BY JEREMY SCHNEIDER | MHS VOLLEYBALL
Northview 3, Maumee 2
It must have felt like deja vu, as Northview and Maumee volleyball battled through set after set for the second straight match. Just four days prior, the Wildcats took a 3-2 win over the Panthers in Sylvania.
Thanks to a fluctuating schedule because of COVID-19, the Panthers turned around and welcomed Northview in back-to-back games, and for the second straight game, the teams went to five sets, with Northview stealing a tough 3-2 win.
The loss (25-15, 23-25, 25-23, 17-25, 14-16) dropped the Panthers to 8-10 overall and 2-8 in the Northern Lakes League.
In matches that go four or five sets this season, the Panthers are 1-4.
“It was more like we got tight, made the wrong error at the wrong time and (Northview) made a great play at the right time, and that’s been the story of our lives in these five-set (matches) we’ve been losing,” Panthers coach Lindsay Vannett said. “It’s stuff we’re cleaning up, but it still comes out when we’re tight.”
Monday’s match was closer than the previous meeting, with each team totaling 104 points over the five sets.
“You really wanted them to fall when you played this team that tough last week and get a chance to turn around and make some adjustments,” Vannett said. “You really can’t ask for two better nights. My kids are playing good volleyball.”
Brynn Brown went over 20 kills for the second straight match, totaling 24 in Monday’s match. She also had a season-high 31 digs with 20 assists and four blocks.
Jolie Sobb had 22 digs and 12 kills, and Maddie Kontak added 17 digs and six kills.
Katelyn Owens led the team with five blocks, adding nine kills, and Macey Pilcher had four blocks.
Camy Wedge had 19 assists and 14 digs, and Kylie Miller totaled 21 digs and seven assists.
For Northview, 6-foot-1 sophomore Kamryn Hunt had 19 kills and 18 digs, giving her 52 kills and 33 digs in two matches against the Panthers this season.
With Maumee’s blocking game at the net presenting a brick wall for the Wildcats, their hitters made adjustments and began tipping the ball over blocks and into empty spots on the floor. It was something Northview did in the previous match as well.
“We’re making the adjustment faster, it’s just not anticipating as much as we should be,” Vannett said. “We’ve got to anticipate it early in the match and not just the third set, because that’s when it will catch you.”
The grueling grind continues for Maumee as the Panthers hosted Bowling Green the next night and traveled to Springfield three days later. It’s Maumee’s fourth straight week with three matches.
“They’ve just got to take care of their bodies,” Vannett said. “In addition to COVID, with all these games being like this because of COVID, they’ve got to take care of their bodies.”
Maumee 3, BG 0
For the first time in two weeks, Maumee’s volleyball team went to the locker room with a win.
After coming up on the wrong side of the scorebook in six straight games – including a four-set loss to Perrysburg and a pair of five-set losses to Northview – the Panthers took care of business and beat Bowling Green 3-0.
“You have no idea, and I’m happy it happened in three,” Panthers coach Lindsay Vannett said, “and I think my girls and their legs are happy it happened in three.”
The win (25-23, 25-15, 25-13) moved Maumee to 9-10 and 3-8 in the Northern Lakes League. It avenges a loss at Bowling Green earlier in the season.
The Panthers got off to a slow start in the first set, but Vannett managed to emphasize the importance of a good start after that, resulting in easy wins in the second and third sets.
“We didn’t start off great, but a couple timeouts, a couple little pep talks … and they responded and we were fine,” Vannett said. “We start matches in holes. It takes us a long time to recover, and sometimes there aren’t enough points in the set to do that.”
Three players recorded double digits in kills, led by Jolie Sobb’s 14 kills and 15 digs. Brynn Brown and Katelyn Owens each had 12 kills.
Brown had 22 assists, 12 digs and five blocks. Owens added six digs, four blocks and four aces.
Avery Lewis had three blocks. Maddie Kontak had nine digs, and Kylie Miller added seven.
Camy Wedge had 14 assists and seven digs.
The Panthers were nearly done with their fourth straight week with three matches; they faced Springfield on Thursday.
While the postseason won’t be as taxing with a max of two matches per week, Vannett hopes the Panthers are prepared for difficult situations, long nights and tough opponents.
“Getting their bodies prepared for these longer nights allows us to be better conditioning and handle these other teams we’re going to see,” Vannett said.
Maumee 3, Springfield 0
Maumee volleyball evened its record and won its fourth league game of the season with a straight-set road win at Springfield.
The Panthers are 10-10 overall and 4-8 in the Northern Lakes League after the 25-18, 25-22, 25-16 win. It also completed the season sweep of the Blue Devils.
For the third time in the last four games, Brynn Brown topped the 20-kill mark. She had 20 kills against Springfield, giving her 81 over that span and 285 for the season.
Brown also had 12 assists, seven digs and a team-high four aces.
Katelyn Owens had eight kills, three digs and two aces, and Jolie Sobb added seven kills and 15 digs. Avery Lewis led Maumee with two blocks, adding three kills.
Camy Wedge had 15 assists, nine digs and three aces.
Kylie Miller went for 12 digs and six assists.