The Maxwell Lady Panthers hosted the Live Oak Lions last Thursday for a battle to the end. Live Oak upped their season record to 3-0, with a 3-2 set win over the Panthers.
A versatile offense from the Lions and a strong defense by the Panthers was key in the back and forth score changes. Maxwell’s No. 10, Leah Ferrara, bombarded the Lions’ defense in the first set with kills but the Lions offense held to claim a first set win, 25-23.
Maxwell’s outside hitter Courtney Wycoff was a force to be reckoned in the second set, scoring 10 times against Live Oak on the net. The Lions’ Brianna Gomez answered back throughout the night, landing eight of her own kills. A series of ace serves from Maxwell’s Jilliann Wilson and Ferrara helped propel the Panthers to win the second set, 25-20, and the fourth set, 25-14.
The fifth and final match was an even battle of defense at the net as Maxwell’s Laynee Haywood contributed several kills towards the score, which were quickly answered back by Live Oak’s Makenna Douglas. A service reception error late in the set by the Panthers evened the score 13-13. But persistence by the Panthers just wasn’t enough as Live Oak grabbed the last two points of the game, clinching a 3-2 set victory over Maxwell.
“The excitement for the 2019 season was felt, creating an electricity for Maxwell volleyball,” said Maxwell Head Coach Tessa Reynolds. “The student and community support really pumps up the team. We won’t let this loss get to us. The girls played hard and put up an impressive fight.”
Maxwell will travel to Anderson Thursday for a match-up against American Christian Academy with a 5:30 PM junior varsity start time, with varsity to follow. ■