FILLIES PREVAIL ON THE ROAD – TAKE DOWN #2 IN THE PROCESS
Fourth-ranked Panola College opened their four-day road trip Wednesday night with a 5 set victory over Navarro College (23-25, 25-21, 25-18, 18-25, 15-6). Sophomore middle blocker Rachel Henderson paced the offense with 13 kills, sophomore outside Ana Oliveira added 11, sophomore outside Victoria Baptista and freshman right side Jaqueline da Silva chipped in 9, and freshman right side Kaitlyn Adams picked up 8. Defensively, sophomore libero Morgan Currie led the way with 27 digs, Victoria Baptista racked up 19, and freshman setter Cayman Sutton added 12. Sutton also dished out 28 assists in the victory.
The following day Panola traveled to Brenham to take on host Blinn College in the opening match of the Applebees Classic. Once again it took 5 sets for the Fillies to claim victory (25-13, 25-11, 23-25, 16-25, 15-6). Victoria Baptista led with 12 kills, Kaitlyn Adams and Jaqueline da Silva chipped in 7, and Rachel Henderson added 6. Defensively, several Fillies made key contributions with four players in double-digit digs. Morgan Currie led with 16, Baptista tallied 15, while freshman setter Kinly Carter and da Silva each added 13. Carter also picked up 19 assists and Cayman Sutton dished out 16.
The Fillies turned it up a notch Friday morning to sweep Temple College (25-17, 25-17, 25-19). Baptista came up big again, leading with 9 kills and 5 blocks. Henderson added 7 kills and 3 blocks. Sutton dished out 10 assists with Carter adding 8. Once again, Currie led the defense with 13 digs while Ana Oliveira added 6 digs and 4 aces.
In what proved to be the marquee matchup of the weekend, PC defeated the 2nd-ranked team in the nation, Iowa Western, in a thrilling 5-set match (25-22, 25-23, 14-25, 20-25, 21-19). Playing their fourth match in three days, the victory was a complete team effort with several Fillies stepping up in crucial moments. Oliveira and da Silva paced the offense with 13 kills apiece, Henderson racked up 11, Baptista added 9, and Adams chipped in 7. The scrappy defensive play of Panola proved to be the difference with 5 players racking up double-digit digs. Currie anchored the floor with 24 digs, Baptista picked up 21, Oliveira chipped in 14, while da Silva and Carter added 10 each. Sutton and Carter came up big for the Fillies dishing out 30 and 25 assists apiece.
PC capped off its final match of the weekend with a sweep of DII 6th-ranked Central Illinois (25-13, 25-10, 26-24). Baptista and Henderson paced the offense with 8 and 7 kills, respectively, and freshman right side Melanie Casteel had a break out match with 5 kills and 10 digs. Baptista dominated the net with 5 blocks and Henderson added 3. Da Silva led the defense with 11 digs, and defensive specialist Camie Copeland chipped in 10. Kinly Carter dished out 14 assists and Sutton added 8.
With another undefeated weekend, Panola College Volleyball improved to 25-2 overall and Head Coach Amber McCray picked up her 100th career victory Thursday night against Blinn College. The Fillies will return to Region XIV-North play Wednesday with a road match against Tyler Junior College. First serve is set for 7 pm.