Going into tonight’s game Payton had an advantage against rival Whitney Young. Payton’s team had defeated Whitney during the regular season and had improved their game since then. The first set started off with a 1-0 point advantage due to a Whitney service error. Whitney quickly gained control, but had no huge advantage – the game remained close until mid-set. Payton took their second lead of the game after junior Olivia Rozmus ‘16 killed the ball against a very strong Whitney defense. This created an unbelievable energy from Payton’s offense with senior Alina Rosales ‘15 smashing the ball followed by sophomore Molly C. ‘17 serving a bullet across the net. The energy however, was short-lived due to a series of unfortunate errors made by Payton, which allowed for Whitney to regain the lead and end this nail-biting game with a score of 21-25 (Whitney).
The second set seemed hopeful for Payton spectators as Payton led the game 4-3. As Payton started to slip away, senior Marlee Nork ‘15 decided to take matters into her own hands making multiple unbelievable kills of her own. This sudden hope for Payton forced head coach Joel Anderson to substitute in junior Nadiyah Pate ‘16, who has not played in weeks due to ankle injuries, to rally the team and push past Whitney Young. His strategy worked. Nadiyah had two kills off the bench as well as senior Bridget Hayes ‘15 killing a few balls of her own. This proved not enough because Whitney went on to win the game 21-25.
This is not the end for Payton girls volleyball. They remain eligible for the state tournament which includes two regional and three sectional games. Hopefully this loss will give the team the vengeance they need to win and succeed.