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NAUGATUCK — The Tug Valley Panthers and head coach Greg Chapman picked up their first win of the 2021 season on Thursday night as they topped in-county rival Tug Valley by a final score of 3 sets to 2.

The Panthers came out hot as they took the first set by a tally of 25-21 but the visiting Lady Miners responded to take second set in a close one, 25-23.

Tug Valley got their momentum back in the third set as they played their way to a 25-19 win.

Head coach Amanda Lovern’s Mingo Central squad responded once again in the fourth set and easily took it by a score of 25-17 to tie the match up at two apiece and set up a decisive 5th set.

In the final set Mingo Central led midway through as they held a 9-8 advantage, but after a timeout from coach Chapman settled his team down the Panthers closed out the set with a 7-2 spurt to come away with the win.

Tug Valley was led by seniors Kyleigh Hall and Kaylea Baisden who turned in 24 and 22 kills respectively. Fellow senior Autumn Hall also chipped in 17 kills while freshman Makenzie Browning finished with seven.

The Panthers were led in aces by freshman Kawai Messer who turned in seven of then to go along with a team best 17 assists. Andrea Newsome was next with 13 assists.

The Lady Miners, who were playing with three starters who were out due to being in COVID-19 protocols, were led by Mackendrick Hammond who turned in 14 hits and served eight aces in the defeat.

Paige Cline was next with 10 kills while sophomore Kiara Workman added eight, Annie White had six, and Abbie Williams had three.

Kara Hunt led the Lady Miners in assists with 15.

With the loss Mingo Central fell to 2-1 on the young season and they were back in action on Monday in a quad-match with Logan, Scott, and Sherman but scores and stats were not available by press time.

The Lady Miners host Phelps on Tuesday, Chapmanville on Thursday, and then play against Scott and Wayne in a tri-match on the road on Saturday at 11 a.m.

Tug Valley improved to 1-1 with the win and they looked to continue their winning ways on Tuesday against Wesley Christian, but scores were not available by press time.

The Panthers host Kentucky foe Martin County on Wednesday and then travel to Pike County play at Phelps on Thursday.

HD Media reporter Jarrid McCormick covers sports in Mingo County.

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