Panthers mount miraculous comeback on senior night

Published 9:43 pm Thursday, October 12, 2023

Never back down and never surrender was the motto for the Panthers on Thursday night as Lanett led a miraculous comeback against Russell County. 

Lanett went into the third set down 2-0, and the Panthers trailed by six points in the set. Lanett found a way and won the match in five sets. 

“I saw a fight in them that I didn’t know existed because we have not been in that type of match this year,” Lanett coach Krisse Story said. “I think we needed that momentum going into the area tournament.” 

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The Panthers lost both of the first two sets 25-17 as the team struggled to keep serves inbounds. 

“I’m not sure if it was the pressure of the crowd tonight,” Story said. “I’m not sure what it was, but the first two sets I was like, whose team did they bring Lanett? Because certainly, it’s not the team that I’ve been coaching for 10 years.” 

Seniors Markiyah Sims Je’nyiah Glaze, Laila Lancaster and Tamia Spratling were celebrated as it was their last home game. All four have been integral parts of the volleyball program. 

“I get emotional when I think about it,” Story said. “They have been a tremendous asset to helping to grow volleyball in this area.” 

Chloe Jones, MaKiah and Nakeriona Heard led the comeback in the final three sets. The three combined for 16 kills, four aces and three blocks in the last three sets. 

Story expressed displeasure with one official on tonight’s crew as she received a yellow card in the fourth set. 

The win on the night was not Lanett’s most complete performance of the year, but it may have been the most important. The final three sets gave the girls momentum and a drive going into the area tournament as they look to unseat Horseshoe Bend. 

“I think it’s going to help us,” Story said. “It builds momentum and gives them a confidence booster.”