Pelham volleyball defeats Helena in thrilling five-set match

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–The Helena Huskies and Pelham Panthers volleyball teams both showed why they’re two of the top teams in the 6A Classification on Tuesday, Sept. 19.

The huge rivalry area match featured plenty of long rallies, exceptional individual and team play and of course, drama.

In the end, the Panthers held off the late surging Huskies in five sets, winning 25-8, 25-20, 20-25, 15-25 and 15-13 for the 3-2 set victory.

“Amanda (Helena head coach) does a good job and I knew they’d come back,” Pelham head coach Perry Robinson said after the game. “The first two sets we just relaxed and played, honestly. Then at the end it seemed that we were close and kind of tensed up and Helena played well. I think it’s a combination of both sides.”

The Panthers were led by a variety of players in different statistical categories to get the win.

Senior Emorie Long led Pelham with 17 kills and three blocks while junior Georgia Stonicher finished with 43 assists. Seniors Grace Nolen and Jamilia Wilson had 19 and 17 digs, respectively. Nolen and Long also finished with 100 percent serve percentages.

“It’s nice to get the first area win under your belt,” Robinson said. “It’s a good start, but we’ve got a long way to go. It’s fun to come on the road and get a win, that’s always good. I thought we did some things really well and I think we need to go back tomorrow and work on some things but the first area win is a big deal.”

Helena dropped to 1-1 in area play while Pelham moved to 1-0. The Panthers had to reschedule games the week of Sept. 11, due to Hurricane Irma.

Helena and Pelham will meet for a second time on Oct. 3, as the Huskies will try to avenge the tough loss at Pelham High School.

To view more photos of the game, visit Shelbycountyphotos.com.