By CHRIS BROOKS, sports editor, wellsvillesports.com
WELLSVILLE — For the second straight game, the Lady Panthers of Houghton Academy found themselves in a back-and-forth alternation all throughout the night. First with Cuba-Rushford back on Wednesday, and then with the Lady Lions of Wellsville on Friday.
The Lady Panthers would overcome a slow start in the opening set by tying the match up in the next. That would become the trend for the rest of the match between the two foes all the way down until the final serve in extras, where Wellsville was able to grab the two-point advantage they needed to come away victorious with their ninth win in 10 games, taking the 25-10, 19-25, 25-22, 19-25, 16-14 decision.
A strong offensive night by the Lady Lions (9-1) saw Bryanna Moultrup and Lindsey Stuck both rise to the occasion, with Moultrup and her 16 team-high kills paving the lane towards great success, adding two aces along the way. Stuck would follow behind closely with 13 kills of her own along with four aces, while Emma Dunaway rounded off with nine additional kills.
Houghton Academy (5-5) was running wild across the playing surface to try and keep the ball from hitting the floor. Jess Prentice and Jessica Adenuga combined to record 67 digs in all on defense, with Prentice tallying 40 of them to pair with 19 kills, five aces and two blocks to lead the Lady Panthers front. Adenuga would follow with 27 digs of her own, coupling them with 17 kills, three aces and three blocks.
The Lady Panthers will return to action on Wednesday back home, as they host their final regular season matchup with the Lady Eagles of Fillmore beginning at 6 p.m.
Friday night’s game was also Wellsville’s “Pink Out” game, where money was raised for the Pink Pumpkin Project, established to spread breast cancer awareness. Through 50/50 raffles, and the sale of apparel and baked goods, the Lady Lions volleyball program was able to raise nearly $900 for the cause.
Up next, Wellsville will prepare for a 7:30 p.m. road trip to Bolivar-Richburg — winners of five straight, on Wednesday.
Bolivar-Richburg 3, Genesee Valley/Belfast 0
BELMONT — There was simply no stopping the Lady Wolverines of Bolivar-Richburg on Friday, who continued to play at the top of their game over the road, as they started off dominantly against host Genesee Valley/Belfast and rolled their way towards victory with a 3-0 sweep to earn their fifth straight win, taking the 25-10, 25-8, 25-17 decision.
Fueling the effort for the Lady Wolverines (8-3) was a tremendous night of service from Haley Mascho on the back line, as she recorded a whopping 16 service points, pairing them with 13 aces to help ignite the offense. Adding more help along the way was Kori Thomas, who scored 10 kills and four blocks at the front of the net, while setter Willow Worth handed out 10 assists to set everything up.
Genesee Valley/Belfast (0-13) was paced by Madison McKenzie on defense, recording a team-high nine digs to go with three kills. On offense, Liliana Porter provided four kills and four digs, while setter Cassidy Hand handed out five assists to go with one denial.
“I thought defensively, we played our best game of the year. Bolivar-Richburg has a lot of good hitting and we dug up a lot of balls, and made them work. I felt very proud of my team and how hard they pushed themselves defensively.” said GV/Belfast coach Darren Bradt.
Both teams are back on the floor Wednesday night in a pair of 7:30 p.m. contests, as Bolivar-Richburg takes aim at a potential sixth straight win with Wellsville in town, while Genesee Valley/Belfast hits the road for a trip to Hinsdale.
Photos courtesy Wellsville CSD Athletics Facebook page: