The youngest level of Powell Panther volleyball enjoyed a lot of success in the first season of high school level play, as the freshmen finished with a 20-5 record, including winning the Buffalo …
The youngest level of Powell Panther volleyball enjoyed a lot of success in the first season of high school level play, as the freshmen finished with a 20-5 record, including winning the Buffalo freshman tournament.
Throughout the season the Panthers enjoyed success, including victories over Cody, Sheridan, Riverton, Buffalo and Lovell.
One of the main highlights for the team came in the Buffalo tournament, when the Panthers beat Thermopolis, Buffalo, Sheridan and Worland before defeating Wheatland in the championship to give the Panthers the win behind their strongest play of the year.
Powell was led by a pair of setters in Kaedenze Carter and Leah Graham, who helped push the team in the 6-2 offense with both serving as outside hitters and setters.
“We do not record statistics for freshman or JV level competition. If we did, I think Kaedenze would have been the leading hitter with the most kills and Leah would have been the leading setter with the most assists,” coach Greg Stenlund said. “They were both hard-working girls in practice and always maintained great attitudes. They continually pushed themselves, each other and the other team members to be better.”
Another strong Panther duo came at the net, with the pair of Adrianna Torres and Ava Brewer contributing as key blockers for the freshman team.
“I don’t know what I would have done without them,” Stenlund said. “She (Torres) came to us as an outside hitter and had to learn the middle position because the other middle moved right before the season began. That put her in a tough spot, but she did so well to learn the new position quickly and became effective right out of the gate.”
He said the team won multiple matches because of their blocking, continually affecting the dynamic of the other team’s hitters — while also contributing to other areas of the game.
“They were both excellent servers as well,” Stenlund said. “Their jump float serves were effective every match. Ava had several sets where she served 10-11 consecutive times — we never lost any of those sets.”
One of the players showing the most growth for the Panthers, said Stenlund, was Chloe Loyning who slotted in as the libero for the team.
He said passing is graded on a scale of 0-3 with zero being the worst and three being the best, with Loyning’s passing continuing to improve throughout the season.
“Her passes progressed from being 1-2’s to mostly being 2-3’s,” Stenlund said. “Her passes made our team click because everything starts with the pass in volleyball.”
He went on to say that the team primarily focuses on learning the jump float serve at the freshman level, with Maddie Valdez in particular having a consistently tough jump float serve.
Stenlund also said that players like Kaylen Greenwald and Emily Wolf were consistent in being in the right place at the right time.
“I could always count on them to be where they were supposed to be,” he said.