The Northwestern Trojans built up a two-game lead before weathering a Fort Mill comeback attempt in a 3-1 Region 3-4A victory at Northwestern.
The Trojans won 25-15, 25-15, 19-25, and 30-28.
Northwestern won the opening set by breaking a 6-6 tie. From there, the Trojans never trailed again.
When Nadia White scored on a kill the Trojans led 12-8. Later White’s back-to-back kills upped the margin to 20-14. She had a kill and block in the final five points for Northwestern as it took a 1-0 lead.
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The Trojans won the second set 25-15. Annmarie Johnston’s kill broke a 4-4 deadlock, and Northwestern led the rest of the way.
When Johnston scored on a kill later in the set, Northwestern was in front 12-8. Northwestern closed with a 5-2 run to take a 2-0 lead.
Fort Mill regrouped and came storming back. The Yellow Jackets won the third set 25-19. Back-to-back kills by Payton Carter gave the Yellow Jackets an 8-7 cushion.
Carter scored three kills in a 5-2 run that left Fort Mill with a 20-10 lead. Tessa Grubbs had four kills in the set.
Northwestern took the early lead in the fourth set. Julia Panas had a pair of kills to lead Northwestern to a 9-5 advantage. Fort Mill battled back with a 13-5 outburst to take a 18-14 lead. Carter had four kills in the spree.
White had three kills and Johnston tallied two kills and Northwestern battled back to tie the game at 21-21. Grubbs scored a pair of kills for Fort Mill, while Johnston got a pair of blocks for the Trojans and it was tied at 25-25.
The two teams traded the next six points and it was knotted at 28. White’s kill made it 29-28, and when the Yellow Jackets return went long, Northwestern claimed a 30-28 decision and the match.
“This was a great team win for us,” said Northwestern head coach Megan Perry. “We had to come from four points down in the fourth game to pick up this win.”
Johnston led Northwestern in kills with 11, while White was the leader in blocks with six. Kelly Cabaniss led Northwestern in digs with 15, and Kaitlyn Lollis recorded 40 assists.
“We had some very good individual efforts tonight,” said Perry. “However, we got contributions from everybody, and that is what I like to see.”
Grubbs led Fort Mill in kills with 21, while Carter had 19. Sarah MacPhee had 27 digs for the Yellow Jackets.
“I am disappointed in the loss tonight,” said Fort Mill head coach Gina Farley. “However, I am not disappointed in the effort. We got down and battled back. This was our best all-around effort of the year.”
The win improved Northwestern to 4-3 in the region, while Fort Mill dropped to 3-4 in the region with the loss.