Losers of three straight matches, it’s no understatement to say the Maumee volleyball team needed a win in the worst way when it faced Clay.
After a slow start and a loss in the first set, the Panthers reeled off wins in two straight sets and pulled out a 3-2 win over the Eagles.
The Panthers improved to 4-4 overall, winning 20-25, 25-23, 25-21, 22-25, 15-10.
“On a three-match slide, you needed something to power you into this week, because it doesn’t get any easier,” Maumee coach Lindsay Vannett said. “They needed this. Morale-wise, we needed this.”
Maumee’s usual one-two punch of Brynn Brown and Jolie Sobb once again led the way. Brown had 22 kills, 22 digs, 23 assists, three aces, and two blocks. Sobb had 14 kills, 23 digs, and three blocks.
In her last two games, Sobb has 36 kills and 35 digs, exhibiting the versatility as a hitter from behind the 10-foot line that’s been in the works for a while. And it was something the Panthers needed, with senior Maddie Kontak sitting out sick.
“This is something we’ve been talking to her about for two years,” Vannett said. “It’s something we’re being forced to do, but it’s something we want to happen anyways. It’s nice we’re getting to work on it. When we do get back into our normal lineups with Maddie (Kontak), that’s just more ammo on the floor.”
The Panthers also got great games from a pair of sophomore middle hitters. Katelyn Owens totaled 11 kills, 12 digs, three blocks, and three aces, while Avery Lewis added four kills and four blocks with some much-needed excitement and energy.
Owens has turned it up this season. She has totaled 59 kills (third on the team), eight aces, 27 blocks (first on the team), and 48 digs. In her last four games, she’s gone for 26 kills, seven aces, 10 blocks, and 35 digs.
In her last five games, Lewis has 18 kills and nine blocks; in total, she’s third on the team with 12 blocks this year.
“If we can get our middles rolling, it will open up our floor,” Vannett said. “There were some adjustments we needed to make. … Sets two through five today, we started executing the things we’ve been talking about. They started absorbing it and feeling it and seeing it.”
Camy Wedge had 21 assists and 13 digs against Clay. Kylie Miller had 28 digs, and Jessica Roper added 10.