Pelham volleyball headed to Final Four after sweeping Hartselle

Published 1:18 pm Wednesday, October 26, 2022

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By LAUREN SEXTON | Sports Reporter

BIRMINGHAM – The Pelham Panthers will continue their season after a 3-0 sweep against the Hartselle Tigers at the Birmingham CrossPlex on Wednesday, Oct. 26. The Panthers’ latest victory secured their advancement to the Final Four and the final match before the championship match held on Thursday, Oct. 27.

“We just kept doing what we’ve been doing all year,” Pelham head coach Perry Robinson said about Pelham’s preparation for the match in the state championship. “Just worked on playing clean and playing hard.”

In their first return to the Elite Eight since 2019, the Panthers started the first set of the morning with a slight edge over the Tigers. Hartselle managed to tie the score 5-5, however, Pelham successfully gained a lead that the Tigers were unable to return from. The Panthers defeated the Tigers in the first set 25-13.

The match continued with another victory made by Pelham. It was another tied set for both teams early on, but the Panthers gained a seven-point lead over the Tigers before the first timeout was called. Pelham was leading the match 12-5, yet Hartsalle managed to make a comeback toward the end of the set. The Panthers overcame the Tigers and won 25-21.

With a 2-0 lead over Hartselle, Pelham needed just one more win to secure its ticket to the final four match later in the evening. The Tigers didn’t make the final set easy for the Panthers as they held a lead for the first time over Pelham in the entire match.

Pelham found success later on in the third and final set of the match, continuously tying the score between them and the Tigers. The Panthers won the final set of the first round 25-23.

“It hasn’t quite sunk in yet,” Robinson said about Pelham’s advancement to the Final Four. “We’re super pumped to be in the Final Four and playing again today. That was what we wanted to do and we’re going to get a chance to keep playing.”

Pelham is set to face Spanish Fort at the Birmingham CrossPlex at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26. The winner will advance to the championship match on Thursday, Oct. 27.