No. 19 Pearl River shows resilience in sweep of Bishop State

Published 9:56 am Friday, October 22, 2021

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By Tyler Johnson

PRCC Intern

The No. 19 Pearl River volleyball team continued its winning ways Thursday night, defeating Bishop State 3-0 (25-22, 25-17, 25-21). The win was the Pearl River’s third win over Bishop State this season.

“Bishop is a tough team who has progressively gotten better and better each time we’ve played them,” head coach Haley Chatham said. “We knew they would be on fire after a big win yesterday, it just took us a while to react and turn up the heat ourselves.”

Pearl River showed grit and determination throughout the match, even when trailing by sizable deficits.

“This team is excellent on not getting frazzled when the scoreboard isn’t in our favor,” Chatham said. “They remain calm because they trust each other and understand they are extremely capable as a team, and I’m so thankful because it’s a huge difference-maker in matches like tonight”

Bishop State (14-11) scored early and often to open the first set of the day, building a sizable 9-4 lead.

After a well-timed Leah Draine (Mobile, Ala.; Mattie T. Blount) kill made the score 9-6, Pearl River (23-3) seemed to have some momentum.

Despite it feeling like the momentum was swung in the Wildcats’ favor, Bishop State was able to hold on to its slim lead throughout the middle part of the set.

With Pearl River trailing 20-18, Amy Wright (Palm Bay, Fla.; Melbourne Central Catholic) stepped back to serve. Through her serving the Wildcats were able to find some momentum and tie set up at 20. Wright then grabbed a service ace to give Pearl River a 21-20 lead.

Bishop State promptly answered, but after a Diamond Jones (Gonzales, La.; East Ascension) kill made things 24-22 Pearl River closed out the set 25-22 and completed the comeback.

Bishop State again opened the scoring in the second set, but Pearl River was able to capitalize on the momentum gained at the end of set one to keep things close. The Wildcats eventually tied things up at five on a booming kill from Draine.

From there, Avery Beth Durdin (Olive Branch; Lewisburg) led Pearl River on a 3-0 run that included a service ace and gave the Wildcats an 8-5 lead.

Pearl River again seized the momentum and pushed their lead up to 14-9, forcing a Bishop State timeout.

After the timeout, Pearl River continued to pour it on with Jones and Draine grabbing a kill each.

The Wildcats went on to take the set 25-17.

The beginning of set three followed the trend of the first two with BSCC opening the scoring and Pearl River responding.

The set then continued to be back-and-forth as there were six lead changes throughout the set.

With the score deadlocked at 19, Pearl River forced a Bishop State timeout.

After the timeout, the teams again traded blows until Pearl River called a timeout with things tied at 21.

The timeout seemed to jump-start the Wildcats as they reclaimed the momentum through a serving run by Sydney Salter(Vancleave). The run included back-to-back kills by Jones and Juliannah Overstreet (Vancleave) and helped Pearl River claim the set and match 25-21.

With Bishop State playing so well upfront, Pearl River turned to their servers as a major source of momentum. This paid off throughout as well-timed service runs from Durdin, Allison Carpenter (Ocean Springs), Wright, and Salter provided much-needed sparks.

Pearl River’s setters made fantastic adjustments throughout by putting the hitters in the perfect position to score points.

The Wildcats return to action Monday as Mississippi University for Women comes to Shivers Gymnasium for a doubleheader. The matches are set to begin at 5 p.m. and will be livestreamed at

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