Sophomore Madi Weikum keeps the ball alive in district tournament action last weekend in Augusta. The Lady Panthers won’t be advancing to the divisional tournament this weekend, but head coach Rhanda EagleSpeaker is proud of her players and the way they “hustled and played their hearts out.” 

The Valier Panthers saw their season end last weekend at the District 6C-West volleyball tournament. The Panthers finished fourth in the tourney, which saw the top three teams advance to the Northern C Divisional Tournament this weekend. 

The Panthers opened the district tournament against Sunburst and dominated the Refiners 25-16 25-13, 25-11. 

Abby Bock led the team with nine kills to go along with four aces while Skylar Connelly followed with five kills. Erica Ramsey tallied three kills and led the team with 1.5 blocks. Madi Weikum served up five aces in the win and led the team with three digs. Kylie Christiaens dished out 12 assists while MaKenna VandenBos had two aces. 

The Panthers advanced to take on top seeded Simms where they were swept 25-11, 25-11, 27-25.

Bock tallied 17 digs and five kills in the match followed by Ramsey with seven digs and three kills. Weikum led the team with five assists to go with two blocks while Connelly also tallied two blocks. VandenBos followed with four assists and Christiaens led with three aces. 

The Panthers dropped into a loser out match with Dutton/Brady where they took down the DiamondBacks 25-20, 25-19, 25-7. 

Christiaens led the team with ten assists and five aces followed by VandenBos with five assists and four aces. Ramsey and Bock each tallied five kills while Connelly followed with three kills and four digs. 

 With the victory the Panthers advanced to take on Power with a trip to divisionals on the line. The Panthers fell 25-19 in the opening game before taking a 25-17 win in game two. The Pirates rallied in the third game for a 25-15 victory and closed out the win with a 25-22 victory in game four. 

Bock had a great overall match with 20 digs, 10 kills and five blocks followed by Connelly with seven kills. Teanna Layne had eight digs followed by VandenBos who had seven to go along with six assists. Christiaens led with nine assists while Kinley Kovatch also tallied six. Weikum recorded 3.5 blocks while Ramsey served up three aces followed by Hannah Christiaens with two. 

Overall for the tournament Bock led with 40 digs, 30 kills, eight aces and 7.5 blocks followed by Ramsey with 18 kills, 16 digs and 5.5 blocks. Connelly tallied 17 digs overall and VandenBos had 16 digs to go with 16 assists and seven aces.  Weikum led with nine aces and also recorded six blocks while Christiaens dished out a team high 33 assists to go with seven aces. 

“The season didn’t end quite as we would have liked,” said head coach Rhanda EagleSpeaker. “We have some tough teams in our conference and we’ve taken matches from them so we know we are right there with them.”

 She continued, “For some reason we just couldn’t get over the hump to win those games at Districts. I can’t complain about how these girls played, they hustled and played their hearts out. I’m so proud of these girls and how they’ve grown as a team and individuals. I’m going to miss our seniors next year but I can’t wait to see what next season holds for us. We have a good group of girls coming back,” concluded EagleSpeaker.

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