The Panthers played their first game after moving up to the Championship Tier. Their first opponent was EVP Eagles. The Panthers played well but so did the Eagles, the first set was won by the Panthers 27-25. Set 2 was won by the Eagles 25-21. Panthers had many chances but nerves played a part. The girls needed to calm down and play their own game. The Eagles won the third set 15-5.
Game two was against Pakmen. The girls settled down and played a great first set. Panthers took an early lead but Pakmen fought back to tie at 24. Panthers got the next two points and won 26-24. Panthers started the second set strong, got a quick 3 point lead. Our serves were good, hitting was strong and the girls found a nice groove. Panthers won the second set 25-16.
Quarter Final game was against Leaside Lightning. After a quick lunch break the Panthers came back with new energy, but, in the end lost the first set 18-25. The miscommunication continued into the second set, but, they were able to shake it off and settle down. Panthers got ahead 22-11 and won the set 25-12. Panthers came out strong in the third set and took an early 7-5 lead. Both teams were fighting their hardest and were not going to give up points. The score got to a 12-12 tie and points were exchanged back and forth. It was a nail biter but the Panthers won 15-13.
Semi Final game was against Halton Hurricanes. Panthers started slowly but gained momentum. The girls played hard making the most of opportunities and scoring points. Panthers got ahead 23-18, took the next point to get to set point and won the match with a beautiful service ace. Set two started with the Panther getting behind 7-15. The girls settled down and worked to get a few consecutive points. Panthers got behind one again but a couple of key blocks and the score was 22-23. Panther dug deep and won the set 25-23. Well done. On to the finals.
The Final Gold Medal game was against Hamilton Smash Purple… Panthers started strong early, both teams exchanged points and halfway through the set the score was tied at 16. Panthers slowly pulled ahead to 21-19, Hamilton tied it up at 21. Panthers fought back and pulled ahead to 24-21. Hamilton would not give up, they took the match to deuce then pulled ahead then won the set 27-25.
At the beginning of the second set the Panthers took the lead with a score of 6-4, Hamilton came back and took the lead 10-8. The went back and forth with the lead changing hands many times. Finally, the score was tied at 22. Panthers took the lead with a score of 23-22, a time out was called by Hamilton. when play resumed, Hamilton missed a serve and set up match point for the Panthers. Showing much determination, the Panthers won the next point and won the set 25-22 This set up the tie breaker.
Panthers got behind early 0-3, shortly the score was 4-10 for Hamilton. Points were exchanged back and forth but in the end Hamilton was victorious. The won the game 2 sets to 1.
The Panthers had a wonderful day. They made mistakes, but also played well and started to gel as a team. As parents, we can see the huge developments in their skill levels and team play. Their game has certainly stepped up a notch. We can’t wait to see their next game. The Panthers worked hard and won a well deserved Silver. Congratulations Panthers, we are all very proud of you!!