BY JEREMY SCHNEIDER | MIRROR SPORTS — It was arguably the toughest week of the season for the Maumee volleyball team, with home games against archrival Perrysburg and Anthony Wayne on the calendar.
The Panthers dropped a heartbreaking 3-2 match to the undefeated Yellow Jackets and avenged a loss earlier this season to the Generals with a 3-1 win two nights later.
The week moved Maumee’s record to 8-6 overall and 4-4 in the Northern Lakes League.
The Panthers were in a position to send waves through the volleyball community against Perrysburg, holding a 2-0 lead after set wins of 25-23 and 25-17.
Maumee coach Lindsay Vannett thought her girls came out with an energy that shocked the Jackets, who were the seventh-ranked team in Division I in Ohio.
“If you watch their warm-ups, if you watched everything they were doing, they thought they had this in the tank,” Vannett said.
Perrysburg kept its perfect season intact, though, with three straight set wins (25-21, 25-17, 15-8) to take the match win. Vannett thought some of Maumee’s own errors carried the Jackets to wins in the third and fourth sets.
“We could have still taken that third set, easily,” she said. “That was on us. They did nothing. They’re a good team, they’re going to get theirs, but we also did things we don’t normally do in those third and fourth sets.”
Even with the loss, there were plenty of positives to pull from what the Panthers did.
“It’s some of the best volleyball we’ve played,” Vannett said. “Some of the young players that we’ve asked to step into big roles are really starting to come into their own a little bit.”
Vannett said the match hinged on the Maumee defense. In the first two sets, she thought her defense played well but that they got “sloppy” in the third and fourth sets.
“The momentum carried them into that fifth (set),” Vannett said. “The feeling wasn’t great heading into that fifth because of the momentum and we can’t just handle that change mentally.”
Camy Wedge had her fifth game this season with at least 30 assists, totaling 35 against Perrysburg. She also had double-digit digs (16) for the second straight game, along with two blocks.
Jolie Sobb led the Panthers with 16 kills and 20 digs, while Katelyn Owens had 12 kills, 13 digs and two blocks.
Jessica Roper had four kills, seven digs and three service aces. Avery Lewis added four kills and a team-high three blocks.
“They have barely dropped a set all year,” Vannett said. “We got more out of them than anybody has up to this point.”
MHS 3, AW 1
Maumee rebounded from the tough loss with a revenge win over Anthony Wayne, which won the first meeting this season, 3-0.
The Panthers started strong with a 26-24 win in the first set before dropping set No. 2, 25-10. They rallied for wins of 25-21 and 25-23 to close out the victory.
Owens paced Maumee with 16 kills, 16 digs, two aces and two blocks. Sobb added 12 kills, 15 digs and two blocks, while Lewis had seven kills and a pair of blocks.
Wedge totaled 30 assists and nine digs and Autumn Miller and Josie Vargo each had 11 digs.