Chelsea volleyball snaps Pelham’s streak, improves to 22-6

Published 4:10 pm Friday, September 24, 2021

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

CHELSEA – The Chelsea Hornets didn’t shy away from one of their biggest challenges of the year on Thursday, Sept. 23 in a county battle against the Pelham Panthers.

The No. 4 Panthers carried in a stretch of 19 wins in their previous 20 matches, while the No. 7 Hornets entered the top-10 battle 22-6 on the season.

After falling behind 1-0 in the match to give the already streaking Panthers more confidence, Chelsea found a way to bounce back.

The Hornets not only won the next set, but they went on to win the next three sets in a row to pull off a 3-1 victory to improve to 23-6 on the season.

In the opening set, Chelsea grabbed a 5-4 advantage, but the Panthers responded with a 6-2 run to jump in front 10-7.

Pelham eventually pulled away for a 24-16 advantage before Chelsea came back to make it a tight finish. The Hornets staved off five set points to make it 24-21, but the Panthers closed out the set after that for a 25-21 win and a 1-0 lead.

In the second set, Chelsea jumped out to a 2-0 lead and never trailed from there.

It was a tight battle all the way up to 17-16, but Chelsea eventually hit a strong stretch with a 3-0 run to expand the lead to four points.

Pelham trimmed it to three again at 23-20, but the Hornets finished off the set with two final points to even the match at 1-1.

That seemed to completely shift the momentum of the match.

In the third set, Pelham started off with a 2-0 lead, but Chelsea responded with its best stretch of the match thanks to a 10-3 run that put the Hornets on top 10-5.

The Panthers were able to come back and take the lead on multiple occasions, however, including a 20-18 lead late in the set.

That led to a battle down the stretch all the way to a 24-24 tie. Chelsea, however, was able to win the next two points in a row at that point to take the set 26-24 and the match lead at 2-1.

With the third-set victory, Chelsea was able to play with much more confidence in the fourth set, and the comfort showed.

The Hornets jumped out to a 10-4 lead with another 10-3 run, which set the tone.

Pelham didn’t get back within four points until it was 20-16, and at that point, it was too late.

Chelsea won five of the next seven points to complete the comeback win with three consecutive set victories.