Panthers cruise to win on senior night

Four seniors honored in win against the Red Lodge Rams

Posted 10/1/20

Just a couple weeks ago, the Powell High School volleyball team was in a rut. The Panthers were struggling to find a rhythm and lost three contests in a row.

That has quickly changed. Powell is …

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Panthers cruise to win on senior night

Four seniors honored in win against the Red Lodge Rams

Posted

Just a couple weeks ago, the Powell High School volleyball team was in a rut. The Panthers were struggling to find a rhythm and lost three contests in a row.

That has quickly changed. Powell is now just one game under .500 (4-5 overall) after back-to-back wins.

Most recently, the Panthers took care of Red Lodge, Montana, on Tuesday for senior night. The team’s four seniors — Paije Johnson, Mattie Larsen, Madi Fields and Rose Graft — were honored at Panther Gym in style as PHS cruised to victory.

“I think the girls were excited that it was senior night,” head coach Tasha Miller said. “They came out with a lot of energy and enthusiasm.”

The Panthers set the tone early and dominated the first set, winning 25-15. They won again in set two, this time with a closer score of 25-23.

For the first time in the match, PHS ran into trouble in the third set. They dropped the point 25-21, making the match score 2-1.

“The third set was hard because we started to play at the level our opponent was playing and ended up falling to them,” Miller said.

Powell rebounded well, however, dominating in the fourth set, 25-3. An honest talk from Miller to her squad fueled the blowout.

“We had a good team huddle after the third set and talked about coming out in the fourth set ready to play and playing our game, not theirs,” Miller said. “We needed to compete, not just play, and they did.”

As far as individual performances, freshman Addy Thorington stood out to Miller, citing how the team’s energy increases when she “jumps up and crushes the ball down on the other team.” But all in all, the coach thought it was a sound performance from the squad as a whole.

“The whole team had a great night. I saw something from each girl that really helped us in taking the win,” Miller said. “Every girl got at least one hit, dig, block or set that got the whole gym excited.”

The Panthers continue a busy stretch with two more games this week: home against Lovell on Thursday, and on the road against Thermopolis on Saturday. Miller said she expects this recent success to lead to more wins in the near future.

“I think we needed the confidence boost of the wins to carry us through for our next matches,” Miller said. “I know these girls have been working hard and improving and it is showing even in the losses, but it’s obviously more inspiring when we win.”

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