If there was an ESPN classic for high school volleyball, Tuesday night's contest between North Lamar and Paris High would definitely be shown. In the district opener for the Pantherettes, North Lamar took down the defending district champs in five sets (25-20, 17-25, 25-23, 12-25, 15-12).
Things got dicey for North Lamar several times during the match, but ever time they were able to bounce back. After winning the first set 25-20, North Lamar fell in the second set. For most of the set, the Lady Cats enjoyed a three to four point cushion. North Lamar got it to within 17-14 before Paris pulled away.
With it tied 1-1, the Pantherettes bounded back in the third set. With the Lady Cats leading 14-13, coach Sara Beth Upchurch called a timeout and had her team run sprints for almost the entirety of the timeout.
"If it embarrasses them a little bit, then that's ok," Coach Upchurch said after the game about the sprints. "It worked. They came back out and fought."
After the sprints, North Lamar went on a six to three run on their way to the 25-23 victory. In the fourth set, it was all Paris as they jumped out to a 9-2 lead. North Lamar would only manage 12 points in the set. So it all came down to a fifth and deciding set. It was the Pantherettes this time taking control of the game as they jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead. The closest Paris would get in that set would be two at 11-9.
Macie Pointer led the team with 17 blocks (12 assisted and 5 solo). Sophia Johnson had 12 kills to lead the team. She also had eight blocks (6 assisted and 2 solo). Emma Stewart had 14 digs. She was also perfect from the service line (12/12) with one ace. Macy Richardson finished the game 15/19 from the service line. She also had seven kills and four digs.
Jerrika Johnson finished with two blocks. Jacie Proctor had 11 digs and was 8/9 from the service line for North Lamar. Madelyn Clark finished the game 27 of 29 from the service line with three aces. She also had 19 assists and seven digs. Kenley Coston had nine kills. She was also 10/10 from the service line and had one ace. She also had three digs and eight blocks.
With the win, North Lamar is now 1-0 in district and will face Pittsburg on Friday night at home.