Coming off a big home win over Hamilton on Sept 10, with a 3-2 set win, Maxwell headed to Los Molinos last Friday for day one of the “Beth Pilger” Tournament. Teams from Paradise, Fall River, Portola, Williams, Maxwell, Oroville, Redding Christian and Los Molinos participated.
The Lady Panther’s first opponent brought them up against Paradise. Maxwell led out of the gate in the first and second set allowing Paradise no room to trim the margin. The Panthers secured their first win with a 2-0 set score over Paradise. Second and third game match-ups brought on the tough teams of Los Molinos and Fall River.
Against Los Molinos, Maxwell’s momentum was on track with Laynee Haywood laying down three kills and Leah Ferrara at the service line, picking up two aces to close the score. But the Bulldogs defense was a solid force, leaving Maxwell in a 2-0 set loss. Third and final game play, for the day, ensued between Maxwell and Fall River. The Fall River defense reeked havoc on the Panthers and never let up. Maxwell fell short in a 2-0 set loss, leaving Maxwell in a third seed position for day two of the tournament.
Second day game play started early Saturday morning for the Panthers, going up against first seed Redding Christian. The Lady Panthers found strength in their offense but with just six players for the day, struggled defensively to shut down the Lady Lions and suffered a 2-0 set loss.
Los Molinos wrapped up an easy 25-13 first set win but were challenged in the second set by the Panthers. Maxwell’s dominant outside hitter, Haywood, assisted by Ferrara, heated up the net on the Lady Bulldogs’ defense, laying down six kills. Jilliann Wilson wreaked havoc from the service line to tie the score at 18-18. Los Molinos’ momentum turned with block on the outside for a Bulldog side-out. Back and forth rallies ensued for the rest of the set, but Maxwell fell short and took a 2-0 set loss.
Final game play for Maxwell was against Williams. The Panthers went out to a big lead in the opening set, charging out to a 10-1 advantage before the Lady Jackets brought it back to 15-11. Morgan Dennis took over the service line and closed out the set, giving Maxwell a 1-0 set lead. Williams went ahead early in the second set with Estefania Bermudez laying down three kills. Play was back and forth for the rest of the set, but Maxwell soared to a 2-0 set win at the hands of Haywood and Ferrara.
Maxwell took home sixth place and All-Tourney selection was awarded to Jilliann Wilson.
The Lady Panthers, 6-6, will begin league play Sept 24 as they travel to Portola with a 5 PM start time. ■