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Panthers win 3 straight, including crucial area tilt

By Brandon Sumrall | Special to the Advertiser

Jemison’s varsity volleyball team picked up a hard-fought area win on Tuesday night at the expense of Central-Tuscaloosa, 3-1 (25-19, 25-19, 23-25, 25-22).

The two teams played to an 8-all tie during the first set before host Jemison (10-5) went on a 5-0 run behind the serving of Kelsey Lowery to take a 12-8 lead.

Central never recovered to close the gap, and with the Panthers leading 24-19, a Jasmine Wright kill brought the set to a close.

JHS got out to an early 8-4 lead in the second set thanks to a 4-0 run behind the serving of Kelson Cole.

The lead didn’t hold though as the Falcons made a run of their own to tie the set at 15-all.

The Panthers clawed their way to a four-point lead at 20-16 before going on another 3-0 run behind the serving of Olivia Mullins to take a 25-19 set win.

The Falcons led from the start of Set 3, but the Panthers kept pace, never trailing by more than three.

Jemison took over serving duties facing a one-point deficit, 19-18. With Taylor Ray picking up two service aces, the Panthers went on a 5-0 run to take a 23-19 lead.

Central-Tuscaloosa wouldn’t go quietly in the set, and after taking over serving duties at 23-20 in favor of the Panthers, went on a 5-0 run to pick up the set win.

The Falcons took the early lead in the fourth set as well, but trailing by one point at 9-8, the Panthers went on a 3-0 run behind the serving of Ray and two kills by Cassani Steele to take an 11-9 lead.

The Falcons went on a run of their own late in the set to draw to within one of the Panthers at 22-21, but the visitors weren’t able to put the Panthers away this time as Jemison picked up the set win, 25-22, to close out the match.

Steele led the way for the Panthers with 13 kills, and Ashley Dutton added 15 assists.

Jemison 21-25-16, Shelby County 25-21-14

Jemison took a thrilling road victory over host Shelby County High School on Monday, falling behind by a set in the early going and surviving six match points to pull out the win.

Shelby County won the opening set 25-21, but JHS answered back with a win in Set 2 by the same score.

In the deciding game three, SCHS took a 14-8 lead but failed to convert on six match points, allowing the Panthers to squeeze out a 16-14 win.

Steele led all attackers with 10 kills and a solo block, while Dutton handed out 14 assists for Jemison. Taylor Ray added three service aces to improve Jemison’s record to 8-5.

Jemison 22-25-15, Vincent 25-16-8

In their second match of the night Monday, the Panthers may have suffered from a bit of an adrenaline hangover, as Vincent was able to take a 25-22 win in the first set before JHS steadied itself in time to breeze through the final two sets.

Steele once again led the attack with five kills, while Keegan Robinson added four and C.C. Wright chipped in three.

Dutton dished out 10 assists for Jemison, and Emily Spain kept the Yellow Jacket defenders on their heels with six service aces.

The Panthers return to Columbiana for the Lady Wildcat Invitational on Saturday.

JHS will take on SCHS at 8:30 a.m., Park Crossing at 10:10 a.m., and Thorsby at 12:40 p.m.

Elimination play begins at about 2 p.m.