The Mead volleyball team stretches defenses to the limit.
That was evident Thursday when the Panthers, using contributions from many, were too much for their in-district rival Mt. Spokane 25-23, 25-18, 14-25, 25-12 in a Greater Spokane League match played in an electric atmosphere on Cancer Awareness Night at Mead.
The Panthers attack from all along the net and in zones off it as well. Eight different players accounted for one kill or more.
Both teams appreciated the environment and crowd involvement – something not usual with most league matches.
“It’s nice to play in a high-pressure situation like this where your team has to compete,” Mead coach Shawn Wilson said. “That’s what you’re looking for is to battle and fight, go through adversity and come out on top at the end. They did that. Hats off to Mt. Spokane, they played awesome. We just had a little bit more at the end.”
Outside hitters Amanda Chan and Madison Lee led the way for the Panthers (3-0). Chan finished with a team-high 11 kills and Lee added eight.
“We’ve always played our best game and Mt. Spokane’s always played their best game when we’ve played against each other,” Chan said.
In the first set, the teams traded points until Mead scored three straight for a 19-15 lead.
Mt. Spokane pulled within 24-23 before Lindsey Russell got the game-winning kill from the right side.
Taking advantage of several unforced errors, Mead doubled up the Wildcats (2-1) in the second game, opening an 18-9 lead. By the late stages of the game, Wilson had used all 11 of his players.
Mt. Spokane pulled within six before Lee’s kill closed out the game.
The Wildcats fought back in the third game. Tied at 8-8, Mt. Spokane, sparked by outside hitter Miahna Waters, went on a 12-4 surge. Mead was called for four hits on game point.
The Panthers returned to form in the final game. They took advantage of 15 errors by Mt. Spokane. Lee, who led with 25 digs, scored the game winner when her kill was blocked out of bounds.
“It was fun to have a super intense (match),” Lee said. “Some of my best friends go to Mt. Spokane so it’s fun to play against them. This atmosphere is unlike any other match.”
Unless they were to meet at the Linda Sheridan Classic, it’s likely the showdown Thursday is the lone time the rivals will meet this season.
Waters led Mt. Spokane with 17 kills.
Elsewhere in league matches, visiting Gonzaga Prep (3-0) swept University (1-2). Kate Budig led the Bullpups with seven kills and 11 digs. Rachael Schlect led the Titans with 10 kills.
At Shadle Park, the Highlanders (2-2) avenged a season-opening, nonleague loss to Ferris (2-2) by sweeping the Saxons. Jillian Groves led the Highlanders with seven kills and Annika Briggs led Ferris with 13.
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