VOLLEYBALL: Lady Panthers secure huge win over Portola

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With the volleyball season well into league play, the Maxwell Lady Panthers continue their five-week winning streak by climbing to the top of the Mountain Valley League standings.

Clinching a shutout win over the Portola Lady Tigers with a 3-0 set win, last Thursday, at home, was just what Maxwell needed toward their current league record, 4-1.

The No. 1 and No. 2 division leaders battled things out on the Maxwell High School court, giving spectators an exciting series of rallies between the Panthers and Tigers.

The first set gameplay started with a point-for-point earned by each team. Portola claimed a short-lived lead of 21-18 in the first set from service errors by the Panthers and some bad passing, but Leah Ferrara changed the tone from the Panther service line by laying down three aces for a 21 all score. Kills from the hands of Laynee Haywood, paired with a missed serve by Portola, handed Maxwell their first set win, 25-22.

Taking a commanding lead in the second set, Maxwell set out on a defensive attack with four aces by Paige Vierra, giving the Panthers an 11-4 lead. Portola dished out their defensive tactics, going on a four-point run and closing Maxwell’s lead to 11-8.

Maxwell’s defense filled the gap and ended the set with 20 digs and a set win kill by Rosalyn Wilson, and giving Maxwell the 25-20 final set score.

Service line points pushed the Panthers to a commanding lead in the third set, propelled by the hands of Vierra and Ferrara.

Maxwell quickly jumped to an 11-5 lead over the Tigers. A defensive battle of rallies between the two teams played for a point-by-point lead change until late in the set when Courtney Wycoff killed one off the net, allotting for a Panther side-out and 24-20 score.

Portola from the service came up short, handing Maxwell their third set win with a 25-20 final score.

“This was a great defensive game,” said Head Coach Tessa Reynolds.

The win moves Maxwell to a 12-6 overall record and 5-1 in league match-up.

Haywood contributed eight kills towards the win and Vierra with seven aces from the service line. Rosa Gonzales contributed 24 digs towards Thursday’s defensive win.

Maxwell descends to Esparto tomorrow with a 6:30 PM start time. ■