The Panola College Fillies had their share of problems in the second set of a rare Monday afternoon contest against the Coastal Bend Cougars at Arthur Johnson Gym as they fell behind and stayed behind.
However, they bounced back from the setback to win the next two and pick up a 3-1 win over the visiting Cougars, 25-22, 16-25, 25-21, 25-17.
The win was the first in Region XIV games for the 2-0 Fillies, who moved up to No. 15 in this week’s national poll.
The Fillies have a third home straight home match in A.J. Gym, playing host to Victoria College for a 6 p.m. match on Thursday.
That’s a good Coastal Bend team that we beat today,” said Panola College Head Coach Nicole McCray. “I’m proud of the kids for fighting through some adverse conditions like this.
“To pull out our first conference game at home like this says a lot about this team and what we can do. Cassidy (Cole) and Michaela Johnson stepped up late to help us pull one out.”
The first set didn’t take long once the Fillies pulled away from a 9-9 tie, pulling away for an 18-11 advantage and a 23-17 lead on a Cole kill.
The Cougars managed to get within two before a Nyah Walker kill finished it up.
Coastal Bend pulled away from a 2-2 tie to go up 11-5, 18-9 and 22-12 before winning 25-6.
“They really jumped on us quick in the second game,” McCray said. “We hadn’t been in that position so far this season. But we put it back together and regrouped in the Game 3.”
They didn’t regroup right away as the Cougars continued strong in the third set, jumping to a 5-0 lead.
Although the Fillies lost the point after a great rally, they did manage to tie the set up at 11-11 and took their first lead at 14-12.
After the Cougars served into the net, PC responded with a Walker kill, a Jazmine Perez ace and a Cole kill on the way to a 21-15 edge.
The Cougars did come back and make it 23-21, but the Fillies held on for the win to go up 2-1.
Panola made quick work of it in the fourth, jumping out to a 6-2 lead, pulling away to make it 13-7 and then 18-12. Sarah Kayadibi had a couple of kills in a run that put the Fillies up 21-16 before they finished off the visitors with a 4-1 run.
“We need to work on our serving,” McCray said. “That’s one of the things that has suffered through this new season. We have to continue to work on our blocking as well. Nyah Walker and Cassidy did a great job and Jazmine Perez did a great job setting and Erin Perez made some great plays off the back row. Without them, we don’t win this match.
“We got a real good effort from the girls today and I’m extremely proud of them.”