St. Vincent Pallotti girls volleyball continued its strong start with a 3-2 victory over Elizabeth Seton Sept. 12 to reach 5-1 on the season.
The Panthers took the first two sets 25-21 and 25-15, but dropped the next two sets 19-25 and 20-25 setting up the deciding fifth set. Pallotti fell behind 10-9 in the fifth set, but scored three straight to take a 12-10 lead. A dig by Carissa Hill helped the Panthers hold on for a 15-12 win in the final set to clinch the match.
After starting off 4-0, the Panthers hosted Padua Academy of Wilmington, Del., Sept. 10, but ultimately fell to the Pandas in straight sets 25-17, 25-17, 25-15. Head Coach Scott Fifield credited his teams' ability to hang with the Pandas despite giving up early leads.
"We got beat because we got stuck in a few rotations and gave up small clusters of points and then had to crawl back," he said.
Despite the loss, Fifield credited Carissa Hill, who led Pallotti with 15 digs, and Victoria Johnson, who pitched in six kills.
The match against Padua was the third in three days for the Panthers, who won the first two matches.
Pallotti opened the three-day streak with a win against National Cathedral School Sept. 8, beating the Eagles in straight sets, 25-6, 25-10, 25-4. Hill led with 10 aces. Pallotti also defeated the Catholic High School Cubs in a closely played match. After losing the first match, 25-12, the Panthers held off the Cubs 25-22 and 28-26 in the final two sets to hold on to its fourth win of the season.
Laurel fell to 1-1 on the year under new head coach Todd Sommerville after losing to Bladensburg, 20-0.
The Spartans' defense held strong, shutting out the Mustangs for two quarters before giving up a one-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter. Bladensburg tacked on another rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter and returned an interception 55 yards for the clinching touchdown.
Laurel struggled to find its offense. Joel Roberson and Jarvis McClam combined to complete eight of 21 passes for 128 yards and two interceptions. The Spartans were also stymied on the ground, gaining just 124 yards.
The loss comes just a week after a dominating performance as the Spartans beat rival High Point, 49-0, on the backs of Roberson and McClam, who combined for five touchdowns in the game.
Laurel will travel to Bowie on Saturday, Sept. 17, hoping to improve to 2-1.
A week after overcoming a nine-point deficit to defeat St. John's Catholic Prep, Pallotti's offense struggled to get going, ultimately losing to Severn School 31-6.
The game was postponed a day to Sept. 10 because of the heavy rains that drenched much of the area last week. It also forced the game to be relocated to Severn, rather than being played at Pallotti's home field as had been originally planned.
The Panthers offense struggled to find its footing, while a special teams miscue allowed the Admirals to jump out to a 17-0 halftime lead. Severn posted two more touchdowns in the third quarter to take a 31-0 lead before Pallotti finally got on the board with a 64-yard touchdown pass from Allen Bright to Nate Osbourne. With the loss, the Panthers fell to 1-1 on the season.
The Panthers offense also struggled early in the first game of the year at St. John's Catholic Prep in Frederick Sept. 2. Pallotti fell into a 22-13 hole after three quarters before posting 27 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to seal a 40-22 victory. Bright carried the ball 17 times in the win for 213 yards, including a 42-yard touchdown run and a 9-yard touchdown. Justin Mealy had just three carries for 23 yards, but two of those carries went for touchdowns to help the Panthers to victory.
The Panthers will travel to Dumfries, Va., Saturday to take on Pope John Paul the Great at 1 p.m.