Pekin volleyball wins conference opener

Maci Gambell rises up for a kill against conference opponent Lone Tree on August 31. Gambell finished the match with 12 kills for the Lady Panthers. 

Two days after losing a grueling five-set match to Sigourney, the Pekin Panthers hosted Lone Tree, opening up conference play 


The ball was predominantly on Pekin's side of the court, with the girls accumulating 72 serves in three sets.  


The first set was the closest in terms of score, with Pekin winning 25-20. An early 10-3 start helped Pekin get going early, but Lone Tree fought back to come within five.  

The second set was more of the same, momentum fully on Pekin's side, resulting in a 25-15 win.  


Heading into the third set Pekin had all but beaten Lone Tree. They used key hits and strung together points to win convincingly, 25-12.  


Maci and Haley Gambell continued to step up their game with 19 kills, 21 digs and five aces. Haley also led the way with 13 assists. Whitney Johnson had a strong game, finishing with 11 digs and three aces on her 12 serves.  


"We are hitting the ball as any team when we pick the ball and set our hitters up close to the net," Panther coach Ken Hutchinson said. "When the sets are off we have to start attacking smarter and limit our errors." 


Pekin traveled to Louisa-Muscatine September 5th in hopes of getting another win. The two had already faced off once at Danville, Pekin came away the victor by winning both sets by healthy margins.