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Panther VB players shine on senior night

Powell Panther seniors Tori Sleep (No. 11) and Cassidi Partridge (No. 8) go up for the block in the third set against Worland Tuesday evening. Powell Panther seniors Tori Sleep (No. 11) and Cassidi Partridge (No. 8) go up for the block in the third set against Worland Tuesday evening. Tribune photo by Dante Geoffrey

The Powell Panthers volleyball team won its fifth straight match on a Tuesday evening that would mark the final home game for three Panther seniors.

Shawnea Harrington, Cassidi Partridge and Tori Sleep were recognized for their contributions to the team just minutes before they led the Panthers to a 25-14, 25-14, 25-22 victory over Worland.

“It was a fun night in the Panther gym celebrating the time and commitment our three seniors have put into the program,” said head coach Cindi Smith. “They have all worked hard to grow in so many ways.”

Harrington provided 10 kills, Partridge led the defense with two solo blocks and three block assists and Sleep added four kills, a solo block and a block assist.

“We will miss the strong net play and senior leadership they bring to our court,” Smith said.

Freshman Kalina Smith led the offense with 11 kills and junior libero Jenni Ebersberger had a team-high 25 digs. The Panthers rolled in the first two sets and appeared to be on their way to a blowout in the third set before Worland staged a would-be comeback.

Powell came out firing in what would ultimately be the final set. The Panthers scored the first 10 points and at one point led 17-4.

The Warriors then went on a 6-1 run to cut the score to 18-10, which forced Powell to call a timeout.

Powell looked to regain control but unforced errors allowed Worland to pull within five points, 21-16.

The Panthers were on the brink of victory at 24-18 when Powell’s student section started the “Start the bus!” chant. It would take five more serves but the home team would get its final point to seal the set and match.

Juniors Megan Wagner and Taylor Woodward had four kills each.

Junior Kelsey Marchant and sophomore Breanna Donarski fortified the back row defense with 13 and nine digs, respectively.

Ebersberger was 15-for-15 on serves and Donarski was 13-for-13.

Tuesday’s match was also the volleyball team’s homecoming game.

The girls head to Jackson this weekend for the Class 3A Western Conference duals. The Panthers begin at 11 a.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday.

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