The Maxwell Panthers varsity volleyball team seemed to get better with every game in their match against Williams on Tuesday, Sept. 11, avenging a loss to the Yellowjackets earlier in the season and moving their record to 3-4 overall.
Maxwell won the match 3-1, by scores of 23-25, 25-18, 25-13, 25-13, propelled largely by the hitting of sophomore Laynee Haywood. Setter Morgan Dennis continually fed Haywood the ball, and Haywood repeatedly finished plays with kills – 15 of them throughout the match – to help push her team past the Yellowjackets.
In game one, Williams jumped out to a commanding 14-4 lead, and led by at least eight points as they played their way to a 20-10 score. The Yellowjackets and senior setter Lizbeth Aceves leaned on junior Estafania Bermudez and Maritza Pineda on offense to build and maintain the lead, but the Panthers stormed back to cut Williams’ lead to six. A Maxwell side-out brought Courtney Wycoff to the service line, and the junior served six straight points – including one ace – to bring her team even, 23-23. Over the course of the Panthers’ 13-3 run, Dennis found Haywood for four kills, but it wasn’t enough to close out the Yellowjackets, who dashed Maxwell’s hopes for a comeback and escaped with a 25-23 win.
Williams also started hot in game two, jumping ahead 13-6. After a side-out put Dennis at the service line, however, the Panthers scored 11 straight, pulling ahead 18-13. Williams was able cut Maxwell’s lead to one, but the Panthers closed out the game on a 7-1 run, which included a pair of aces from Haywood.
In game three, Maxwell was up 19-10 before Dennis served three straight points from the service line, including a pair of aces. Williams closed the gap to nine but never got closer than that, as Maxwell cruised to a 25-13 win. The fourth game was much of the same for the Panthers, as Maxwell jumped ahead 11-3 and held a lead of at least seven on their way to another 25-13 score.
Dennis dished out a total of 30 assists for Maxwell and added seven aces. In addition to her team-leading 15 kills, Haywood had eight aces and 24 digs. Natalie Wilson had a game-high five blocks to go along with eight kills. Courtney Wycoff added seven kills, four aces, four blocks, and a team-best 31 digs. For the Yellowjackets, Bermudez led with eight kills, followed by Pineda’s seven. Aceves had 14 assists.■