Thrilling 2nd set difference in Pelham loss to John Carroll

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

PELHAM – A second set that ended in a 33-31 score was the difference in an exhausting matchup between John Carroll and Pelham on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

In the tight set, the Cavaliers ended up coming out victorious after neither seemed content with a loss. But with that tiring effort from the Panthers, which put them down 2-0 in the match, the third set became a mere formality, as they fell to John Carroll 3-0 (25-19, 33-31, 25-13).

It continued an up and down season so far for Pelham, who is replacing the majority of last year’s starting lineup that went to the Elite Eight.

Early on, it looked as if the Panthers were in good shape in a back-and-forth battle that led to a 9-9 tie in the opening set. But John Carroll responded with a one-sided run that saw the Cavaliers take a 20-11 lead after winning 11 of the next 13 points.

That was just part of an inconsistent showing for Pelham, because the Panthers answered with a strong close to the set, winning eight of the final 14 points, but that still led to a 25-19 victory for the Cavs.

However, Pelham came back with a spirited effort in the second set following that difficult opening set.

John Carroll still controlled the tempo early in the set and jumped out to a 13-11 lead, but the Panthers kept pace and stayed within a point or two throughout the set.

Eventually, Pelham took its first lead of the set at 19-18, but it was short lived as the Cavaliers responded with a 3-1 run to jump back in front 22-20.

That put the Cavs just three points from winning the set, but the Panthers answered with a 3-1 run of their own to tie the match at 23-23.

Then the two teams traded staving off set points. But through the extra points, John Carroll continually gained set points.

Pelham killed off several of them, but that eventually became an exhausting task, as the Cavaliers grabbed a 32-31 lead and closed out the set on the next point for the 33-31win.

It was a heartbreaking set to lose not only because of the effort that was put in and how close it was, but because the Panthers were now down 2-0 after an exhausting set.

It became tough for Pelham to recover, as the Cavaliers jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the third set and never looked back. The Cavs doubled Pelham’s point total throughout the set, gaining leads of 15-7 and 20-9, before putting the finishing touches on the 3-0 sweep with a 25-13 set victory.

Pelham did struggle at the net with blocks and didn’t have its strongest night serving, but the Panthers still got a balanced effort from several players.

Jaden Jones, Elizabeth Hayhurst and Courtney Proffit all had six kills in the match. Beyond that, Taylor Evans led the team with 17 assists, while Amore Marshall led the team with 11 digs.