“It was very important,” Pell City head coach Rebecca Williams said on getting the area win. “We definitely needed this. We’re definitely getting ready for area play and we needed to not be the bottom seed. We needed to at least go in as the third seed.”
With the win, Pell City was able to earn the third spot in their area, with Gadsden City slotted to the fourth spot in the area.
In the first set, Pell City started out with a 7-3 lead. Candace Bento gave the Lady Panthers a 15-3 commanding lead following eight straight serve points including four aces. Ashantee Wade pushed the team from an 18-5 lead to a 23-8 lead with a set-high three kills. Kelsey McCurry finished off the Lady Titans with two serve points, one of which was an ace, for a 25-8 win.
In the second set, Gadsden City made things much closer as the two teams played to a 6-6 tie in the early stages of the game. Ashlyn Perrigin had four straight serve points to give the Lady Panthers a 10-6 lead, a lead they never relinquished. Later in the set, Abby Brown had four straight serve points to push the team’s lead to 20-9. The two teams traded points before McCurry finished the Lady Titans off with an ace for a 25-15 win. Brown led the team with five kills in the second set.
“The girls definitely executed,” Williams said. “They showed a great work ethic, they played together, they played as a team. I’m very proud of my senior Abby Brown. She stepped it up and she took on the role as a captain and as a senior and played.”
In the final set, Pell City dominated from the start. Sierra Allen got the team off to a 3-0 start with three consecutive aces. From there, McCurry had five straight serve points including one ace to build the lead up to 9-2. Perrigin had seven consecutive serve points, four of which were aces to push the lead to 17-3. Brown finished off the Lady Titans with six straight serve points including three aces to give the Lady Panthers a 25-7 win in the set, as well as the match.
Brown led all players in the match with 11 total kills, while Wade was second with six total kills.
The win moved the team to an overall record of 6-8 and 2-4 in area play. Pell City plays Moody Thursday at 5 p.m. at the Pell City Center.
“We have a young team,” Williams said. “It gives us a lot to look forward to for next year because we are so young. A majority of the girls on the team are sophomores. To see them on the floor and have all of them starting, that’s a big thing for us to go into next year.”