ELYRIA — A quick start got the momentum going, and after a small letdown in Game 3 it was regained with a spirited rally as Elyria Catholic handed visiting Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin its first loss of the season.
The Panthers (2-0, 2-0 North Coast League) downed the visiting Lions (2-1, 1-1) 25-19, 25-17, 23-25, 25-19 in the sweltering Coliseum on Wednesday night.
Sparked by junior Katie Wetzel’s terrific service in the first game, Elyria Catholic got the momentum early and breezed to victory in the first two games of the match.
Then in the third game, NDCL jumped out to a 5-0 lead and maintained it most of the way. But the Panthers put on a tremendous rally to tie the game at 20 before the Lions finally got the decision.
That paved the way for a convincing triumph in Game 4.
“The 0-and-2 start didn’t bother us that much,” said Latin coach Dino Pietromica. “Our girls were used to that. It happened to us on Tuesday against Hoban but we came back to win.
“What really hurt was us letting them get back into the game in the third. (EC’s) rally kind of took the wind out of our sails.”
Elyria Catholic coach Kim Watson was delighted with the win.
“We still need to keep working on a few things, but we’re off to a great start,” she said. “It was really important for us to get off to a 2-0 lead for our confidence and momentum. I was a little disappointed in the third game because I wanted to finish it out because of the heat.”
Against Chanel on Tuesday, the Panthers won the match with a three-game sweep.
Wetzel led the Panthers with 13 points, including four aces. In the opening game she took over service with EC trailing 16-13. But she served three straight aces and six points altogether to give the Panthers a 19-16 lead they never gave up.
“I was pretty excited,” Wetzel said. “If I concentrate, I’m a good server. I really hope we do well this year. It’s a good start.”
NDCL was hurt by an off game by its main slammer Mary Walter. She led the Lions in kills Wednesday night with nine, but that was far short of the 25 she had the night before against Hoban.
In the second game Wednesday, EC led most of the way after Katie Svat served for seven points — with three aces — and the Panthers overcame a 9-5 deficit to lead 12-9.
Natalie Kaczmarczyk and Zoe Zwegat led the Panthers in blocks with six each, while Theresa Krosse had 16 assists, Svat had 22 digs and Megan Hanson finished with 14 kills.
Serena Caruso led the Lions with 33 assists, while Kara Stefanov had 16 digs and 11 blocks and Shannon Silk served for eight points with three aces.
Contact Jerry Rombach at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.