Volleyball Panthers roll over Hillsboro in Senior Night
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PANA — The Pana Panthers volleyball team only needed two games to knock off South Central Conference rival Hillsboro on senior night in the Pana High School gym. All six seniors started the contest for Head Coach Greg Cothern. Pana rolled to a 25- 9, 25-14 win.
“They all got in right off the bat tonight and they all did a good job with the way we came out with the line-up,” he said. “They didn’t let the night get to them and it worked out well.
Seniors Kady Perry, Jadyn Bearup, Rachel Holthaus, Jillian Hamilton, Lainey Hicks and Kiley Ladage did indeed get right to work. Hicks got the score rolling for Pana with a kill and then she teamed up with Perry for a block and kill and a block-kill from Hamilton and Perry gave Pana the lead. Pana dominated at the net from the start and when Ladage gotatiptodrop,itmadeit9- 4, Pana and Hillsboro needed a time-out.
The T -O didn’t really stop the bleeding for the Hiltoppers and they burned their second time-out when the score hit 15-6, Pana’s favor.
“I thought we came out with a lot of fire and enthusi- asm and hit the ball really well. We blocked really well. We did a lot of good things,” Cothern said. “That was the mixture that lead to dominat- ing across the net and in the back row and the service line. There was nothing more I could ask than to come out with that level of play.”
With the score 16-7, Pana went on a 5-point run to make it 21-7 before a Panthers unforced error stopped the run.
In game 2, Hillsboro got off to a better start and estab- lished a 2-point lead early on in the contest. Hillsboro was on top 7-5, when Emily Blackwell came to the service line and the Panthers rolled off 3 unanswered point – 2 of them from Hillsboro errors – and took an 8-7 lead. The Toppers were able to tie the game at 8-8, but a kill from Chloe Ashcraft and a block by Hicks put Pana up by 2.
Kills from Hicks and Perry made it a 12-9 game and the Hiltoppers burned their first time-out. Pana continued its hot hitting and reeled off the next 3 points for a 15-9 advantage.
The Panthers were able to push ahead, 21-11 with a kill from Hamilton, a service ace from Hicks and 2 unforced Hillsboro errors. Pana held a 24-13 advantage following a Hamilton kill, then Holthaus secured the win with the final kill of the match for a 25-14 Pana victory.
Hamilton ended up with 10 kills on the night and had 7 digs. Ashcraft finished with 5 kills and Hicks and Ladage each had 4 kills. Ladage got 7 digs. Holthaus dished out a dozen assists and had 9 service points. Blackwell had a half-dozen assists.
For the Panthers it was the first conference win of the season and they improve to 7-3 overall (1-0 SCC).
The junior varsity Panthers won their match by identical scores of 25-22. The fresh- man Panther also won, 21- 11, 23-21.
Next up for Pana is the Shelbyville Invitational Tournament on Saturday where the sledding doesn’t get any easier.
“We always get a tough pool over there,” Cothern said. “We’ve got Marshall, Edwards County and Charleston all in our pool. None of our tournaments we play in are easy and I think that helps us. We’ve just got to come ready to play.”
Matches begins at 8:00 a.m.