Powell fell behind early as the Fillies scored the first 11 points in game one on their way to winning the first set. The Lady Panthers rallied in game two and stayed close through the first half of the set, but Cody pulled away from there to go up 2-0. In game three, Cody again jumped out to a lead and pulled away, ending the match with a serve that Powell was unable put in play.
Hitting errors and inconsistency played a big part in the loss for the Lady Panthers.
“Unforced errors hurt us more than anything,” said coach Cindi Smith, “and we didn’t show the cosistency I know we’re capable of.”
Cody’s attack kept the Lady Panthers off-balance for much of the match, and Powell was unable to respond with a strong offense of their own. Smith said that her back line was unable to position the ball to give the front line options for an attack.
“You want to give the offense at least two choices, and maybe three with that first pass,” Smith said. “We weren’t doing that. We were returning the ball from the back line too often because the first pass didn’t give the setter any options. We have a set of receivers who are very capable, but last night they didn’t give the offense options.”
As a result, Powell only turned in 16 kills for the match.
Coach Smith said the loss was disappointing because her team is capable of much better play.
“Cody is a good team, but we are a good team, too, and we can play better,” Smith said. “We know what we can do and we didn’t present it last night.”
For the match, Morgan McCray was accurate on all 10 of her serves. Lacy Ebersberger was perfect on six serves and Becky Dent on five. Kadi Cooley served two aces. Dent and Kendra Ostrom each had seven kills, but only two other hitters scored kills in the match. All 16 kills came on assists from Cooley. Dent had one block and one assist defensively. Ostrom made seven digs and Dent and Jeni Ebersberger each made five.
It won’t get any easier for the Lady Panthers this weekend. They will travel to Lyman for the conference duals, where they will test themselves against southwest teams Star Valley, Mountain View, Pinedale and Lyman. The competition begins Friday and continues Saturday.
“It’s a big weekend,” Smith said. “It’s time for us to pull together and do the things we can to do better.”
Next week, Powell will close out the regular season with a home match against Worland on Thursday and a return match against Cody in Cody on Saturday. The seniors will be honored prior to the Worland match, which is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Panther gym. Saturday’s action in Cody begins at 4:30 p.m.