BY SAM SCINTA WEEKLY REPORTER
Senior Mackenzie Koester and Junior Elise Smith led the way for the Panthers with 7 kills, while Senior Imani Williamson had 5. Koester, a McKendree commit, also led the team in assists with 2. Senior Cassie Reno paced the Panthers defensively with a pair of blocks.
The Panthers (1-0) wasted little time jumping out in front of the Bulldogs (0-2), using various runs throughout the first set to grab a convincing 25-18 win, giving the team any cushion it needed in the much tighter second set.
Whatever message was pushed on the Waterloo sideline between sets was well received by the Bulldogs, who came out of the intermission with crisper passing and attentive positioning, two areas they struggled in during the first set.
Waterloo was able to give O’Fallon all they could handle during the final frame, ultimately falling just short of pushing the Panthers to extra points. The Blue and Gold would win the set 25-23, wrapping up the first of what promises to be many victories for the coming season.
The Panthers will take on the Wildcats in Salem on September 1st in a non-conference road match. Salem fell in 3 sets on Thursday to Teutopolis, and is currently 0-1 on the year.