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Panthers pick off Paradise Adventist
The Maxwell High volleyball team added another mark to the win column with a 3-1 victory Thursday against Paradise Adventist Academy in Maxwell.
"They were a good test for us and even though we won three games to one, I think it was a little closer than that, actually. We're really happy to win that," Maxwell coach Dan Gellermann said.
After splitting the first two games and trailing by as many as four points midway through second, the Panthers (5-1) began to pull away.
The Cougars fed the ball to sophomore outside hitter Leslie Cameron for much of the match and she was lethally effective. Cameron slammed the ball to the court for 17 kills but Maxwell survived the onslaught.
"They're a good team, there's no question about that. They hustle and hit out of the back row, which is unusual. We had to play well to beat them," Gellermann said.
Lauren LaGrande helped the Panthers to a 25-17 win in the first game with three aces and two kills.
Serving errors cost the Panthers seven points and stalled their offense in the second game, which they lost 25-18. Kaily McKinley was a bright spot for the Panthers with three kills, two aces and a block in Game 2.
Cameron scored three of Paradise Adventist's first four points with kills but Maxwell scored five of the final six points to win 25-20 and retake the match lead.
The Panthers' junior libero Maribel Venegas came up with several key digs that kept rallies alive and slowed down the Cougars offense. Her ace gave the Panthers a 16-15 lead after Jessica Jenkins closed the gap with strong serving of her own.
Venegas, a junior in her first year on varsity, is playing libero for the first time after playing all over the court last year.
"The quickness is probably the thing that's been the hardest to learn, but I've been picking it up more and more as we go," Venegas said.
Venegas added two more aces in the fourth game as Maxwell pulled away for a 25-14 victory to seal it.
Paradise Adventist's Hailey Roberts collected five blocks in the match but Maxwell setter Shelen Boyes did a good job distributing the ball around the block as the match wore on.
McKinley led the Panthers with seven kills, three aces and two blocks, and LaGrande added five kills and three aces. Jenna Powell made five kills, and Azevedo and Brittney Haywood finished with four kills apiece.
The Panthers host Faith Christian of Yuba City on Tuesday with the junior varsity game starting at 5:30 p.m. and the varsity game to follow. Maxwell begins Mid-Valley League play on the road Thursday against Quincy.
CONTACT Kirk Barron at 458-2121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.