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Panthers split home games

Powell High School seniors Rachel Bonander, No. 25 and Brook Sweet, No. 10 — joined by other members of the team and the crowd — cheer after a Lady Panthers point during the first set of a match against Lander on Friday night. Powell High School seniors Rachel Bonander, No. 25 and Brook Sweet, No. 10 — joined by other members of the team and the crowd — cheer after a Lady Panthers point during the first set of a match against Lander on Friday night. Tribune photo by Breanne Thiel

PHS sweeps Purple Out series against Lander, falls to Riverton

The Powell High School volleyball team had a busy weekend at home, beating Lander in three games on Friday before losing to Riverton in three on Saturday.

Lady Panthers 3, Lander 0

“Lander has always been a scrappy team to play against, which means they can’t be overlooked,” said head coach Randi Bonander. “The girls went into the game with the focus being communication and effort. This paid off for us with a 3-0 win.”

Powell won the three sets 26-24, 25-15 and 25-9.

“Our overall team serving average was lower than normal at 85 percent, as were our blocks — four total — and kills at 28,” said coach Bonander.

Hartly Thorington led the team in serving at 88 percent and in kills with 10 out of 28. 

Aubrie Stenerson had five kills and the highest passing average, at 2.6 percent.

Karlie McKenzie was right behind Stenerson with a 2.4 percent passing average in her first varsity game this season.

“It was a great end to a humbling night,” said coach Bonander as this game coincided with a Purple Out fundraiser for Calvin Sanders and family in his battle with pancreatic cancer <(see related story)>.

Riverton 3, Lady Panthers 0

On Saturday, the Lady Panthers were swept by Riverton.

“We talked about how Riverton would be improving from the first two encounters we had with them early in the season,” coach Bonander said. “We knew it would be a tough match and we would have to improve in more areas than they did.”

Powell lost the game in three sets, 25-21, 25-19 and 25-10.

“Our overall serve-in percentage was at 86 percent the last time we played them, which is where we ended up Saturday, and we had half as many ace serves,” said coach Bonander. “Our passing percentage was down from 2.48 to 2.05, which is a pretty significant drop, but we improved our kills from 12 to 22.”

Natalie Ostermiller led PHS with a 100 percent serve-in percentage and 32 set assists.

Stenerson hit 94 percent in serve percentage and led with a 2.15 pass percentage. 

Rachel Bonander had a team-best eight kills and five blocks, while Brook Sweet led with 40 set assists. 

Jazlyn Haney was right behind Rachel Bonander with five kills and Karlie McKenzie followed Stenerson in pass percentage with 2.09.

Next up for the Lady Panther volleyball team are conference duals in Mountain View on Friday and Saturday. The games will begin at noon on Friday and resume at 9 a.m. Saturday.

“We have a four-day practice week, which we haven’t had since early September due to weekday games,” coach Bonander said. “Our focus this week is meeting up with the southwest region at conference duals in Mountain View on Friday and Saturday.”

Purple Out night raises $12,000 for Sanders family

A Friday night ‘Purple Out’ fundraising event, hosted by the Powell High School volleyball team, raised $12,000 plus for Calvin Sanders and his family as he fights cancer.

“Our focus was on the fundraiser for Calvin Sanders and family,” said head coach Randi Bonander. “It was pretty amazing to see so much purple in our gym showing support for him and his battle against pancreatic cancer.”

Prior to the game, individuals could purchase purple shirts to wear at the game and the total of $12,000 does not include the purple shirt proceeds.

At the volleyball game, there was a silent auction, a Serve in a Hoola Hoop activity run by PHS’ National Honor Society, a 50/50 raffle run by the PHS Student Council and suckers sold by Jolyn Kawano. 

“It just shows how giving our community of Powell is when one of our own is in need,” Bonander said of the event.

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