Panola College defeats Brookhaven College’s volleyball team, 3-0.
By Lauren Keuning
The Brookhaven College Bears volleyball team went down fighting at home against the Panola College Fillies, 0-3, Sept. 16. With Panola ranked third in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I, according to the NJCAA website, the Bears were the game’s underdogs.
“Go Bears,” the Brookhaven players said in sync, claps echoing throughout the gymnasium. Fillies Kinly Carter took the first serve of the game. After a few volleys, the Bears got the ball down for the first point of the game.
Thanks to a successful dig by Bears Caitlyn Welge, followed by a deep tip by teammate Tara Cangialosi, Brookhaven pulled ahead, leading 6-4.
But Panola managed to catch up with the help of their power hitter, Jasmine Sanchez, gaining points.
Cangialosi and Bears Jayla Hattaway brought the Fillies’ run to a stop, blocking an attack to tie the game 8-8.
The score stayed close, but Panola gained a 5-point lead after a strong run, 19-14.
However, the Bears stayed in it. With Panola leading, Bears Alexis Hattaway served an ace, bringing the score to 24-20.
Although the Bears put up a good fight, the first set ended with a Fillies victory, 25-22.
“That’s a nice serve,” Jason Hopkins, Brookhaven head volleyball coach, shouted from the bench when Bears Ashley Kenkel smacked the ball over the net to start the second set.
While the Bears snagged the first point, Panola had the return and started the set off with a 5-point streak, putting the score at 6-2 in their favor.
With Panola in sync and on fire, the Bears kept their defense strong, but it was not enough to stop Fillies Barbara Sabino from crushing the ball past the Bears.
Alexis leapt into the air and nailed a fierce hit from the back row, but Fillies Camie Copeland refused to let the ball hit the ground, returning the volley for a Panola point. The Fillies led 12-4.
The Bears fought to stay in it, but with momentum on their side, the Fillies continued to dominate the court.
Multiple hits by Bears Princess Hamilton were stopped short by the Panola front-row defense, bringing the score to a devastating 13-point deficit of 20-7.
Though the Bears managed to gather a few more points, the set quickly ended with the final score 25-11 and another win for the Fillies.
The final set started neck and neck with long volleys and quick turnovers. The Bears managed to sneak into the lead with the score 9-8.
After a long volley, Bears Kristin Londrie faked a set and tipped the ball into the middle of Panola’s court. The Fillies back row froze, questioning who was taking the dig as the ball slowly dropped in front of them. Brookhaven earned the point and took the lead 14-13.
The first timeout of the set was called by Panola with the Bears’ lead, 19-17. Both teams were worn down, but still in the fight as they continued the set.
The Fillies pulled ahead by 2 points, and Brookhaven called timeout with the score 24-22.
After a missed serve by the Fillies, the score was 24-23, and Panola coach Amber McCray called another timeout to break the Bears’ momentum.
The Bears tried to win the point, but were unable to return Fillies Rebecca Rabius’s attack, ending the final set 25-23.
Earlier that day, Brookhaven battled Odessa College, but lost the match 0-3. The Fillies defeated Odessa that same day. As of press, the Bears hold an overall record of 3-16.