Greenville ends Panthers' comeback season
The Maxwell High volleyball team's remarkable turnaround season ended in Greenville during the second round of the Northern Section Division VI playoffs after a tightly contested match.
Maxwell (15-4, 9-1 MVL) entered the playoffs as the No. 6 seed and opened with a sweep of visiting Paradise Adventist on Nov. 6, but Greenville proved itself worthy of the No. 3 seed with a 25-23, 19-25, 25-23 and 25-18 victory on Tuesday.
The Indians defense and middle hitter Alicia Missman gave the Panthers fits throughout the game, Panthers coach Dan Gellermann said.
"(Missman is a) smallish middle hitter but very, very dexterous with the ball. I know it was frustrating to our middle blockers having this small girl hitting the ball past them or tipping it. She was really clever," Gellermann said.
After a slow start in Game 1, the Panthers took a late lead before the Indians came back to win it. Maxwell jumped out to a big lead in Game 2 and held on to tie the match.
The third game was a back-and-forth affair with several momentum swings, but Greenville pulled out the victory and carried the momentum into the fourth and final game.
"It just really wasn't our day but Greenville deserves all the credit. They were a good team, they were well prepared and they were home," Gellermann said.
Kaily McKinley had 12 kills, Jenna Powell had five kills, Jessica Jenkins (4), Brittney Haywood (3), Lauren LaGrande (2) and Ashley Azevedo added one for the Panthers.
Maxwell snapped a string of four losing seasons in Gellermann's first year at the helm and did so with just three seniors on the roster: Jenkins, LaGrande and Azevedo.
"I know the team knows that they had a terrific season. You just can't complain when you look at the overall season, how well they did, how much they improved and how far they went," Gellermann said. "We've had a wonderful season, it's just been a magical season."