|Parkway rolls over Jefferson in straight sets|
|Thursday, October 17, 2013 12:27 AM|
By John Parent
The Panthers move to 12-8 on the season with a 25-6, 25-6, 25-20 victory, ending the season for the Jeffcats.
Parkway showed right from the opening point what their formula for success would be. Whitney Rollins made the set and Raegen Bransteter, Parkway’s lone senior, fired a blast from the middle of the court that Jefferson couldn’t make a play on.
Rollins followed that with an ace and Bransteter came back with a block at the net to give the Panthers the early 3-0 lead. A Parkway error got Jefferson on the board but it would be a while before they would do so again.
Parkway ran off 13 consecutive points thanks largely to an outstanding service game by Halle Beougher. Not only were the serves placed in areas that Jefferson had trouble retrieving, but when they did, the Wildcats were frequently in scramble mode, just trying to get the ball back over the net without being able to create any kind of attack.
Parkway’s size up front posed a problem for Jefferson as well.
“It’s normal of us to start slow,” noted Jefferson head coach Joy DeVelvis. “It took us some time to figure out what they were doing and what we had to do to adjust and go around the blocks. Once we did that, we saw what we could do, but it was too late.”
The Panthers took advantage of the nervous Wildcats and allowed just six points in the opening set. Five of those came on Parkway errors. It was just about as one-sided as a set can be.
The Jefferson front line became more aggressive in the second set, with Katelyn Goergens and Lindsay Deuel attacking the Panther defense with regularity. That didn’t lead to increased success, however, as Parkway got blocks from Rollins and Bransteter and the Lady Jeffcats couldn’t find the range when attempting shots to the corners.
Bransteter showed her versatility with a great service game in the second set after being a force at the net in the opener. The senior served nine straight points for Parkway before Panthers coach Jeff Marbaugh ended her run by subbing in Sydney Swygart to take over the serve.
The constant pressure applied by the Parkway front line and the deep and difficult serves meant that Jefferson played on their heels in the second and that led to errors that ultimately became the difference in the match.
Jefferson battled in the third set and refused to quit even when the game was most surely out of hand. The six seniors for the Wildcats knew that this was their last match and made sure to give it their all.
“They talked a lot in the huddles that ‘this might be our last time, so let’s put it all out there.’ And I’m really proud of the way they battled when they could have folded,” added DeVelvis.
Jefferson took early leads at 1-0, 2-1, 3-2, 4-3 and 5-4 but could never stretch beyond that one-point edge. Parkway tied the game again at 5-5 when Bransteter set freshman Alyx Slusher for the outside kill and three points later, Slusher returned the favor for Bransteter to fire one home from the back row.
Jefferson’s Riliegh Stockwell connected on a blast to the sideline and found another point when her lunging stab at a wayward pass wound up across the net an into an open space on the court and that kept the Wildcats close at 12-9, but Parkway went on another run, picking up each of the next seven points to open a commanding lead at 19-9.
Though the Wildcats fought back with spikes from Goergens, Stockwell and Deuel, the Panthers salted away a five-point win to close the match.
“Raegen made her presence felt early,” noted Marbaugh. “She got a few kills, got some blocks and that made things tough for them (Jefferson).”
“Our serving was very, very good in the first two games, putting balls where we wanted to put them and making it difficult for them to run their offense.”
The Lady Panthers will return to Lincolnview on Saturday to take on Lima Central Catholic.