Pelham volleyball back to winning ways

By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Writer

The Pelham Panthers volleyball team got back to winning, taking four of its last six matches, including participating in the Dig in the Park Tournament hosted by Spain Park.

The Panthers notched a win in a matchup with Tuscaloosa County Oct. 1, taking down the Wildcats in three straight sets.

The first set saw the Panthers take a dominating 25-15 win, setting the tone for the rest of the match. In the subsequent sets, Pelham crushed TCHS 25-13 and 25-18, respectively.

Autumn Hiett led the team in kills with 10, while Hayley Brisendine posted 10 digs, Lauren Meadows had five aces, Caitland Smith had two blocks and Emily Jackson had 21 assists for PHS.

Pelham then faced Oak Mountain on the road Oct. 3, as the Panthers stunned the Eagles, taking a 3-2 victory.

The Panthers stumbled out of the gate, dropping the first set 23-25. The second set saw Peham struggle again, this time falling 21-25. With their backs against the wall, the Panthers took charge of the third set, cruising to a 25-10 victory. The next set was a close affair, as PHS won, 26-24. The final set was a nail biter, with the Panthers capturing it, 15-13, as well as the set, 3-2.

Hiett had 19 kills and 20 aces, Brisendine had 15 digs and four aces, Sarah Sudd had eight kills and three aces and Emily Jackson posted 44 assists in the victory. The win moved Pelham to 8-19 overall, and 3-2 in area play.

Pelham then travelled to Spain Park High School to participate in the Dig in the Park Tournament Oct. 4-5.

In the first round of pool play, the Panthers took on McAdory, winning the match 2-0. Pelham swept the Yellow Jackets, 25-12 and 25-23, respectively. Sudd and Courtney Hayhurst had five kills each, while Erin Hines had four and Jordan Allison had three aces.

In the second round, the Panthers again swept their opponent, this time Briarwood Christian. The Panthers took down the Lions, 25-22 and 25-18, in two straight sets. Hayhurst led with six kills, with Hines, Sudd and Harwood each having four. Hines, Allison and Ashley Hester all had one ace.

The third round of pool play was not as kind, as Hoover swept Pelham in two sets. Hines posted four kills while Hayhurst had four aces.

In the opening round of the gold bracket of the tournament, the Panthers squared off with Oak Mountain. Pelham dropped the opening set, 10-25, but bounced back in the second to take a 25-22 win. With the match on the line, the Panthers were unable to take home the win, falling 6-15. Hayhurst and Hiett both posted four kills, while Sudd had three aces.