The Panther volleyball squad had a busy week on the court where they went 1-2 in three conference games. The Valier spikers dropped a heart breaker to Simms and then fell to Power before closing out the weekend with a sweep over Sunburst.
“We were able to see some variety last weekend that helped us find a few chinks in our armor,” said head coach Kadie Briggs.
Valier started the week against Simms where the Panthers took the opening game 25-21. Simms squeezed out a 27-25 win in the second game and dominated the third game 25-13 for a 2-1 advantage. Valier forced a deciding fifth game with a 25-18 win in the fourth but fell 15-12 in the finale.
Skylar Connelly hammered down 16 kills in the match followed by Erica Ramsey and Hannah Monroe with seven apiece. Ramsey led the defense with 12 digs while also serving up five aces. Monroe and Kinley Kovatch each tallied nine digs and Kovatch also dished out 11 assists. Madi Weikum had the hot hand at the service line with seven aces and Kylie Christiaens also notched 11 assists.
“Simms really attacked the ball and that gave us the opportunity to look at where our hitting coverage is,” said Briggs. “They had some powerful serves as well which brought our serve receive lower than what I like to see.”
Friday the Panthers took on Power and after opening with a 25-23 win the Pirates took the next three games, and the match, 25-19, 25-17, 25-22.
Monroe led the squad with ten digs and eight kills followed by Connelly with seven digs and two aces and two blocks. Kovatch recorded 10 assists, five kills and two aces while Christiaens dished out eight assists. Ramsey recorded five kills in the loss.
“Power has an amazing defense,” said Briggs. “We served 91% as a team but only had 10 aces. We also had fairly low hitting errors but only 24 team kills. Power’s defense won that game and we will need to do some work to be better at finding the holes.”
Valier closed out the weekend with a 3-0 victory over Sunburst 25-15, 25-17, 25-16.
Kovatch had a great all-around game with nine digs, seven aces, and six assists. Monroe led the attack with seven kills followed by Christiaens with six kills and nine assists. Ramsey had four kills and three aces while Weikum also served up three aces.
“This was a game where we could lean on some of our younger girls and give some needed rest to those who battled through Power and Simms,” said Briggs. “I was extremely impressed with our girls and their serving. We were able to get some great numbers from multiple girls across the board, which helps in the goal of having a deep team as the season progresses.”
The Lady Panthers are back in action this weekend as they travel to Heart Butte on Thursday and Augusta on Saturday. Varsity action is slated for 7 p.m. both nights.