It was an encouraging pair of late-week matches for Powell volleyball, picking up a 3-1 win Thursday while falling by the same margin on Saturday.
The former match saw the second-ranked class 2A Lovell team visit the Panther Gym and get a 25-22 win right out of the gate.
Powell had a 4-2 lead early, but an 8-point run by the Lady Bulldogs put them in control, which they would hold through a 19-14 lead.
The Panthers clawed back though, getting a kill from Mariah Phister during a three-point run that closed it to 19-17.
A couple of mini-runs, one including an Aubrie Stenerson kill, knotted the set at 22-22, but Lovell scored the final three points to get the win.
Powell started the second game strong, building a 9-4 lead, but seven straight points moved the Bulldogs in front.
Two runs saw the Panthers score eight of the game’s next nine points to go up 18-13, but Lovell came right back for a 21-19 edge.
However, the visitors would only be able to muster one more point as Powell scored six of the final seven to win 25-22.
The final two games remained close, but the Panthers held off a number of Bulldog charges to get 26-24 and 25-21 wins to claim the match.
“The girls played well against Lovell. They were able to make adjustments throughout the game which in turn helped us come out on top,” head coach Randi Bonander said. “Lovell has a great hitter and is just an overall scrappy team.”
Aubrie Stenerson and Rachel Bonander led the scoring attack with eight kills each and Mallory Triplett added six. Bonander also had four blocks on the night.
Next up for Powell was a Saturday trip to Jackson Hole, where they proved competitive and won the first game by a 25-19 score.
But though they went to extra points in a 25-27 loss in the third set, the second and fourth sets weren’t real close with Jackson getting 25-12 and 25-15 wins.
“A lot of obstacles this weekend,” Bonander said. “We found out how difficult it is to make a five-hour bus trip after Homecoming, with sickness looming. Also, Jackson has a phenomenal outside hitter that we just couldn’t stop. No excuses, we will regroup and prepare for tough matches later this week.”
Those two matches will see the Panthers on the road, though not quite as far a distance, at Worland on Thursday and Cody on Friday.
Both matches are scheduled for 6 p.m. starts.