Pelham grabs area win, now winners in 14 of last 15

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor 

PELHAM – There is no slowing down the Pelham Panthers on the volleyball court right now, and they made that clear on Tuesday, Sept. 7 in their third area win of the season.

Now 3-0 in area play this season and 16-3 overall, the Panthers swept Chilton County to pick up their 14th win in the last 15 matches.

In a dominant effort, Pelham didn’t give up more than 11 points in any set during the match and gave up less than two in two of the sets.

In the opening set, Pelham put together a flawless start. After winning the serve away from Chilton County on the first rally, the Panthers reeled off 10 consecutive points to take a 10-0 lead before Chilton County got on the board.

Then, up 10-3, the Panthers followed with five more points won on serve to make it 16-3.

That led to an easy 25-7 win in the opening set for a 1-0 advantage.

Early in the second set, the Panthers struggled to find that same consistency, which led to a tighter battle.

Those inconsistencies didn’t last long, however, as Pelham responded with 10 points won on serve from two different players to take a strong lead.

That ended up leading to a 25-11 victory in the set, which put the Tigers in a difficult 2-0 hole.

In the final set, Chilton County showed some fight by taking a 6-5 lead early, but Pelham responded with three points won on its next service opportunity to take a 9-6 advantage.

Then, on their next service opportunity, Pelham won 11 consecutive points to take a 21-7 lead, eventually leading to a 25-9 victory and the match sweep.

Elizabeth Hayhurst led Pelham in kills during the win with 13, while Camryn McMinn and Victoria West both added five to their stat line. In a balanced attack, eight total players had a kill in the winning effort.

At the service line, several stepped up in what was a difference maker in the final score. Tammy Melendez led the team with six aces, while Hayhurst added five, Jaden Jones added four and McMinn added three.

As a team, the Panthers totaled 23 aces, which was a key factor in the win.

Melendez also led the team with nine digs, while Shay Walsh added four. Those two accounted for 13 of the team’s 18 digs. Walsh also led the team with 21 assists in another strong performance.