Unbeaten at home, Panthers ready to host tournament

Published 9:00 pm Thursday, September 12, 2013

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The Jemison Lady Panther volleyball squad remained undefeated at home, knocking off Shelby County, 3-1 (25-17, 25-20, 14-25, 25-23) Wednesday night in Alton Cobb Gymnasium.

Game 1 saw both teams make runs in a back-and-forth affair, as JHS jumped out to a 14-9 lead before the Lady Wildcats clawed back to cut the margin to 16-14.

Jemison bounced back, however, to take nine of the final 12 points to take the game.

In the second set, the Lady Panthers took control of the front row, as the trio of Cassani Steele, Taylor Ray and C.C. Wright each posted three kills and had at least one block solo or assist.

Setters Emily Spain and Ashley Dutton contributed four set assists and one block assist apiece.

Shelby County would not go quietly, however, as JHS committed 19 errors in the third game to see the Lady Wildcats take a 25-14 win to cut Jemison’s lead to two games to one.

The Lady Panthers found their fire again in Game 4, mostly at the service line and on defense, as Jemison recorded six service aces and 18 digs in a the closest set of the night.

The home squad found themselves trailing 19-16 in the late going but gathered themselves after a timeout to rebound for the win.

Spain, Dutton, Brooke Lewis and Wendy Spigener each contributed aces from the service line, while Lewis led all defenders with six digs.

For the match, Steele led the Panthers with seven kills and two block assists, while Wright added five kills and Ray, Spain and Dutton had four kills apiece. Spain and Spigener recorded three aces each, and Denten Ellison totaled 11 digs for the night.

After a home match with Bibb County on Thursday, Jemison will host the Lady Panther Invitational on Saturday. Pool play begins at 8 a.m. with the finals scheduled for 5 p.m.

JHS started off its Class 4A, Area 7 season with a 3-1 (25-21, 11-25, 25-12, 25-17) win over visiting West Blocton Tuesday night in Alton Cobb Gymnasium.

Set 1 saw JHS race out to a 7-1 lead, only to falter in the middle portion of the game to fall behind at 16-15. After a quick time out by coach Leighsa Robinson, however, it was all Panthers as Jemison rallied for the victory. Ellison led the way with four kills in the opening game, while Steele had two solo blocks and combined with Spain on another.

The loss of momentum for Jemison, however, carried over into the second set, as the Lady Panthers committed 21 errors to allow West Blocton to steal the game and tie the match at one game apiece. The lone JHS highlight from Game 2 was the service game of senior Spigener, who tallied three aces.

It was the Lady Tigers who fell victim to errors in Game 3, as Jemison took advantage with a combined four aces from Lewis and Spain. Steele chipped in a pair of kills, while Ellison and Morgan Lucas had four digs apiece.

The Lady Panthers closed out the match by dominating at the net. Jemison jumped out front 8-3 and once again, West Blocton mounted a comeback, but a big kill by Taylor Ray stopped the rally.

Steele added another solo block and paired up with Spain for a stuff as well. Ellison and Dutton combined for four kills in the deciding game, while Ellison and Spigener combined for six aces. Lewis picked up seven digs from her back row position.