HANCEVILLE, Ala. — The Pearl River volleyball team concluded its season Friday after it split in the Alabama Community Colleges Conference Tournament. The Wildcats defeated Coastal Alabama - East 3-1 (25-17, 25-21, 17-25, 25-21) and fell to Lawson State 3-0 (25-18, 25-12, 25-16).
Coastal Alabama-East (7-21 overall) and Pearl River (16-10) traded points throughout the first half of the set, with the Wildcats eventually holding a slim 11-10 lead.
Pearl River rattled off four straight points thanks to back-to-back aces by Hannah Burks (Vancleave) to go ahead 15-10 and force a Coastal Alabama-East timeout.
Coming out of the timeout, the Wildcats went on a 5-2 run highlighted by two Avery Beth Durdin (Olive Branch; Lewisburg) kills and a diving dig by Amy Wright (Palm Bay, Fla.; Melbourne Central Catholic) that resulted in a point to extend the lead to 20-12.
The Wildcats claimed set one 25-17.
The second set proved to be a back-and-forth affair, with the teams tying seven times, with the last coming at 11 points each. The highlight of the first half of the set was when a diving dig from Harleigh Lafontaine (Kiln; Hancock) resulted in a Diamond Jones (Gonzales, La.; East Ascension) kill.
Pearl River went ahead by four points later in the set at 18-14 on a Leighton Willoughby (Brandon; Northwest Rankin) kill.
A while later, kills by Tori Havens (Lucedale; George County) and Durdin again gave PRCC a four point lead at 23-19.
The Wildcats went on to claim set two 25-21 and take a commanding lead in the match 2-0.
PRCC started the third set off hot, claiming the first three points, but CAE quickly countered with four of their own to go ahead 4-3.
Pearl River tied the set at four each, but Coastal Alabama-East took the lead back and eventually extended the lead to 11-5.
The Wildcats rallied back to cut the deficit to just one at 12-11, but the Eagles stormed back ahead and went on to win the third set 25-17.
The first point of set four went to CAE, but the Wildcats put up six straight points capped off by a Leah Draine (Mobile, Ala.; Mattie T. Blount) kill to take the early 6-1 lead.
CAE cut the lead to just two at 6-4 before a 6-1 run by PRCC that consisted of a kill and an ace by Jones extended the PRCC lead to 12-5.
Pearl River built a nine point lead later in the set, going ahead 18-9 on an ace by Wright.
The Wildcats claimed the final set 25-21 when a Durdin tip fell just in front of an Eagle defender.
The second match of the day against Lawson State (14-5) saw the teams trading points, with neither of them able to mount a large lead.
The Cougars built a 16-12 lead before a Durdin kill cut the deficit to just three at 16-13.
LSCC did not let up going on to claim set one 25-18.
Set two saw the Cougars jump out in front quickly going ahead 5-2.
A kill by Draine cut the deficit to two at 6-4, but Lawson State countered and eventually took a 16-10 lead.
LSCC went on to win the second set 25-12.
PRCC grabbed the lead first in the third set on a Jones kill going ahead 1-0, but LSCC took the lead back and eventually went ahead 14-11.
Chloe Paske (Ocean Springs; St. Martin) cut the Cougar lead to two points at 14-12 with a kill.
Lawson State closed out the game on an 11-4 run to claim the set 25-16 and win the match.
Pearl River concluded its second season as a program on Saturday after competing in the Alabama Community Colleges Conference Tournament. The tournament appearance marked the first postseason appearance in program history. The Wildcats won three of their five matches in route to a fourth-place finish.