After a disappointing loss to Sanger to open the season the Lady Panther volleyball team got on track with a 3-0 sweep over the Red River Rattlers on Aug. 11at Van Alstyne Middle School.

With senior Sadie Ingram sidelined with an ankle injury, Coach LeQuia Collins had to dig deep into her entourage of first-year varsity players, and the team played well in the win.

Senior Peyton Welch got the offense rolling in the first set with a kill that started a Van Alstyne comeback after it had trailed 4-1. The team rolled off seven straight points, including a Sydney Bruton ace, to take a 10-8 lead, and they never trailed again in the 25-11 opening-set win.

Shelby Litzkow held serve for eight consecutive points and a Micah Welch ace locked up the win.

Red River has some talent, mainly Meredith McPeek, and she was sending in winners in the second set.

With the set tied, 12-12, Welch, the elder, banged home a pair of winners to give the Lady Panthers a lead they never gave back.

Elizabeth Purser had a kill and another winner when the Rattlers got close, and Welch pushed home a soft shot before closing out the set with a hard shot to the back line, giving Van Alstyne the 25-21 win.

The third set was tied 11-11 when Terry Thomas came in and Olympic talk took center stage for the next few points. (Editor’s note: There are the occasional distractions at high school games.) Back to the action, Micah Welch was on fire from the service line late and we know Peyton sent in one kill before an ace by Micah closed out the 25-15 win in the third set.

Lady Panther Notes: Van Alstyne defeated Pilot Point on Tuesday night, 3-1. Van Alstyne went 25-18, 20-25, 25-18 and 25-23 in the four-set match. The Lady Panthers play in the Denison tournament on Aug. 18 and Aug. 20, and will host Wolfe City on Friday. Follow us on twitter @valeadersports.