In a game that both Dr. Phillips (12-4) and West Orange (14-6) have looked forward to all season, it was the Panthers who came out on top with a 3-0 sweep of the Warriors on Thursday, Sept. 26.
The game was the first battle between first year head coaches Emily Loftus and Cole Trimble, who also happen to be childhood friends.
Despite the game going 3-0 in favor of the Panthers the match was still a back-and-forth affair — especially in the first and third set.
The first set saw Dr. Phillips sneak by in a 25-21 win after multiple lead changes, before the Panthers pulled ahead to dominate 25-13 in the second set. The third set once again saw lead changes exchanged between schools, before the Panthers grabbed the 25-23 win to seal up the game.
Despite going into the game sick and sitting out the first set, Olivia Osuna snagged 21 assists for the Panthers — 10 of which resulted in kills by Alexis Distasio. Alicia and Marika Virthe combined for 17 kills (nine for Alicia, eight for Marika), while Shaylene Lora had seven kills herself.
For the Warriors, Cambrie Riffe had 10 kills, while Madison Smith had seven.
Next up for the Panthers is a matchup against Bishop Moore (5-7) Wednesday, Oct. 2, while the Warriors face off against Olympia (10-6) Tuesday, Oct. 1.