First-match jitters created some shaky moments for the Paradise Lady Panthers and Chico Lady Dragons Tuesday.
The veteran Lady Panthers were able to handle the emotions a little better than the youthful Lady Dragons on their way to a three-game victory. Paradise won 25-22, 25-6, 25-23.
Shelby Bradshaw led the Lady Panthers with seven kills. Jett Preather added six kills. She also served three aces.
Despite the quick win, Paradise coach Susie Burt insisted that her squad, which returns four starters, must improve if they hope to get back to the playoffs this season.
“The first-game jitters got the better of us,” Burt said. “At times we played together good. Other times we were scared to death.”
Burt pointed out that ball-handling limited the Lady Panthers’ chances.
“If we had the pass right on the net we were hitting it,” the Paradise coach said. “If we got to far off the net, we struggled. If we can get the set up and execute, the ball is going to go down. We have several good hitters.”
Paradise outlasted Chico in the first game to win by three.
In the second set, Chico struggled with its service receive. Jett Preather served eight straight points in a run that included an ace and two Chico errors. Chico’s inability to get a clean pass also set up easy scoring opportunities for Bradshaw to bury two kills.
After building the 18-3 lead, Paradise went on to take the set by 19 points.
“Paradise is solid and I think the girls were intimidated a bit,” said Chico coach Missy Patterson.
“The first and third sets they stepped up adjusted and were working well together.”
Chico took a 6-3 lead in the third set on an ace by Hannah Davis. The Lady Dragons held the lead until Paradise’s Amber French and Preather put down back-to-back kills. A block kill by Reagan Taylor put Paradise ahead 12-10.
The Lady Panthers built the lead to 20-14 with a Bradshaw kill.
Chico fought back to within one at 24-23 before Bradshaw ended the match with a kill.