Traveling north to Bieber, on Oct. 29, the Panthers matched-up with the No. 8 seeded team, Big Valley. The Cardinals, 15-10, were a dominant force on defense against the Panthers, taking an early lead several times within the four sets of play. But Maxwell’s Laynee Haywood was a firing force at the net, laying down 15 total kills on the night, and aiding in the 3-1 set win with final scores, 25-23, 25-23, 25-15 and 25-9.
Leah Ferrara racked up 11 kills of her own towards the win as Paige Vierra tallied seven serving aces against the Cardinals defense.
Taking their trick-or-treating skills on the road last Thursday, Maxwell descended to Burney for their second round of play-offs. Burney, 21-2, secured a first round bye, in the No. 1 seed spot, in Division 6. Maxwell displayed a top-notch defensive game against the Raiders with Haywood again leading the charge at the net with 10 kills. Making Burney earn each of their points was exactly what the Panthers’ offense intended. Ferrara lead the offensive charge with eight serving aces and Rosa Corona dished out 20 digs on the night.
All three sets were in close scoring proximity but the Raiders were able to secure crucial points to take the 3-0 win over Maxwell, with final scores, 25-18, 26-24 and 25-20, ending the Panthers’ season.
“It was a hard-fought battle,” said senior Courtney Wycoff. “I wouldn’t have wanted my last volleyball game to be with any other girls.”
Maxwell claimed co-champions for the Mountain Valley league with an overall record of 16-9, 8-2.
A season total of 79 sets played with 575 recorded kills, of which Haywood held 206 of her own.
On the offensive run for Maxwell, a team total of 367 aces hit the floor during the season, with 77 at the hands of Paige Vierra. Maxwell’s Haywood and Ferrara led the 2019 Mountain Valley league in hitting and Vierra led the division in total blocks. ■