By BRYAN URBACH
The Palestine Wildcats played host to the Grapeland Sandiettes on Tuesday, winning all three sets — 25-23, 25-20 and 25-11 — in nail-bitingly close play.
The first set started slowly, favoring the Lady Wildcats, but once both teams began to warm up points started falling for both sides.
In the first set, Palestine started off on a point-winning streak, only to find itself in a jam toward the end. But the ladies were able to pull of an impressive first set by holding out and winning 25-23.
Enter set two. The teams have changed sides, and it is showtime.
After a back-and-forth in the first set, the crowd could been seen becoming more and more unsettled.
Points exchanged back-and-forth and the Sandiettes started off strong, at one point leading the set by five points.
But the Wildcats wouldn’t have any of that, roaring back to make it a close set to the finish, winning 25-20.
By the third set, the 2-0 deficit seemed to be taking a toll on the Sandiettes. The Wildcats kept pushing the tempo and eventually won the third set and the match with a score of 25-11.
Palestine coach Lisa Hampton said she was proud of the way her team was able to finally polish off an opponent.
“We’ve been struggling with finishing off matches all year,” Hampton said. “We just want to get a group together that’s going to pull together and finish the night off.”
Playing at home seemed to have helped the Wildcats, and Hampton said you could see it in the players’ reactions that they were feeling more and more confident as the evening rolled on.
“It’s definitely a big win at home for us,” Hampton said. “It’s a huge confidence booster. We’re young, and it’s just going to help us out in the long run.”
As far as this season goes, Hampton said she knows her team is capable of a lot, and this win definitely helped make a step in the right direction.
“So far this season, we just feel like we haven’t reached our potential yet,” Hampton said. “But we will.”