By Cheri Azevedo | For the Pioneer Review
Maxwell Panther volleyball team descended upon the Princeton Eagles on Thursday, August 25, for a three-set win. Persistent rallying from both teams in the first match would make a close game of 20-25, but the Panthers poured on the heat with an 11-25 win in both the second & third matches, giving Maxwell the win.
The varsity welcomed back four strong players to the team: Seniors Mallory Mathis, Maureen LaGrande, Madison Miller and Junior Grace Waddell. Paired with a group 6 Juniors — who went undefeated in Mid-Valley League play to become league champions at the junior varsity level — and two seniors who return from a year off, the Panthers’ 12 player roster will make Maxwell a contender in Division VI.
A player who promises to be a force to be reckoned with this season put on a show at Thursday’s game.
Mathis,the Panthers lead setter, had seven aces in the second match to pace the Panthers in their victory Thursday night.
“We have five seniors with a lot of volleyball experience. Our hitting and setting is strong and we communicate well on the court. We have two great coaches who push and motivate us to be the best we can,” Mathis said.
LaGrande, an outside hitter who is no stranger to the court, played a key role in the Panthers offense and defense as she notched nine points in the three-set match.
Junior Makayla Mitchell dominated from the serve line with a total nine aces and 14 match points. Tiffany Jenkins contributed 4 kills and 5 attacks. Hannah Azevedo stepped up with two kills, three attacks, and six aces.
“Miller and LaGrande are both going to be two of our stronger offensive players. I expect us to have a very strong hitting team. I look forward to seeing all the players progress. We may be a young team, but I expect the girls to only get better. They work very hard and have the heart to push themselves,” second-year coach Krissy Wilson said before the season.
Maxwell will face off with Williams YellowJackets, Thursday, September 1, in Williams.
JVs Rally Back
The Panthers’ junior varsity volleyball played match consisting of three tight sets but left Princeton victorious with a 2-1 win over the Eagles.
Panthers freshmen Ashley Cain didn’t let her nerves bother her as she stepped on the court for her first high school volleyball game.
Cain served up 4 aces and provided 3 saves. Returning sophomores Audrey Pearson and Jackie Rolon played a great offensive & defensive game to help enable the teams first season victory.