NORTH ZULCH – The Westwood Lady Panthers were faced with a daunting task of taking down the state's 25th ranked volleyball program, Lexington Lady Eagles, in the class 3A Region III bi-district round.
Unfortunately, the Lady Panthers dropped a hard-played series to the Lady Eagles on Tuesday night, at North Zulch High School.
Westwood lost to the 19-3A champions in three sets, 13-25, 16-25, 23-25.
After dropping the first set, the Lady Panthers continued to rally showcased a much more competitive set in the second frame.
A favorable trend for Westwood all night would be their presence at the net against Lexington's aggressive hitters. Several times throughout the second set, Jordan Carter and Shamaya Downie stifled the Lady Eagles at the net with huge blocks.
Down 16-7, Downie came away with a needed kill that halted a 6-0 run from Lexington. The Lady Panthers pulled within five following a tip-over from Downie and another block from Carter before another run pushed Lexington out front 21-13 and forced Westwood to burn a timeout.
Both sides continued to exchange blows until Lexington closed out the set, 25-16.
The final set proved to be the most competitive of the night for Westwood. Tiana Davis slammed home an aggressive spike that sat the score at 5-4, Lexington. A couple of errors on both sides kept the game close throughout with Lexington holding the advantage at 12-8.
Following a timeout from the Lady Panthers, their middle hitters would begin to heat up at the net. Another block from Jordan Carter trimmed the deficit to 12-9. Unfortunately, a slew of lapses for the Lady Panthers allowed the Lady Eagles to open up a 19-12 advantage and forced another timeout from head coach Daylyn Harris.
Following the timeout, the brief pause in action ignited Westwood's attempt at a comeback with their season hanging in the balance. Forced errors from Lexington, coupled with kills from Shamaya and Jordan pulled Westwood within three.
The Lady Eagles spouted off two more points before a pair of blocks from Westwood's middle hitters reduced the deficit to 21-19.
An ace and another big-time block on the part of Jordan tied the match at 21 before an error from Lexington gave Westwood their first lead of the set, 22-21. An attack error from Jordan tied it back up at 22. However, she repaid it with a kill to put Westwood out front 23-22.
Lexington pulled out in front 24-23 before a near immaculate from Avrey Jenkins nearly forced the game into extended play. Westwood's total season wins had not been reported yet.