Caleb Riordan | Ameritime Sports Writer
It’s once again time to catch up with the South Iron Panthers Varsity Volleyball team who has recently improved to 19-8-1.
On September 28th, the Panthers defeated the Eminence Redwings. South Iron lost the first set 26-24, but swept the last three 25-16, 25-14 and 25-13. Megan Lashley led the team with 20 kills and 25 digs while Drew Gayle contributed 17 kills, 20 assists and 12 digs. Other standouts were Maddie Ayers who racked up 12 kills, 19 digs, 12 service points and three aces, and Enzley Dinkins who led the team in assists with 24 and service points with 15.
The Panthers followed up that win with another, this time against the Lesterville Lady Bearcats. They defeated the Bearcats in four sets, 25-17, 25-10, 17-25 and 25-20. Gayle once again led the way with 19 kills, 23 digs and 18 assists. Ayers put together 26 digs and 17 kills, and Lashley had 18 digs, six kills and four aces. Last but certainly not least, Dinkins led the team with 24 assists, 16 service points and three aces.
The Junior Varsity squad didn’t have as much luck against Lesterville. They battled but lost in two sets. Notable performers were Emma Gayle who led in digs with 20 and Tamiya Burse who had 19 kills and four service points.
After Lesterville, the Panthers found their way to a tournament in Perryville on October 2nd and finished tied for third out of 19 teams. They defeated Hillsboro and Saxony Lutheran in pool play and then went on to defeat Cape Central in the quarterfinals before falling just short of North County in the semi-finals.
After the tournament, South Iron traveled to Arcadia Valley to take on the Lady Tigers. They beat the Tigers in three quick sets 25-12, 25-10 and 25-12. Ayers led the team in kills with 14 and also picked up 11 digs. Drew Gayle finished with ten kills, 12 digs and 23 assists, and Alyssa Bennett picked up 11 service points, three aces and three assists.
The JV squad picked up their first win of the season on the same night against Arcadia Valley. They won in two sets, 25-16 and 25-23. Burse put together 13 digs, six kills and five service points. Emma Niehaus led the team in assists with 17.
For their last victory of the stretch, the Panthers traveled to Bunker to take on the Lady Eagles on Tuesday, October 5th. They beat the Lady Eagles in four sets. Ayers led the team with 16 kills, 19 digs and service points with 17. Lashley racked up 15 kills and 17 digs, Drew Gayle finished with 12 kills, 29 assist, and 15 digs and Anna Parker also contributed 13 digs.
Head Coach Megan Williams and the Panthers are coming into their own as the season progresses. The Varsity squad is doing a good job of filling their roles and they are picking up wins because of it. The JV squad even grabbed their first win as well.
The Panthers should be able to make some real noise throughout the rest of the season and ultimately into the postseason. Next, they travel to Winona to take on the Lady Wildcats on Monday, October 11th.