After quickly posting wins in the first two sets against Dadeville on Monday, the Elmore County volleyball team found itself in tough third set.

After scoring 15 of the set’s first 18 points, Dadeville took advantage of some timely serves and a suddenly raucous group of supporters for a 10-0 run to cut Elmore County’s lead to 15-13.

Mirriam Foster helped shut the door for the Panthers, posting four aces in a game-ending 10-0 run to complete the sweep (25-7, 25-8, 25-13).

The Panthers (4-2) were once again led by a balanced attack, led by Foster’s 11 aces and four additional kills. Kathryn Esco had six assists and Chloe Andress had five. Brianna Baker had a team-high eight digs. Elmore County had 16 team kills.

“Dadeville got up and played scrappy (in the third set) and things started falling their way,” Panthers head coach Kim Moncrief said. “We let them get balls in that we probably should’ve chased better. I’m very pleased with our attacking. We’re always very balanced.”

The Tigers (0-3) won the first point of the third set, which was something it couldn’t do in the first two. The 10-0 spurt was the longest of the match for Dadeville. At the end, Foster’s serve was too powerful for Dadeville to return with consistency. 

D’aja Caldwell led the team with eight kills; Makya Johnson had a team-leading 10 digs; and Layla Grace had three blocks. Dadeville had six team aces.

The Tigers found some momentum during that third set which head coach Jennifer Roy said she hopes her team can build on as it prepares to travel to Beulah for a Class 3A Area 6 match today.

“I was really proud of them for coming back like that,” Roy said. “We got down two games, and they still had the confidence to keep playing. That’s the kind of fight I’m looking for. We started playing for each other. We’ve played Benjamin Russell and (Elmore County.) The step up in competition is very beneficial for us.”

Elmore County once again played every member of its roster, which will prove to be good for the Panthers.

Several of their players will be taking the ACT this upcoming weekend and will miss the tournament at Stanhope Elmore.

“We feel out starters have everything set in how they play and how they feed off each other,” Moncrief said. “We try to get every one of our girls playing time, so we can see different rotations and which girls can step up in certain situations such as this weekend.”

Kamarri Darrington is a regular sports contributor for Tallapoosa Publishers Inc.