High Five: Panthers senior primed for playoffs

Published 5:07 pm Thursday, October 6, 2022

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As the volleyball regular season enters the home stretch, Northside is in position to capture the Coastal Plains Conference title for the second straight year. The Panthers lead the league with a 7-0 record and are 15-3 overall and senior co-captain Hannah Baker has played a major role.

  1. Your team lost two outstanding players, Paige Sawyer and Shyanne Buck, from last year’s team and yet you are looking at another conference championship. What factors have contributed to your continued success?

Hannah: I am one of six seniors this year and we feel like it’s our responsibility to make sure we have another good season. Anna Douglas has done a really good job replacing Paige (Sawyer) at setter and Paige Smith has done well up front.

  1. In what areas has the team improved the most over the course of this season?

Hannah: We’ve been blocking better lately and we are covering the court better. Our communication has improved with regard to whose ball it is and everyone is doing better staying where they are supposed to be instead of chasing the ball. I think our success started during summer workouts. Most of us we here three days a week doing drills to improve our weaknesses. My hitting is better and I can cover better because of that.

  1. You played other sports growing up. Why have you stuck with volleyball?

Hannah: I’m from Pinetown and starting playing volleyball in the Bath rec league when I was nine or 10. My mom has always encouraged me to play sports, so she signed me up. I played softball my first two years at Northside, but decided to concentrate on volleyball last year. It’s a faster, more active sport. It’s very upbeat and it’s fun to be part of a team where everyone does their part to win.

  1.  What will it take to make another deep playoff run after making it to the third round last year?

Hannah: Pamlico County is always the team to beat in our conference and we’ve beaten them at home already. We play them in their gym next week and we know what’s at stake. A win will give us a better seed and more home games. We just need to keep working in practice and keep our same upbeat attitude on the floor.

  1. What are your plans after graduation?

Hannah: I’m looking at going to Martin Community College for their veterinarian program, then transferring to North Carolina St. I’ve always loved animals and have a horse, (Copper), a donkey (Jasper) and a goat (Tater) as pets.