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HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL: Permian edges Odessa High in five-set thriller - Odessa American: Sports

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HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL: Permian edges Odessa High in five-set thriller

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Posted: Tuesday, October 15, 2019 11:15 pm

Tuesday’s clash between the Odessa High and Permian volleyball teams turned into a battle of who could outlast the other. 

In the end, it was the Lady Panthers who found the extra gear they needed, defeating the Lady Bronchos, 15-25, 25-18, 21-25, 31-29, 15-6, in a five-set thriller Tuesday at the OHS Fieldhouse to open the second half of District 2-6A play.

“I’m extremely proud of our team,” Permian head coach Gillian Herrera said. “These district games are tough and everyone comes to win every night and to win on the road is always fun.”

 “We broke a lot of barriers that we tried to break throughout the season.” Odessa High head coach Victoria Smith said. “I thought our mental game improved so I am proud of our team’s effort tonight.”

After a week off, both teams tried to shake off some rust early. Odessa High (12-20, 0-6 in District 2-6A) was the sharper team to start, taking an early 7-2 lead to open things up. Permian (16-18, 2-4) regrouped and ran off four straight points to crawl its way back in it. The set continued to go back-and-forth with the Lady Bronchos building leads of 11-7 and 14-12.

The errors caught up with the Lady Panthers, however, and Odessa High closed the set on an 11-3 burst.

Permian regrouped in the second set and started taking advantage of a few miscues from Odessa High.  The set started out evenly at 6-6 but a kill from Analise Lopez gave the Lady Panthers a lead they would not relinquish as they pulled away for a victory in the second set.

The third set went back-and-forth with neither side building a lead greater than two points.

Odessa High trailed at 20-18 at one point but a kill by Julisha Terry sparked a 7-1 run to erase the deficit and take a 2-1 lead.

The highlight of this roller coaster type of match came in the fourth set when Permian appeared to be taking the fourth set comfortably up 20-10. Odessa High, however, roared back with 10 straight points, led by a pair of aces by Brianna McClure and two of a team-high 18 kills from Alexis Luna.

The set went past 25 points and it appeared it would not end. For a moment, however, it looked like it had.

With Odessa High up 28-27, the Lady Bronchos appeared to have a winning kill that they thought landed in. The officials, however, ruled the ball out and the disputed call evened things at 28-28. The set continued and Permian went on to win 31-29 and force a deciding fifth set.

“I thought our team played well tonight,” Smith said. “They fought hard and played from Point 1 to Point 25. I didn’t have to say anything to our team.

“We know how to keep our composure and we understand that things happen. They did well in the fourth set even though we lost and they didn’t let it affect them.”

The fifth set started out evenly before the Lady Panthers off eight straight points to close out the match as a hard-fought battle had reached its conclusion.

“I saw their mental toughness come through,” Herrera said. “We had a big lead in the fourth set and we just ended up giving it away. We can’t ride that roller coaster and we had to make up our minds to finish that set.

“It’s a win and we get rewarded for our hard work. But we celebrate until 3 o’clock and then we get ready for the next one.”

>> Follow Tony Venegas on Twitter at @OA_TVenegas

Odessa, TX

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