Volleyball: Lady Panthers continue winning streak

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The Maxwell Panthers volleyball team has captured three consecutive wins and now holds a 3-1 league play record. 

Last Thursday, Maxwell traveled to Chico to take on Core Butte. The Lady Panthers shut out the Lynx in a 3-0 set win.

First set play action started off balanced for the Panthers but a change in rotation allowed Core Butte to earn six unanswered points and taking a 6-0 lead. 

Maxwell’s leading attacker, Laynee Haywood, found success at the net with a kill on Core Butte’s defense and a Panther side-out. Serving became the name of the game late in the first set, as aces by Haywood and Leah Ferrara closed the score gap for Maxwell. Core Butte struggled from the service line, missing several late serves to essentially hand Maxwell their first set win, 25-21. 

Second set action didn’t prove to be any easier for Maxwell, with a change in line-up. Several series of rallies made for a nail biter of a game with back and forth lead changes propelled by the hands of Paige Vierra for Maxwell. Core Butte again served up six unanswered points for a 25-25 score. A vital missed served by Core Butte allotted for a Panther side-out. From the service line, Ferrara served up two aces, pushing Maxwell to a 27-25 set win.

Maxwell took full advantage of a broken line-up by Core Butte, sending over a total of 13 team aces. Maxwell’s libero, Rosa Gonzalez, played a tactical defense, digging up every kill sent by Core Butte’s offense. Haywood and Vierra led the match in points, sending Maxwell to an easy third set win, 25-7. 

Vierra had 10 assists, a solo block, 12 aces and three kills on the night. Ferrara laid down seven kills and five aces and Haywood offered six aces and kills towards the victory.

“Vierra had an impressive game leading the points earned,” said Head Coach Tessa Reynoso. “Awesome team defense with 44 total digs, 13 by Gonzalez.”

Maxwell now sits with a 10-6 overall record and 3-1 in league play. 

“League play has proven to be very competitive this year,” Reynoso said. “There is going to be a battle for that top place, but we have to focus on every game, not just the big ones. Our toughest competition has been the extreme tempo game differences.”

In the Mountain Valley League, Maxwell currently sits second in the standing, with Portola in first. The Panthers will host Portola on Thursday with a 5 PM varsity start time. ■