St. Maria Goretti and Hancock each got a little something out of their Washington County high school volleyball match on Monday night.
For the Gaels, it was Senior Night.
But the Panthers got the thing that really counts — a hard-fought 25-19, 8-25, 25-21, 20-25, 15-8 victory at the Gael Center.
Hancock took control of the decisive final game as Jessica Martin opened by serving the first seven points to put the Panthers ahead for good. The Gaels closed to within 14-8 before Hancock sealed the game with a sideout on Lyndsay Himes’ match-ending kill.
“We just came out with energy,” said Martin, who finished with 10 digs and eight service points. “I tried to get the ball over the net and my team backed me up. I just tried to place it in the open spots. We kind of struggled in the middle of the match. But we came out on top at the end and that is what matters.
“We stayed together as a team and we focused on our particular roles. We tried to pick each other up. Everybody just wanted to win badly and we stayed focused.”
Hancock (8-6) clinched a winning record with the victory with only one regular-season match remaining.
Alisa Shives collected 12 assists, nine service points, five aces and five kills for Hancock, while Tiffany Younker contributed 15 assists. Emily Harvey came up with 15 digs and Himes added 11 kills for the Panthers. Elizabeth Teeter got nine kills and Lindsay Flowers had nine digs for Hancock. Sara Wagner added four kills and three aces, while Joanie Leavy had four kills for the Panthers.
“We’re finally, at the end of the season, bringing our team chemistry together,” Hancock coach Laura Baker said. “Our team has worked hard in practice. We worked hard on the concepts that are needed to beat the team that we just saw for the second time in the season. We have worked on the idea of minimizing mistakes on our side of the net.”
Jean Hogan came through with 20 service points, 15 digs and 14 assists for St. Maria Goretti (9-9). Abbey Eich collected 14 digs, 12 kills, 10 service points and four blocks for the Gaels. Mary Beth Hackney added 38 digs and five kills, while Jessica Swarner had 11 service points for the Gaels.