By Jeremy Schneider
When a Maumee athlete or team beats Perrysburg, they’re awarded a special pin — a fly swatter, signifying a win over the Yellow Jackets.
For the first time in their high school career, the Panthers volleyball team got their SWAT pins.
Maumee won a tight battle over their rival 3-1 (29-27, 22-25, 25-14, 25-22) in the final regular season game of the 2020 season.
“I could not be more proud of our kids,” Maumee coach Lindsay Vannett said. “They worked their butts off. They earned this win. Nobody let them have it. They busted their butt, they did everything they were supposed to do. They played together and they came out on top. Everything we’ve been preaching all season just came out on the floor.”
The Panthers (12-10, 6-8 Northern Lakes League) closed out their regular season with a four-game winning streak, but none were bigger than Thursday’s victory over the Jackets.
It definitely gives Maumee a huge jolt of confidence heading into Monday’s OHSAA Division II sectional game against Napoleon. Maumee has beaten Napoleon twice this year in NLL play, 3-0 wins each time.
“You’re not coming off a close loss or anything like that,” Vannett said. “Your confidence is high. You’re going to come into practice and work harder to fix the little things we still need to fix. It makes it that much sweeter and it makes them want it that much more.”
Brynn Brown and Jolie Sobb combined for 33 kills, with Brown leading the way with 17. Brown also had a team-high 21 digs, leading five Maumee players with double digit digs — Sobb (19 digs), Camy Wedge (12), Kylie Miller (11), and Maddie Kontak (10).
Brown added 21 assists and two blocks to her stat line.
Katelyn Owens led Maumee with four blocks, going along with four kills. Fellow sophomore middle Avery Lewis had three blocks.
Kontak had five kills and a team-best four aces. Miller had three aces and Sobb had two.
Wedge had 19 assists.
At the beginning of the season, the Panthers had set various goals for 2020. High up on that list was a win over Perrysburg.
Now with that in hand, focus completely turns to tournament and Napoleon, who the Panthers host at 5 p.m. Monday.
“We crossed that off, let’s head on to the next one,” Vannett said.