Pelham battles for win over Spain Park

Pelham's Autumn Wild Hiett (17) gets a hand on Spain Park's Madison Bearden's attack. (Reporter photo/Mickel Ponthieux)

By MICKEL PONTHIEUX / Sports Reporter

NORTH SHELBY – The Pelham Panthers battled the Spain Park Jaguars for a 3-1 (28-26, 17-25, 25-17, 25-20) win in Class 6A, Area 8 play Sept. 25.

The Panthers (12-13, 3-2) took an early 8-4 lead, but Spain Park battled back to tie the score nine times. With the score tied at 26-26, the Jaguars committed two errors to allow Pelham to take a 28-26 first set win.

Spain Park bounced back in the second set and led all throughout. The Jaguars closed with a 6-1 rally to take a 25-17 win to even the match 1-1.

Pelham rebounded in the third and went on a 14-1 rally to capture a 15-2 lead early in the set. Spain Park fought back with a 10-2 rally of their own to draw back within four, 18-14. The Panthers took advantage of five errors by the Jaguars to close the third on a 7-3 run for a 25-17 win and a 2-1 lead in the match.

The decisive fourth set looked much like the first with both teams battling for control of the match. Spain Park used a 5-1 run to close within one, 15-14, but the Panthers’ Haeden Tucker scored two aces to lead Pelham on a 6-0 run for a 21-14 advantage.

The Jaguars answered with a 6-1 run of their own while taking advantage of four Pelham error to cut the deficit to two, 22-20. After a Spain Park error, Autumn Wild Hiett scored a kill for match point and Emily Jackson won the game 25-20 with an ace.

Caitland Smith led Pelham with 14 kills with Wild Hiett adding nine kills and a team-high 18 digs. Bradleigh Smith finished with six kills while Tucker scored a team-high five aces.