S4

Sophomore setter and right side hitter Kinley Kovatch passes a ball to a teammate as sophomore Hannah Monroe (20) and senior Skylar Connelly watch in the background. 

The Valier Panthers volleyball squad picked up a pair of conference wins last week over Sunburst and Dutton/Brady. 

Against Sunburst the Panthers took the opening game 27-25 before dropping the second game 25-14. The Panthers got back on track and won the next two games 25-21 to win the match. 

Skylar Connelly led the attack with nine kills followed by Erica Ramsey with eight and Hannah Monroe with seven. Kinley Kovatch dished a team-high 13 assists followed by Kylie Christiaens with ten. Monroe and Ramsey led the defense with six digs each while Madi Weikum and Kovatch each tallied six aces. 

“We were able to highlight our work on getting our serve receive passing stronger as a team so we could set up our offense,” said head coach Kadie Briggs. “We were able to see an improvement but struggled a little on the attacking line to finish the execution. We also found our serving percentage drop, which had us on the defensive more. Sunburst played well and showed some grit, which caught our girls by surprise. In the end we were able to pull off the win and have some more learning takeaways as a team.”

The Panthers dominated a young Dutton/Brady squad 25-9, 25-17, 25-12. Connelly again led the offensive attack with eight kills followed by Ramsey, Kovatch, Monroe and Christiaens with four apiece. Monroe served up four aces followed by Weikum with three. Christiaens dished out 12 assists in the win followed by Kovatch with 11. 

“Dutton/Brady is a fairly young team and one of their more experienced players has had some health issues so we were grateful we were still able to have a game with their small team,” said Briggs. “Our serving percentage was much improved, our attacking percentage came up and we were able to get to use more of our bench and try some different rotations. Our seniors took some of our younger girls under their wings and did what they could to make sure they had opportunities to shine. It was a very well rounded game for kills, which has been one of our season goals.”

The Panthers are back on the court this weekend as they host Heart Butte on Thursday and Power on Saturday. 

For more Valier High School sports coverage of last week's action, pick up a copy or subscribe to The Valerian at http://www.cutbankpioneerpress.com/site/services/

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