Lady Panthers playoff run ends in regional semis

Players tear up after losing Monday's playoff game against Dodd City.

The Saint Jo Lady Panthers fell to Dodd City in the regional semifinals on Monday night.
The Lady Hornets won in four sets 3-1 despite the Lady Panthers winning the first set.
The match would have been the program’s second trip to the regional tournament, but because of COVID-19, it was scheduled as a regular playoff game.
The state-ranked Dodd City team came in with a big height advantage at the net with a tall middle-blocker.
Saint Jo did not start the match out great. Early on the Lady Panthers were down 7-3 when they started to charge back.
Powered by their serving and consistent, solid all-around play, Saint Jo feasted as mental and hitting errors piled up for Dodd City.
The Lady Panthers lead stretched as big as 18-12. The Lady Hornets had a brief run at the end of the set to close the lead to three points, but Saint Jo was able to hang on and win 25-22 to win the set.
It seemed like one of the keys to developing that lead was trapping a rotation that had Dodd City’s big middle-blocker in the back row for awhile.
Early on in the second set the Lady Hornets lead slowly grew to three points. All of a sudden Dodd City’s lead grew substantially as mental errors and some bad serve-receive from Saint Jo allowed the Lady Hornets lead to grow to 20-10.
The Lady Panthers made up some of the lead, but not enough to try and steal the set from Dodd City. The Lady Hornets won the set 25-18 to tie the match back up.
The third set saw Dodd City establish a big lead early up 14-6 in the first 20 points.
Saint Jo tapped some of that magic it had in the first set, with the Lady Hornet’s big middle-blocker in the back row, to come back, cutting the lead to 16-14.
Unfortunately, that magic was short-lived. Dodd City won eight of the next 10 points to wrap up the third set, winning 25-17 to take the lead.
The beginning of the fourth set was not good. Saint Jo fell behind again 7-3 before it started to come back. The teams were playing point-to-point with the score 13-12 for Dodd City when the Lady Hornets started to pull away again.
No matter what the Lady Panthers did, the lead kept growing. Saint Jo kept fighting, but the end was near. Dodd City wrapped up the set winning 25-15, winning the match 3-1.

To read the full story, pick up a copy of the mid-week edition of the Bowie news.