SHENANDOAH – I was doing the math on the five VB matches (Riverside was idle) and relized that one was in jepordy of going uncovered. The NVD would cover the three to the North and both the News Virginian and the News Leader would be in the gym down at Buffalo Gap.
That left the match taking place at Page County in the dark because Bill Meade is on deadline on Tuesday night at the Page News & Courier. The contest between the home standing Panthers and the visiting Knights of Turner Ashby was a late add after both Head Coaches relized they were in search of one more match for the season.
Turner Ashby is a Class AA school that competes in the Massanutten District and the Knights were coming off an impressive victory over previously unbeaten Eastern Mennonite High School. TA carried a 6-2 record into the match with the Panthers.
When a Class A schools steps up a level to compete with a Class AA school it can sometimes create a fictious David vs. Goliath feel. But the difference in size took an entire different feel with the Panthers and Knights. TA has a front line that checks in at 5’10, 5’11 and 5’11 while Page County stands a half foot smaller across the board.
Page County was able to cast the first stone in the opening game with 5’3 Brittany Wolfe scoring five early kills as the Panthers jumped out to an 8-3 lead. Wolfe tied the opener at 19-19 with the shot of the match as senior scored a kill on an understand stroke on the ball. Wolfe ran her total of Game 1 kills to nine and the Panthers closed out the 25-22 victory when Courtney Bickers collected a service winner.
GAME #2 –
TA led game 2 9-7 when the visitors broke the game open on the strength of a 15-5 run. Junior Sara Ritchie (5’8) finished the run with 5 kills while team mate Jenny Anne Flory collected three of her match high 22 kills. TA held PCHS at bay for the remainder of the game and even the contest at 1-1 with a 25-16 victory.
Game #3 –
TA appeared to deliver the knock out blow when they raced to a 14-4 lead behind 11 unanswered points but Page County refused to fold. PCHS trailed 19-11 before running off four straight points behind Wolfe and Bickers. Bethany Wentz added a pair of kills and when Bickers added another ace the lead was trimmed to 22-17. TA rebounded to close out the game by scoring the final three points and closing out the game 25-17.
Game #4 –
Once again TA jumped on Page early and by the time the Panthers righted the ship they trailed 13-5. Page played the middle of the game even at 11-11 but that left them on the short end of a 24-16 score. One point away from defeat the Panthers refused to go away quietly as Alayna Breeden collected two service winners during the 5-0 run that cut the lead to 24-21. The Knights scored the match winner to close out the evening with a 25-21 victory.
* Wolfe finished the match with a team high 19 kills.
KNIGHTS 3, PANTHERS 1