Panthers drop weekend home matches

Posted 10/13/20

Coming into the weekend on a four-match winning streak, the Powell volleyball team faltered in its most recent competitions.

The Panthers fell to Mountain View and Lyman on Friday and Saturday, …

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Panthers drop weekend home matches

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Coming into the weekend on a four-match winning streak, the Powell volleyball team faltered in its most recent competitions.

The Panthers fell to Mountain View and Lyman on Friday and Saturday, respectively, dropping the team’s overall record to 6-7. Both losses were in three sets.

“The Buffaloes and Eagles have always had a strong program with some strong athletes,” head coach Tasha Miller said. “I think we had a great chance at going against them but have some team building to do to improve the chemistry and synergy of our team to get us back to where we were.”

Against Mountain View, the first set was rather contested, with the Panthers and Buffaloes trading point for point, before MVHS pulled away and won 25-19. The Buffaloes widened the gap in the subsequent sets, taking them 25-16 and 25-12, sealing Powell’s 3-0 defeat.

It was a similar story the next day, when PHS dropped the first set 25-18. It became more lopsided in the second set, as the Panthers allowed eight points in a row, which helped Lyman take the set 25-16.

Between miscommunications, service errors and other miscues, the Panthers were never able to claw back into it and eventually fell 25-12 in the third set.

In spite of the results, a few players stood out in the losses.

“Kenzie Ratcliff is always so much fun to watch because you can see her love for the game shine,” Miller said. “The energy she exudes on the court and how excited she gets when her or her teammates have a good play is the best.”

Miller added “Mattie Larsen is also a great leader on the court with her energy and constant talking to get the team hyped. It’s very much needed.”

Addy Thorington and Rose Graft each recorded 19 kills in the two games combined, which led the team. Thorington also led the way in service aces with three and Graft added two.

Defensively, Thorington’s six blocks were a team-high. And Maddie Campbell posted 19 digs, leading the way in that category.

Prior to the weekend, the Panthers were rolling and had eclipsed the .500 mark. Miller said she thinks the 0-2 skid can be traced back to the unconventional nature of the 2020 season, due to COVID-19.

“This year is unlike any other and these girls are going through a lot,” Miller said. “Between all of the things that have changed in their lives currently, and add all of the changes in volleyball this year, I think it’s taking its toll. Team bonding is a crucial part of the sport, and not being able to have team dinners, overnights, or gatherings outside of practice and matches is tough.”

PHS returns to the court on Thursday with a home match against Lander Valley, and they will travel to Worland the next day for a road contest.

“We are going to have a good sit down and discuss the different struggles the girls are going through,” Miller said. “They are such a great group of girls with so much talent, I know we will get through this and end our season on a good note.”

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