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Panthers finish second in Shelby Co. High Invitational

Published 9:18am Wednesday, October 9, 2013

It was in that match that Steele and Spain earned their all-tournament medals, with Steele posting seven kills in just 14 attacks and adding five blocks at the net. Spain, meanwhile, added seven kills, 10 assists and three blocks of her own. Fellow setter Dutton dished out nine assists and had five service aces to go with nine digs, and Ellison added four kills, four aces and nine digs. Spigener and Lucas chipped in eight digs each.

In the championship match, the Panthers once again fell behind, dropping the first set 25-15, but had a shot at the tournament title after winning Game 2 25-23. After the lead went back and forth the entire deciding set, Jemison appeared to be in trouble when Spain suffered an apparent thumb injury while receiving a hard serve and had to leave the match.

However, Olivia Mullins, who was just pulled up to the varsity squad the week of the tournament, came off the bench and provided a couple of big defensive digs to keep the Panthers’ hopes alive.

The Tigers of Talladega had just enough punch left to put down the last two points to take the game and the match.

“I’m just pleased at how this team came together this weekend,” Robinson said. “We faced just about every type of adversity you can face in the last couple of weeks, and even today, when we lost Emily at the end of it all, Olivia came in and played like she has been with us all year.”

The Panthers will host Senior Night on Thursday against Chilton County. The junior varsity match will start at 4:30 p.m., with the varsity to follow.

–Drew Granthum with the Shelby County Reporter contributed to this report.

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