Panther volleyball 2-2 at Border Wars

Four Lady Panthers finish with 20+ kills

Posted 9/12/19

The young Powell High School volleyball team continued to show signs of improvement over the weekend, posting a 2-2 record at the MT/WY Border Wars Tournament in Cody.

The Lady Panthers played …

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Panther volleyball 2-2 at Border Wars

Four Lady Panthers finish with 20+ kills

Posted

The young Powell High School volleyball team continued to show signs of improvement over the weekend, posting a 2-2 record at the MT/WY Border Wars Tournament in Cody.

The Lady Panthers played four Montana teams, recording 3-1 wins over Sidney (25-18, 25-20, 25-27, 25-22) and Hardin (25-21, 18-25, 25-22, 25-18). Powell lost in straight sets to Billings Central (15-25, 18-25, 11-25), and battled to a five-set loss against Livingston (13-25, 21-25, 25-22, 26-24, 3-15).

“We may not have won every match, but we definitely learned from them,” said PHS head coach Tasha Miller. “We are improving each time we play and that is a win to me.”

Confidence was key for the Lady Panthers in every contest. If the team can maintain that mindset throughout each match, Miller said it bodes well for the future.

“When the girls come out with energy and intensity, they can compete and it’s so fun to watch,” she said. “We are trying to figure out how to get that intensity from the very beginning of each match, rather than 15 points into the first set.”

Powell had four players finish the tournament with 20-plus kills: Kady Wells and Rose Graft led the team with 25 kills apiece for the four matches, while Paije Johnson and Sabrina Shoopman each added 20.

“Kady Wells that is such a leader on the court for us in every aspect of the game,” Miller said. “She’s so vocal, and talks to our players when she’s out there and we rely on her consistency with her passing, serving and now her attacking in the front row.”

Libero Michele Wagner had 81 digs, and Wells followed with 61. Wells also added eight ace serves, while Wagner, Gabi Metzler and Madi Fields had three aces each.

“Paije Johnson is really starting to click with her hitting, and we really rely on her to put the ball down for us,” Miller said. “Gabi Metzler is starting to really pick up on her defensive game and get some great digs for us, as well as clicking with our hitters to give them some great sets.”

Miller was quick to add that while those players may have stood out on the stat sheet, everyone on the roster contributed to the team’s success.

“It’s tough to not list them all, because they each added things that we needed this weekend,” she said.

With two weeks of the season in the books, the Lady Panthers are 5-9 and gearing up for their home opener against Thermopolis tonight (Thursday). Miller said she’s pleased so far with the team’s progression.

“I know I’ve thrown a lot at them in the last couple of weeks with thinking a little differently and playing the game a little differently, but they’ve really started to show that they are trying to think of those things while on the court,” she said. “Sometimes it may not be executed in the way we want it to go, but the fact that they are trying is so exciting. Without a little struggle there is no progress.”

It’s setting up to be a busy week for the PHS volleyball team, with the home opener tonight and the Rawlins Invitational this weekend.

“We welcome the busy week and the challenges that come with it,” Miller said.

Tonight’s contest against Thermopolis has an added significance, as the Lady Panthers are hosting Team Ethan Night, a fundraiser for Ethan Asher. Fans will be wearing Team Ethan shirts from Vision West, and Hickory Street will be grilling burgers, with all of the proceeds going to the Asher family.

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to raise funds for the Asher family,” Miller said. “The girls on our team have definitely been impacted by Ethan’s situation. We are all inspired by his strength and his incredible fight for life, he continues to be on our hearts and minds. It would mean so much to come out with a win for our community, our school and our program.”

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