Odessa, TX – Abilene High was able to outlast the Lady Panthers volleyball team, but it would take five sets (26-24, 25-18, 18-25, 21-25, 13-15) on Friday at the Permian Fieldhouse.
While Permian fell 3-2 in the contest, it was an afternoon that featured better communication and all-around team play as a unit. Cianna Harris turned in a solid performance, leading the Lady Panthers with 13 kills, three digs, and four aces. Nyxalee Munoz finished the day with 11 kills and 11 digs, while Anyssa Cruz had 12 digs and Iliana Garcia had 10. Jade Workman donated 24 assists and Denali Cardenas had 17. Emily Short stepped up and recorded six kills and three digs.
Abilene High got off to an early start in all five sets. In each of those instances, the Lady Black Cats were able to respond and answer. The Lady Eagles opened the first set with a quick four points before Permian accepted the challenge. A three-point run would lift Mojo to an 8-4 advantage. Another run pushed the deficit to 13-5, but Abilene went on a run of their own and eventually knotted the set at 14-14.
The Lady Panthers gained the upper hand to create a 4-point buffer at 22-18, but the Lady Eagles answered with five consecutive points. Not to be outdone, Mojo regained the momentum and took the first set 26-24.
Permian settle in the second set after falling behind 5-1. With Munoz serving, the Lady Panthers chipped the difference down to 6-3 and then took an 8-6 lead with a 5-point run. After going up 15-9, Mojo went on to claim a 25-18 set and 2-0 lead. Abilene High returned the favor in the third set to hand Permian a 18-25 setback, which included six lead changes.
The Lady Eagles evened the series at two matches each after multiple extended-volley points. The two teams remained even from 12-12 to 18-18. Abilene put together two multi-point runs to win the fourth set 25-21 and force the tie-breaking fifth set.
Neither the Panthers and Eagles led by more than two points. Permian looked on its way to taking control after collecting three consecutive points to go up 10-8. Abilene managed to close the gap and re-knot the final match at 13-13. The Lady Eagles were able to win the next two service points to hand Mojo the 15-13 loss, and take the series 3-2.
The Lady Panthers (2-2) will be on the road next Tuesday, when they travel to San Angelo Central (3-1) for another district battle in 2-6A.
PERMIAN vs ABILENE
Cianna Harris 13, Nyxalee Munoz 11, Jade Workman 8, Emily Short 6, Sarahi Orona 6, Denali Cardenas 4
Jade Workman 24, Denali Cardenas 17
Anyssa Cruz 12, Nyxalee Munoz 11, Iliana Garcia 10, Denali Cardenas 7, Jade Workman 6, Emily Short 3, Cianna Harris 3
Cianna Harris 4, Denali Cardenas 3, Iliana Garcia 1, Anahi Orona 1