Streaks were important last night for North Carroll.
North Carroll scored the first 11 points of the first game, the first nine points of game two and the match's final seven points in a 15-6, 15-4, 9-15, 15-4 victory over visiting South Carroll in Carroll County volleyball action.
The quick start seemed to fire up No. 8 North Carroll (9-1, 5-0). Katy Wilhelm served for the first four points as the Panthers took an 11-0 lead.
"That just sets the mood for the whole [match]," said North Carroll's Jenny Renner.
The Panthers set the mood again at the start of the second game. North Carroll jumped to a 9-0 lead and then coasted.
South Carroll (5-4, 3-2) used a streak of its own to take the third game. North Carroll led, 5-3, but the Cavaliers came alive.
The Cavaliers scored seven straight to take a 12-6 lead. The Panthers put together a late three-point spurt but South Carroll held on for the 15-9 victory.
The Cavaliers then went up 3-0 in game four before North Carroll, behind the serves of Renner and the net play of Joy Huber, scored eight straight.
"[South Carroll] started getting fired up in that third game, and that's dangerous," said North Carroll coach Donna Martin. "All we have to do is get a good play, and we believe in ourselves."
After the Panthers extended their lead to 10-4, Amy Baker helped finish the Cavaliers. Baker served out the game and the match for the 15-4 victory.
Renner, Wilhelm and Danielle Arnold all served strongly throughout the match for North Carroll.
Huber and Jill Tringali often were dominating at the net. The left-handed Huber used her powerful kill, and Tringali took advantage of her jumping ability to frustrate the Cavaliers.
Both also received several good sets from Baker.
When North Carroll dominated most, play at the net often factored in. The Panthers often overpowered the Cavaliers.
Martin said the Panthers play better when they relax.
"The longer we can stay loose, the better we play," said Martin. "If our [team] relaxes, we play great."
South Carroll's best moments came in the third game. Erica Bouthner served four in a row that gave the Cavaliers the lead for good, 10-6. Nicole Spencer and Melissa Gettemy also had their moments.
South Carroll coach Debbie Eaton, however, saw little memorable in this match.
"We were just flat," said Eaton. "We just didn't have any intensity tonight."