PAXTON -- A two-set win over Clifton Central on Thursday improved Paxton-Buckley-Loda's overall record to 9-1 and its mark in the Sangamon Valley Conference to 2-0.
Despite the .900 mark her team is in, PBL head coach Lindsay Stalowy said her team still has some room for improvement.
“I do think we need to increase the intensity and still continue to work on playing consistently from match to match, but given it’s the first three weeks, I do like the direction that we’re heading," Stalowy said. "I think we have some potential to do some good things this season.”
There was some consistency in Thursday's match, as the final score of 25-15, 25-17 would indicate.
“I’m happy that we were able to play with more consistency between the first set and the second set," Stalowy said. "That’s something that we’ve struggled with over the past week. We would start out really strong and play really well in set one, and then in set two, we would let up and kind of let the other teams back in the game, so tonight, it was nice to see that our sets were fairly consistent between the first game and second game.”
The Panthers started game one with a 4-1 lead as Addison Oyer -- who finished the match with 14 kills and three digs -- recorded two kills and Jasmine Miles -- who had six kills and one block at the match's end -- tallied a block.
Miles, Oyer and Hannah Schwarz -- who had two kills and one dig -- tallied kills to make the score 5-3, 6-4 and 7-5, respectively.
After Clifton Central tied the game at 7-7, Baylee Cosgrove -- who had four kills and one dig -- recorded a kill to give PBL the lead back at 8-7. The Comets then took the lead at 9-8 before Miles recorded a kill to tie the set.
The two teams then traded sideouts, as Miles tallied another game-tying kill, before kills by Oyer and Brooke Walder -- who had two kills and one dig by the match's end -- helped the Panthers gain a 13-10 lead.
After Clifton Central sided out, PBL scored two straight points, including a kill by Miles, to extend its lead to 15-11.
After the Comets tallied two straight points, a kill by Walder started a 6-0 PBL run -- which included a kill by Oyer and three aces by Makenna Ecker, who finished the match with five aces, nine assists and one dig -- that extended the Panthers' lead to 21-13.
After two straight points by Clifton Central, Oyer recorded a kill and Jolee Hastings tallied an ace to extend the Panthers' advantage to 23-15.
Hastings would finish the match with two digs and two aces off the bench. Sydney Murphy also came off the bench to produce three assists, one kill and one dig.
Kendra Johnson saw some playing time off the bench for PBL as well.
“We have a deep bench, which is really nice," Stalowy said. "I feel comfortable putting subs in at pretty much any point of any match. For the kids who did go in tonight and pass well, set well and take big swings, it was really good to see.”
After a kill by Cosgrove made the score 24-15, PBL scored the game-clinching point on the next volley.
After Abbie Schmidt -- who finished the match with 12 assists, four digs and one ace -- recorded an ace on the first volley of the second set, the Comets scored the next three points to take a 3-1 lead.
Cosgrove and Oyer each recorded a kill to tie the game at 3-3. After Clifton Central sided out to reclaim the lead at 4-3, PBL scored the next six points to take the advantage at 9-4.
Oyer tallied the game-tying and go-ahead points via kills before an ace by Makayla Klann, another kill by Oyer and a block by Walder extended PBL's head to 7-4, 8-4 and 9-4, respectively.
After Clifton Central sided out, Schwarz tipped the ball over the net before Makenna Klann recorded an ace and Oyer tallied another kill to extend the Panthers' lead to 12-5.
“I think we started getting our serves over and in," Stalowy said. "We started limiting some of our errors that we were giving to them, and that helped us break away and earn more points.”
Two more kills by Miles made the score 16-10 and 17-12 and Oyer recorded a kill to make the score 18-14 before Makayla Klann -- who finished the match with 12 digs, two aces and three assists -- tallied an ace to extend PBL's lead to 19-14.
Murphy then recorded a kill to make the score 20-16 before an ace by Carly Mutchmore -- who had five digs by the match's end -- to extend the Panthers' advantage to 22-16.
After the Comets sided out, Makenna Klann tipped the ball over the net to make the score 23-17 before Hastings recorded an ace to extend PBL's lead to 24-17. The Panthers tallied the match-clinching point on the next volley.
PBL def. Clifton Central 25-15, 25-17
For PBL (9-1, 2-0 SVC), kills: Addison Oyer 14, Jasmine Miles 6, Baylee Cosgrove 4, Hannah Schwarz 2, Brooke Walder 2, Sydney Murphy; aces: Makenna Klann 5, Makayla Klann 2, Jolee Hastings 2, Abbie Schmidt; blocks: Miles; digs: Makayla Klann 12, Carly Mutchmore 5, Schmidt 4, Oyer 3, Hastings 2, Schwarz, Walder, Murphy, Makenna Klann, Jaden Bender, Cosgrove; assists: Schmidt 12, Makenna Klann 9, Makayla Klann 3, Murphy 3.