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The Lady Panthers will be in action at the District Tournament this weekend in Augusta, working to advance to the Northern C Divisional Tournament in Cascade next weekend.

The Valier Panthers wrapped up the regular season with a 2-1 week and will head into the District 6C-West Tournament this weekend in Augusta as the fourth seed. The Panthers will play the opening match of the tournament against Sunburst on Thursday at 9 a.m. with the winner advancing to face off with top seeded Simms later in the day. 

The Panthers opened last weekend with a sweep over Heart Butte 25-17, 25-13, 25-21. 

Abby Bock and Teanna Layne led the way at the net with four kills each followed by Hannah Monroe who tallied three kills and two aces. Makenna VandenBos led with six assists and four digs while Kylie Christiaens and Kinley Kovatch each tallied three assists. 

“These were slow games,” said head coach Rhanda EagleSpeaker. “You could tell that we had the weekend off because we played like it. We had a few varsity players gone over the long weekend for family trips and college visits so the varsity bench was able to get quite a bit of playing time which is always fun!”

The Panthers then took on Sunburst and earned another sweep taking down the Refiners 25-14, 25-17, 25-10. 

Bock led the team with nine kills and three blocks while Hannah Christiaens served up six aces and tallied five digs. Kylie Christiaens followed with three aces while Erica Ramsey smashed six kills in the win. Skylar Connelly followed with three kills and also recorded four digs while VandenBos led the team with six assists. 

“We played much better,” said EagleSpeaker. “I still don’t think we played our game, it was a bit slow at times. But much better.”

The Panthers wrapped up the regular season against Simms and won the opening game 25-22. Simms rallied in the second game and won 25-13. The Tigers took a back and fourth third game 25-23 before dominating the fourth game to take the win, 25-7. 

Bock had a fine all around match with 13 kills, ten digs and three blocks. Connelly followed with seven kills, nine digs and two blocks while Ramsey recorded five kills. VandenBos led with 12 assists and two aces to go along with nine digs while Kylie Christiaens dished out eight assists and recorded two blocks at the net. Layne also added nine digs in the loss. 

“We really turned it up this game,” said EagleSpeaker. “We’ve been working on our rotation for this game and I’m so happy to see our hard work is paying off. Yes we lost, but not without a fight. And we also forced Simms into changing their lineup in order to beat us. I’ll take that as a compliment that our girls played tough.”

The Panthers will look to repeat the results from last week in their opening match at the District Tournament when they take on Sunburst in hopes at earning a shot at revenge at Simms. The top three teams advance to the Northern C Divisional Tournament held next weekend in Cascade.

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