Pelham wins regular season area title with sweep of Helena

Published 4:12 pm Wednesday, October 4, 2023

By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

PELHAM – The Pelham Panthers continued their perfect start to area play as they defeated Helena, 3-0, on senior night to improve to 5-0 in the area and wrap up hosting rights to the area tournament.

Pelham got ahead to an early 5-2 lead, and they jumped ahead to 11-6 in a strong stretch for the Panthers. However, the Huskies rallied back and won five of the next six points to draw within one.

Pelham pulled away from there as it got out to a five-point lead and held the set from there. The Panthers won the first set, 25-19, to go up 1-0 in the match and set the tone early.

The second set was similar to the first set as Pelham got out to a three-point lead before opening up an 11-5 lead. Helena stayed within four points of tying the set as the final points drew near, but the Panthers remained in control during the second set and kept Helena at arm’s length.

Helena scored once on set point, but Pelham closed out the set with a 25-21 win to extend its lead in the match.

Now down 2-1 in the match, Helena needed a response in the third set to stay alive, and it got just that to begin the third set. The Huskies and Panthers battled closely in the opening points of the fourth set, and the teams were tied at 6 shortly into the set.

Helena took a lead at 11-9, but the two-point lead didn’t last long. Pelham went on a 5-1 run to go up 14-12, and the Panthers’ lead only increased from there.

Pelham went up 22-17 going into the final points of the set, and needing just three points to take the regular season area title, the Panthers did just that.

Pelham won three of the final four points in the set to win the third set, 25-18, which closed out the match with a 3-0 sweep to earn the top seed.

Londyn Wynn led the Panthers with 16 kills, eight digs and three aces while hitting +.412. Camryn McMinn again shouldered the offensive load with Wynn, scoring 11 kills and earning a +.320 hitting percentage. Caley Peterson and Jojo Miller earned five kills each.

Kylee Hester led Pelham in digs with 14 and earned 29 assists and two aces as well. Elsewhere on the defense, Peterson earned four total blocks and Caroline Hamby and Kamryn Rouveyrol had six digs.

While Pelham has wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the area and will host the area tournament on Wednesday, Oct. 18, the Panthers will close their area schedule against John Carroll on Thursday, Oct. 5. If the Panthers win the match, they will finish area play with a perfect 6-0 record.

Helena will finish area play against Briarwood on the same day before the final week of the regular season.