YORK – The York College Panthers overcame a sluggish start to surprise the visiting Southwestern Moundbuilders and win in five sets 24-26, 20-25, 25-15, 25-21, 15-12.
In a match that had both teams looking for their first conference win, it looked like the Moundbuilders were going to walk away with it winning the first two sets. However, midway through the third set the Panthers turned things around and picked up some momentum. Katie Bell (JR/Hastings, Neb) and Makenzi Kissman (FR/Aurora, Colo) helped the Panthers go on a 9-2 run to take a 14-10 lead. After the Moundbuilders took a time out Jolene Herzog (SR/Pullman, Wash) served the Panthers to the win 25-15.
With the momentum on their side the Panthers used a raucous crowd to build a quick four point lead in set four 8-4. York would build the lead to 13-8 on a Bell ace before the Moundbuilders would go on a run of their own and tie the game at 14. A back and forth battle had the fans on edge before Molly Little (SO/Billings, Mont) took over and had the final four kills of the set to force a fifth set.
Southwestern jumped out to a quick 6-1 lead in the final set before Kissman and Little took over. The duo got the Panthers back to striking distance before Quiana Hughes (SO/Aurora, Colo) served seven straight points giving the Panthers a 12-9 lead. The teams traded points from there on out as the Panthers’ lead was too much and they celebrated with the 15-12 win.
Molly Little led the team with 16 kills. Taylor O’Brien (FR/Aurora, Colo) added 12 with Cassidy Wilson (JR/Moore, Okla) picking up 11. Jolene Herzog had 29 assists with Kissman adding 19. Five Panthers had double digit digs with Kelsey Taylor (JR/Moore, Okla) leading the way with 29. Both Herzog and Hughes had 20, followed by Natalie Carrasco (SR/Moreno Valley, Calif) with 14, and Kissman with 13.
When asked about the comeback Little said “we played our game, we stopped playing theirs. The setters’ did a great job getting us in position to get the kills.” As far as what to improve on moving forward she simply said, “do our jobs and leave it all on the floor. It doesn’t matter if it’s in a game or practice, we just need to do our jobs.”
York College travels to Lindsborg, Kansas to face off against Bethany College. First serve is slated for 7:00 pm on Wednesday, Sep. 20.