PHS volleyball team drops first conference games

Posted 9/21/21

A weekend of frustrations brought a pair of sweeps for the Powell High School volleyball team, as the Lady Panthers fell to the Lander Tigers at home on Thursday and the Worland Warriors on the road …

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PHS volleyball team drops first conference games

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A weekend of frustrations brought a pair of sweeps for the Powell High School volleyball team, as the Lady Panthers fell to the Lander Tigers at home on Thursday and the Worland Warriors on the road on Saturday in Powell’s first two conference games.

   

Lander 3, Powell 0

The Panthers (8-10 overall, 0-2 in conference play) entered the match with the Tigers (13-1-2, 2-0) with some momentum, after winning the silver bracket during the Rawlins tournament the prior weekend.

The match got off to a slow start. Mixed with rotational and hitting errors, the Panthers fell behind early in the first set, trailing the Tigers 10-3, and were never able to regain their footing.

After the middle of the set being relatively even, bringing the match to 19-11, the Panthers only managed to muster one more point for a first set loss of 25-12.

The second set began much closer than the first, with the Panthers and Tigers deadlocked at 5-5 through the first 10 points. 

Lander began to create a little breathing room at 14-10, before the Panthers responded with a spike to the back line and back-to-back aces by sophomore Addy Thorington that brought the Panthers to within a point.

“I felt better against Lander because they did not give up as they have in the past,” coach Lesli Spencer said. 

Unfortunately for the Panthers, the Tigers then took control and widened the lead to 20-13. The home team was able to pull the game back to 22-18 before the Tigers ultimately took the set at 25-19.

The third set, much like the first, was dominated by the Tigers from the very beginning. 

The Panthers trailed early in the third set 9-3 and were never able to recover from the slow start, ultimately losing the set 25-18 and the match 3-0.

“It was a rough day but Lander is a lot better than Worland,” Spencer said. “It is a completely different level when playing them so comparing the two is hard.”

   

Worland 3, Powell 0

The Panthers looked to regroup heading into their second conference match on Saturday against Worland  (9-8-1, 2-0). Spencer decided to forego having a libero in the rotation for the match, instead opting to move sophomore Kenzie Ratcliff to strong side outside hitter.

The move appeared to be paying off early as the Panthers and Warriors battled back and forth point for point during the first set.

The first set continued until the Panthers trailed 20-16, and ultimately fell in the set 25-21.

The second set was much like the first set against Lander on Thursday, as the Panthers trailed early and were never able to recover; they lost the second set 25-11.

“We were not passing the ball, communicating and we were not touching or putting the ball with a purpose,” Spencer said. “We were touching it instead of putting it where it needed to be. Our passes were not to our setters despite our setters playing well.”

The Panthers jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead in the third set, but an early timeout from Worland allowed the Warriors to get back into the game. The Warriors battled back and tied the match at 20, and took the third set 25-22 to complete the sweep.

After opening up conference play with an 0-2 record, the Panthers head into a different type of difficult test as they host rival Cody on Thursday. Cody enters with a record of 14-3 and is coming off of a weekend after splitting matches with Jackson and Star Valley.

“It will be a tough one,” Spencer said. “We have a lot to fix on our end and that is what we are going to focus on.”

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