Patriots drop Panthers in Elite Eight
BIRMINGHAM – The Pelham Panthers put up a tremendous fight, but in the end, it wasn’t enough as the Panthers fell to Bob Jones in the Elite Eight round of the AHSAA Class 6A volleyball state championship on Oct. 30, 3-0.
The Panthers opened scoring in the first set, but fell behind 7-4. The Panthers pulled within two at 10-8, but the Patriots pulled away down the stretch, taking a 25-17 first set win.
In the second set, the Patriots once again opened a 7-4 lead. Pelham was able to close to within one at 11-10, eventually taking a 17-16 lead. It would be all for not, however, as BJHS took a 25-22 win in the set.
Bob Jones never trailed in the third set, closing out the Panthers, 25-12, to take the match. Pelham head coach Perry Robinson said he wasn’t happy with the loss, but was pleased with effort his squad showed.
“Bob Jones is good,” he said. “They made us work for points. We played well, not great. We battled to the end. We’re proud of (our players) for that.”
Autumn Hiett and Caitland Smith both had nine kills for Pelham, as Hiett posted seven digs and Smith had four blocks. Emily Jackson had two kills, three digs and 24 assists. Courtney Hayhurst had three kills, and Hayley Brisendine had 14 digs.
For the Patriots, Jeneva Salter had 16 kills and four digs. Alexis Howell had 12 kills and seven blocks. Erin Shockey had 37 assists, and Melania Hissam had 19 digs and an ace.