PHS volleyball ends season at regionals

Lady Panthers finish 1-2 with win over Big Piney

Posted 11/5/19

The Powell High School volleyball team’s season came to a close over the weekend, with a 1-2 finish at the 3A West Regional Tournament in Lander.

Powell (9-20-2, 2-5 in conference) opened …

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PHS volleyball ends season at regionals

Lady Panthers finish 1-2 with win over Big Piney

Posted

The Powell High School volleyball team’s season came to a close over the weekend, with a 1-2 finish at the 3A West Regional Tournament in Lander.

Powell (9-20-2, 2-5 in conference) opened the tournament Friday afternoon with a straight-set loss to Mountain View (25-14, 25-12, 25-17). The Lady Panthers followed that with a 3-1 win against Big Piney Friday night (25-12, 25-17, 19-25, 25-9) that secured them at least one more game the following day.

The Lady Panthers’ season ended Saturday with a 3-0 loss to Lander (25-7, 25-13, 25-7).

“It wasn’t the outcome we wanted,” said PHS head coach Tasha Miller. “Given we went into regionals with only one or two players with regional play experience, I was pleased with how hard we played and the effort going into the weekend.”

A slow start doomed the Lady Panthers in the opener against Mountain View (18-17, 4-2 in conference), though the team played well in the third set before running out of steam.

“I feel like by the third game we started to come back, but it was too late,” Miller said.

Powell rallied later that day with a 3-1 win over Big Piney (1-18-1, 0-6 in conference), a game the team “really wanted,” according to Miller.

“The girls started out stronger — they all fought hard and stepped up when we needed it,” she said. “Mattie Larsen had a good day on Friday and was really connecting with her hitting for us. Sabrina Shoopman also pulled through with some great digs and kills, as did Rose Graft.”

Powell ran into a buzzsaw in Saturday’s consolation bracket, facing a Lander team that lost a 3-2 heartbreaker to Pinedale the night before. The Lady Tigers (21-10-3, 4-2 in conference) made short work of Powell in a 3-0 loss, eventually winning the consolation championship.

“I’m impressed with their fight to win,” Miller said of her squad, “even when we were down, they didn’t give up. We all wanted that win, but Lander is a great team with some strong hitters and we were just outmatched, unfortunately.”

Graft led the weekend with 18 kills, followed by Shoopman with eight and Harshman with nine. Wagner finished the weekend with 34 digs, followed by Graft with 29 and Kady Wells with 22.

Gabi Metzler led the team in aces with six while Wagner and Harshman added four apiece.

Shoopman and Graft each had two solo and three assisted blocks; Harshman finished the weekend with five assisted blocks.

With her first season as head coach in the books, Miller said she was proud of how the team continued to progress with each contest.

“It was a privilege and a great learning experience,” she said. “I’ll use this year to learn from to better myself, the program and most importantly, the student athletes.”

As for her five seniors — Sabrina Shoopman, Kady Wells, Michele Wagner, Gabby Harshman and Gabi Metzler — Miller said she’ll miss their leadership and commitment to the program.

“I’ve had the opportunity to be involved with coaching them since they entered high school,” she said of her seniors. “It’s been great to watch them grow and mature into the ladies they are ... They are a special group of girls that made my first year as head coach so much fun, regardless of how the season went. I will truly miss them and wish them much success in their future endeavors.”

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