Pelham sweeps Thompson in rivalry game

Published 1:30 pm Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Pelham High School volleyball assistant coach Tien Le found out Monday that Panthers’ star outside hitter Ally Slaughter wouldn’t play against rival Thompson in a key area game the next day due to illness.

The news didn’t create any panic for Le, who knew the rest of the Panthers would step up their game in the heated rivalry.

Thompson put a small scare into Le’s Panthers as it opened the match with three straight points in the first game. The Panthers then took control with help from setter Lindsey Young, whose service ace capped a 7-1 rally after the Thompson run, and never looked back in a 25-20, 25-19, 25-17 sweep of the Warriors.

“We were able to get mentally prepared for playing without Ally,” said Le, whose team also played without its star against Spain Park over the weekend in the Mid-South tournament. “To have your best player not available in a big area game, I’m real proud of the kids for keeping their composure with what’s on the line.”

The Panthers improved to 14-1 overall and 1-0 in Class 6A, Area 11. The Warriors fell to 7-8 and 1-1 in Area 11 play.

Toni Wellborn led Pelham with 10 kills and six service aces. Dana Allen added seven kills and nine digs. Brittany Jack also had nine digs. Young finished with 25 assists, four kills and six service aces.

Rachel McMullen led Thompson with five kills. Michelle Chase had four kills and six digs. Candice Powers also had four kills.

In other volleyball action Tuesday, Oak Mountain picked up a Class 6A, Area 10 win over Hoover 20-25, 25-15, 25-18, 25-22. Samantha Skinner led Oak Mountain (12-9) with 12 kills as the Eagles improved to 2-0 in Area 10 play. Skinner also had eight blocks, five digs and five service aces. Sara Goodwin has 10 kills and 14 digs. Chelsea Payne finished with 29 assists and four kills.

Kingwood Christian School defeated Clarke Prep 25-21, 20-25, 25-20, 25-17 to improve to 15-4 overall and 4-0 in AISA Class 2A, Region 2 play. Casey Whitmer led the Lions with 11 kills. Lauren Rozof added 10 kills and five service aces. Whitney Jones had 13 assists.