Pearl River volleyball earns sweep at Bishop State
Published 12:11 pm Sunday, October 10, 2021
BY PRCC ATHLETICS INTERN, TYLER JOHNSON
MOBILE, Ala — The Pearl River volleyball team claimed its 13th win in straight sets Wednesday, defeating Bishop State 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-19).
The Wildcats battled hard to claim the first set of the day and held off late runs to claim the final two.
“Bishop is an impressive first-year program,” head coach Haley Chatham said. “They are well-coached and have a great setter matched up with some very smart hitters. We came prepared for good competition and they certainly gave it to us.”
Pearl River (16-3 overall) opened the scoring but Bishop State (10-10) equalized immediately after.
Pearl River eventually held a 5-3 lead, but Bishop State fought hard to build a lead of their own, making the score 10-8.
From there, the set continued to be a back-and-forth struggle as neither team was able to gain a foothold over the other.
Diamond Jones (Gonzales, La; East Ascension) stepped up to serve with the score all tied up and broke it with a service ace. A Leighton Willoughby (Brandon; Northwest Rankin) kill and another service ace from Jones put Pearl River up by three, 16-13.
The teams traded blows from there; however, Pearl River pulled away late to claim the set 25-22
PRCC hit the ground running in the second set, claiming five of the first six points to take a 5-1 lead.
The run included a service run by Julianah Overstreet (Vancleave) and a Jones kill and block.
The Wildcats looked as though they might run away with the set, leading by as much as 10, but BSCC was not deterred, drawing within four at 20-16.
Willoughby had three big kills late in the set that swung the momentum in the Wildcats’ favor and led them to a 25-19 victory in the set.
Bishop State opened set three by jumping on Pearl River early and building a 4-2 lead.
The teams again traded blows throughout the early going until a string of three straight kills by Leah Draine (Mobile, Ala; Mattie T. Blount), Jasmine Burdine (Biloxi) and Willoughby swung momentum in favor of Pearl River.
Pearl River continued to add on to its lead through more kills by Jones and Burdine, stretching the lead to 18-13 and forcing a Bishop State timeout.
Out of the timeout, the momentum remained in Pearl Rivers favor as the Wildcats quickly put the game to rest at 25-19, finished off by an authoritative kill from Jones
PROVIDING A SPARK
Jones continued to provide offensively, grabbing nine kills in the match and pitching in three service aces.
Willoughby continued to grab kills in crucial situations to give Pearl River momentum when it needed it most, earning four in the match.
Burdine made her presence known throughout the third set, grabbing three kills to give the Wildcats momentum in key spots.
“Jasmine stepped in after an injury and made an immediate impact,” Chatham said. “She is really starting to shine.”
Overstreet and Avery Beth Durdin (Olive Branch; Lewisburg) had an impressive night up front for Pearl River making great adjustments blocking and setting up the Wildcats hitters in positions to score.
“We ask a lot out of those two players, and they give it their all every match,” Chatham said.
The Wildcats return to action Tuesday as they travel to Senatobia to take on Champion Christian College and Northwest. The matches will begin at 5 p.m.