Paulding made it seven victories in eight volleyball matches this season on Monday, rolling past Defiance 25-23, 21-25, 25-17, 25-22.

“The girls had to really fight for their wins tonight,” noted Paulding head coach Sydney Collins, whose team led 15-7 in set two before the Bulldogs rallied to claim their lone win of the evening. “We came out strong and aggressive, and then we would have moments where we would lose our energy and we’d dig ourselves into a hole. One thing about this team is they don’t give up. They will fight until the very end.”

The victory came after Defiance went up 15-12 in the final set only to see the Panthers rally before closing out the match.

Leigha Egnor was 15-15 serving with four aces, Sadie Estle 12-12 with one ace and Claire Schweller 15-16 with an ace for the Panthers while Jalynn Parrett added a pair of aces, both to close out the third-set victory.

Janae Pease and Parrett were perfect in serve reception for Paulding, Pease 24-24 and Parrett 16-16.

Estle again led the way at the net with 14 kills and three solo blocks while Parrett had eight kills and Egnor five.

Schweller compiled 20 assists and four digs, Egnor 11 assists and six digs, Parrett 18 digs, Pease 17 digs and Estle nine digs.

“We came out a little stronger with our offense tonight, serving more aces and being smarter hitting,” Collins said. “Our defense struggled a bit, but the girls intensified their communication on the court there toward the end to ultimately bring home the win.”

The loss stopped a two-match winning streak for Defiance, which fell to 2-7 on the campaign. Lilly Lacey 24 assists, 21 digs and 11 kills for the Bulldogs, Kendall Black 16 kills and 10 digs, Kaitlyn Parrish 36 digs and Grayce Jones 14 assists and 14 digs.

The Paulding junior varsity also moved to 7-1 on the season with an 18-25, 31-29, 28-26 win while the freshman improved to 6-1 by claiming a 25-20, 21-25, 25-8 victory.