-20.

“I think (my players) came out really strong. I think they came out more ready to play. We had a really tough loss yesterday, and they had to win this. They really didn’t have another choice. Yesterday was really tough. Simply put, they played really bad. So, they knew that they had to perform today. They had a lot to prove to themselves, to me, to the fans,” Washington head coach Mallory Lee said. “I was really proud of them for coming out with a lot of energy. Because we generally start our games slow, so that was one thing I didn’t want to happen, because I know that they (the Panthers) are a really vivacious team and they can get in our players heads. So, I’m happy that they started out strong.”

The Pam Pack stormed out and took a 16-6 lead in the opening set on Wednesday. Like for much of the game, Washington’s Summer Campbell, Leah Spencer and Emme Davis were potent at the net, coming up with big spikes and hitting effectively.

“Summer was probably our most successful hitter tonight. Leah did good as well, but she’s still struggling with being a little inconsistent,” Lee said.

FULL SERVICE: Northside’s Katie Godley prepares to serve during Wednesday’s matchup with Washington. (Sean Finnerty | Daily News)

But as the Pam Pack looked set to win the first set easily, Northside’s Kathleen Slade had other ideas. Trailing 21-14, Slade stepped to the service line and started a rally that culminated with a Logan Jefferson spike that tied the set at 21-21. Unfortunately for the Panthers, the rally proved to be all for naught, as Washington took the opening set, 26-24.

The second and third sets actually saw Northside take the lead at certain points, thanks to the Panthers’ willingness to throw their bodies to the floor to reach a ball.

“We hustle a lot and they’re going to give up their body (to reach a ball). That’s the kind of coach I am, and that’s the kind of people they are, about hustle and stuff like that,” Northside coach Michelle Leathers said.

But Washington eventually pulled away each set, as the Pam Pack kept hammering away with spikes, and the Panthers couldn’t return.

Leathers said there are still things her team needs to work on as the season progresses, and felt her team was flat on the night.

“I think we played kind of sluggish, we were kind of slow getting to some of our coverages on the court,” Leathers said. “We couldn’t move, we waited too late to start playing.”