Panthers defeat Fillies for first time in 8 years

Come up just short in top 3A matchup

Posted 9/26/23

A week of tests saw the Powell Panther volleyball team claim victory over the Cody Fillies for the first time in eight years 3-1 on Thursday before losing a difficult five set match to top-ranked …

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Panthers defeat Fillies for first time in 8 years

Come up just short in top 3A matchup


A week of tests saw the Powell Panther volleyball team claim victory over the Cody Fillies for the first time in eight years 3-1 on Thursday before losing a difficult five set match to top-ranked Buffalo on the road on Saturday despite holding a 2-0 lead.



(14-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-23)

Homecoming week brought a difficult test for the 3A No. 2-ranked Panthers (15-4 overall, 2-0 3A Northwest) on Thursday, taking on Park County rival and 4A No. 3-ranked Cody Fillies (12-2 overall, 1-0 4A Northwest) at home.

Nerves in front of a raucous crowd played a key role in a difficult start for the Panthers, with Powell going behind early after not returning serves with a 10-4 deficit leading to a timeout.

“We were so nervous,” senior Addy Thorington said. “Our passes were all over the place.”

Cody continued to grow its lead, pushing it to double digits before a second timeout by Powell at 23-12.

The Fillies finished the first set with a 25-14 victory and appeared to be heading for another win over Powell.

“We had a hard time stepping on the court ready to go,” coach Lesli Spencer said. “Nobody was stressed about how we showed up in that first set, we were just like wow that was bad and started over.”

In the second, the Panthers gained momentum through four straight aces by Thorington split by a Cody timeout, which helped eventually push the lead out to as many as six up 15-9.

Cody’s serving caught fire once again, bringing the set back to a 17 all tie and eventually reclaiming the lead 18-17.

After Cody pushed it to 19-17 Powell called a timeout, battling back to a 21 all tie to force a Cody timeout.

Powell scored three straight out of the timeout to take a 24-21 lead and finished the set with a 25-22 win.

“The student section helped a lot, they were just cheering us on and everybody (on the court) was encouraging each other,” Thorington said. 

In the third set Powell increased its blocking, holding an early lead and eventually forcing a timeout by Cody while up 15-11.

The lead pushed out to 20-12 before a small rally by Cody, but Powell held off the charge and finished with a 25-19 victory to claim a 2-1 lead.

In the fourth both teams battled point for point, but Cody claimed the lead midway through the set up 15-12 and forced a Powell timeout.

That lead held at 18-14, before a Panther rally brought it back and tied the match at 19.

Powell took the lead, and forced a late timeout from Cody up 22-21.

The Panthers held off the Fillies, earning a 25-23 win and a victory over Cody for the first time since Halloween 2015, when the Panthers defeated the Fillies at regionals to advance to the state tournament.

We get put up against the toughest teams during homecoming and this year we were like ‘we are going to beat them, we know it,’” Thorington said. “This is the first time out of the four years I have been on varsity that we have beat Cody in anything besides track … Cody is way better than our other competitors in 3A.”

Thorington led the way with 24 kills and eight aces in the match, Stevee Walsh led with 19 assists, Alexa Richardson and Thorington tied with 10 digs and Saige Kidd led with three blocks.

“We have some really good athletes and those girls have been fighting some very good Cody athletes … it was big, the girls were really excited,” Spencer said.



(25-22, 25-17, 19-25, 16-25, 8-15)

After the victory on Thursday the Panthers made the trip over the Bighorns to take on No. 1-ranked Buffalo (17-2-3 overall, 3-0 3A Northeast).

“Honestly, we were still really flat coming out,” Spencer said. 

Despite the slow start, the Panthers won the first two sets 25-22 and 25-17 to take a two set lead on the hosts.

Buffalo battled back, winning the next two sets 25-19 and 25-16 to force a decisive fifth set.

In that fifth set the Bison completed the comeback, earning a 15-8 victory and the 3-2 win over the Panthers.

Thorington again led with 17 kills and three aces, Catelynn Floy led with 15 assists just ahead of Walsh’s 13 and Harvey led with 12 digs and 1.5 blocks.

Despite the result, Spencer was encouraged after the match in a difficult Buffalo environment.

“There were things all week long, a big win over Cody on Thursday night emotionally and physically. Friday the football game was late and rainy followed by waking up and getting on the bus at 6:30 a.m. followed by a long bus ride to Buffalo for one game,” Spencer said. “I’m happy with taking them five sets, I’m excited to get the opportunity to see them again.”



The varsity team will have the luxury of having only one match this week, making the short trip to Lovell on Thursday to take on the Bulldogs (12-7-1 overall, 1-1 3A Northwest) in a conference match.

“We are going to have a pretty hard week of practice,” Spencer said. “We will get a lot of reps in all three days … Hoping to step on the court Thursday and take control and keep moving forward.”

That match will be followed by a long week at home next week, kicking off with 4A Sheridan on Tuesday before hosting the 3A West Conference Duals on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 7-8.

Rankings are courtesy of the WyoPreps Coaches and Media poll. New rankings are released each Thursday.



(14-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-23)

Total blocks then solo blocks in ()

Kills — Addy Thorington 24, Waycee Harvey 4, Saige Kidd 4, Catelynn Floy 3, Stevee Walsh 1

Assists — Stevee Walsh 19, Catelynn Floy 5, Saige Kidd 3, Alexa Richardson 2, Waycee Harvey 1, Addy Thorington 1

Digs — Alexa Richardson 10, Addy Thorington 10, Stevee Walsh 5, Waycee Harvey 3, Saige Kidd 2, Catelynn Floy 2, Maci Borders 1

Blocks — Saige Kidd 3, Catelynn Floy 2, Waycee Harvey 1.5, Kodee Asay 1, Addy Thorington 1, Alexa Richardson .5

Aces — Addy Thorington 8, Catelynn Floy 3



(25-22, 25-17, 19-25, 16-25, 8-15)

Kills — Addy Thorington 17, Waycee Harvey 8, Saige Kidd 7, Catelynn Floy 6, Stevee Walsh 3, Kodee Asay 2, Alexa Richardson 1

Assists — Catelynn Floy 15, Stevee Walsh 13, Addy Thorington 4, Waycee Harvey 1, Alexa Richardson 1

Digs — Waycee Harvey 12, Alexa Richardson 9, Catelynn Floy 7, Addy Thorington 6, Stevee Walsh 4, Saige Kidd 3

Blocks — Waycee Harvey 1.5 (1), Saige Kidd 1.5, Catelynn Floy 1.5, Kodee Asay 1, Addy Thorington 1, Maci Borders .5

Aces — Addy Thorington 3, Waycee Harvey 2, Saige Kidd 2, Alexa Richardson 1, Catelynn Floy 1