Randy Robbins

Special to the Pilot

It’s been a rocky season for the Gold Beach volleyball team following their wins against Bandon and Waldport last week, but head coach Dana Newdall believes that the Panther ship has finally righted itself.

“We got off to a slow start,” Newdall said. “But now things are starting to come around.”

After being swept by Bandon in their first meeting of the season, the Panthers exacted their revenge against the Tigers in a four-set win on the road last Tuesday.

“Our serving is much improved and helped get us the win,” Newdall said.

Senior Kayleanna Ridens imposed her presence throughout the game with a match-high 10 aces, while also leading all players with nine kills. Junior middle blocker Brianna Seuser-Smith added five kills and two blocks, while junior outside hitter Alyssa McLean chipped in four kills and three aces. Senior libero Bella Laurino and senior outside hitter Paris Newdall anchored the Panther defense with 17 and eight digs respectively.

The following Thursday, the Panthers defended their home court in a straight-set win over Waldport.

In the first set, the Panthers fell into an early 6-12 deficit after the Irish rallied off six straight points. The Panthers did not falter however, and pulled within four at 18-22. With Laurino service line, the Panthers then scored seven straight points for a come-from-behind win in the first set.

The first set loss appeared to take the wind out of Waldport’s sails, and the Panthers had no trouble in securing the remaining two sets.

With their two wins, the Panthers are currently 3-7 overall and 3-3 in conference play.

The Panthers hosted Reedsport last night and will travel to Walport for a rematch on Thursday.