Pearl River volleyball earns hard fought victory over Northwest
PRCC - Tyler Johnson (intern)
POPLARVILLE, MISS — After falling in the first set of the night, Pearl River volleyball went on to claim the next three to defeat MACCC rival Northwest, 3-1 (25-27, 25-18, 25-20, 25-18).
"It wasn't a pretty win," head coach Haley Chatham. "Too many errors gave points to Northwest and allowed them to take the first set."
Pearl River (8-1 overall) was rusty to start the match after not playing for a week
"After having last Friday's match canceled, I knew it would take some to find our rhythm," Chatham said. "I'm proud of my team for working through that."
SET ONE Northwest (3-9) opened the scoring, but Pearl River responded immediately tying the set up at one point each. After a massive save by Diamond Jones (Gonzales, La: East Ascension), Allison Carpenter (Ocean Springs) tipped it home for a 2-1 Wildcat lead.
Northwest proceeded to go on a five-point run, claiming the lead 6-2.
Pearl River responded with a five-point run of their own, making the match 6-6.
From that point forward, every Pearl River score was answered by Northwest before the Rangers eventually claimed the first set 27-25.
Pearl River scored early and often in set two going on an 8-2 run out of the gate. The Wildcats continued the hot start, building a large lead before Northwest battled back late to cut the deficit to six points at 20-16. The Wildcats cut the rally short and claimed the set 25-18.
SET THREE Pearl River jumped out to a commanding 15-8 lead to start the third set of the night.
A few points later, the Rangers found themselves down 21-12, but they did not go away quietly, bringing the match within three points. Despite the comeback attempt, Pearl River held off the late surge and claimed the set 25-20.
SET FOUR Set four started much like the previous two with the Wildcats scoring early and often before Northwest battled back to keep things close throughout the middle portion of the set.
Pearl River found a rhythm late and fended off Northwest to claim the set 25-20.
KEY PLAYERS Chatham was impressed by the play of Avery Beth Durdin (Lewisburg; Olive Branch) on the night.
"Avery Beth played well in all categories with some point-saving digs, good swings and in setting her hitters up for kills," she said.
Jones helped the Wildcats put up points not only with kills but also by tipping the ball over the net on multiple occasions.
Julianah Overstreet (Vancleave) proved why she was named Forrest General Wildcat of the week by using smart hitting and scoring big points.
Amy Wright (Melbourne Central Catholic: Palm Bay, Fla) and Sydney Salter (Vancleave) played lights out on defense. Wright also came up big with her serving in crucial situations, bringing Northwest out of their system. Salter showed off her speed and ability to keep the ball in play, making several point-saving plays.
Leighton Willoughby (Northwest Rankin: Brandon, Miss) was a force at the net for the Wildcats coming up with crucial blocks and scoring points with tipped shots and kills.
UP NEXT The Wildcats hit the road on Friday to take on St. Louis and Gadsden State. The matches will begin at 2 p.m.