Caleb Riordan | Ameritime Sports Writer
The South Iron Panthers Varsity Volleyball team beat St. Paul, but followed that up with their first loss of the year to Fredericktown.
The Panthers took out St. Paul in three straight sets on Wednesday. They won 25-10, 25-15 and 25-17.
Drew Gayle and Megan Lashley led the team in kills with 13 each. Gayle also racked up 24 assists. Lashley added 14 service points, five aces and nine digs. Maddie Ayers had herself a night and led the team with 18 service points and 16 digs. She also added 12 kills and five aces. Enzley Dinkins smashed six aces which led the team. She asserted herself in many other areas as well with 12 service points, six kills and 16 assists.
“We started strong and stayed strong throughout the entire match,” Head Coach Megan Williams said. “We have really been working on attacking every ball and taking advantage of free ball opportunities and it showed tonight.”
The Panthers did not have as much luck against Fredericktown. They won the second set 25-11, but lost the first 25-13, the third 25-20 and the fourth 25-20.
“Even though the outcome wasn’t what we wanted tonight, my girls battled hard and fought until the very end,” Williams said. “We are going to take what we learned from tonight and work on fine-tuning some areas to keep growing stronger.”
Ayers had a strong showing. She led the team in kills with 12 and digs with 21. Gayle led the team in assists with 25 and also added ten kills, ten service points and eight digs. Dinkins finished with nine assists, seven kills and seven service points. Lashley contributed six kills, 15 digs and two aces. Freshman Lexie Bollinger is getting comfortable on the varsity squad. She had 16 service points that included two aces. Anna Parker had 12 digs as well.
The Junior Varsity Panthers didn’t have much luck in either of these two games. They fell short against St. Paul and lost in two sets to Fredericktown.
“We are continuing to work on our passing and attacking every ball, but I’m proud of how hard we are working each and every day,” Head Coach Laura Marquis said. “We still have things to work on and learn but I am still very proud of our effort and hard work.”
Emma Gayle had 21 digs, four kills, and 13 service points across the two matches. Tamiya Burse put together 11 kills and 14 digs. Emma Griffith had 16 service points, two aces and three digs.
The Varsity Panthers are now 2-1 with a majority of their season in front of them. They’ll look to add another tally to the win column on Tuesday, September 7th against West County.