Panthers spiders defeat Falcons, fall to Renegades
The Park City volleyball team added another conference win last Thursday with a decisive three set victory over Fromberg.
The first game began close, but behind the serving of Brittany Frank and Andee Baker, the Panthers built up a 17-point lead.
Behind the momentum of the 25-7 game one victory, Park City pulled ahead early in the second game and never let off the gas, cruising to a 25-12 victory.
The Falcons started game three strong, at one point leading by five. The Panthers fought back, however, tying the game at 13, then slowly pulling ahead and reaching a 25-19 match-ending score.
Coach Kate Cristaldi has emphasized working as a team throughout the season, and it was a stark difference between the Panther chatter and the Falcon silence when each team had the ball.
Blakely Verke and Baker dominated the stats sheet, with Verke putting up four digs and 19 assists, while Baker had six aces and two blocks. Frank contributed seven of the team’s 24 kills.
While Saturday was not as successful for the Panthers, the team put up a good fight, losing in four close games to the RPR Renegades.
Verke had an impressive game, putting up 20 of the team’s 70 digs, three aces, 20 of 23 total Panther assists, and one block. Megan Flemmer also performed well, with three aces and 15 digs. Frank led the team with nine kills, and Alyx Grabowska had one block.
Cristaldi was happy with the Panthers’ competition last week, saying the girls made some big progress and were able to keep momentum by working hard in every set.
“The team was able to focus on tactics and strategies rather than refining skills,” she explained.
Park City has two conference games on the schedule for this week, and Cristaldi said the team plans to build upon last week’s success.
On Thursday, the Panthers travel to Absarokee to face the Huskies in a cross-county rivalry game. Absarokee beat Park City earlier this season.
Friday, Park City faces the very tough Bridger Scouts at home.
During homecoming week last Thursday, the Cougars avenged an early-season loss to the Big Timber Herders in three games.
Junior Morgan Kirch played well, leading the team in kills (12), aces (6), and blocks (1). Kat Sindelar added 17 assists, and McCamey Miller had eight digs. Brenna Rouane had one block.
“I was very pleased with how the girls pulled together against Big Timber and played some of the best volleyball I have seen out of them this year,” said Coach Lindsey Johnson.
On Saturday, the Cougars traveled to the Roundup Invitational Tournament and split the six games they played that day.
Columbus won two of three pool play matches, beating Roundup’s JV team and Broadview-Lavina, and falling to Shepherd.
In bracket play, the Cougars bounced back with a win over Shepherd.
During this match, Uluwehi Brooks led the team with five assists, and Rouane put up two blocks. Kirch had five kills and seven digs.
Columbus then fell to Roundup, and finished the day with a loss to Bridger in the consolation game.
Johnson said the tournament was a great opportunity to see new opponents and continue to work on all aspects of the game.
She feels the Cougars set the ball up well and played to their capabilities this week, a trend that will hopefully stay true going into a week full of conference games.
On Thursday, the Red Lodge Rams come to town for the first official conference match-up between the two teams this season. As Johnson pointed out, Columbus beat Red Lodge in the first tournament of the season, but the Rams have bested the Cougars at other tournaments this year.
“I think it will be a fun night and a great match for both teams,” Johnson predicts.
On Saturday, Columbus plays in Shepherd, and next Tuesday the Cougars face the Joliet J-Hawks at home.
The Renegades fell to the top two teams in the conference last week before rounding out the weekend by defeating Park City.
On Thursday, the Bridger Scouts left the Reed Point gym in the same shape they entered it – undefeated in conference play.
Five different Renegades contributed to the team’s efforts in the three-set loss.
Sophomore Carlee Blodgett put up big numbers in three categories – kills (10), aces (2), and blocks (1). Nynah Bryant also posted one block, and Mercedes Hoff had five digs. Destiny Ayers led the team with 12 kills, and Jocelyn Ott had 13 of the team’s 22 assists.
The Renegades had fallen to the Rebels earlier in the year and were hoping to get revenge, but RPR was unable to get a homecoming win against Custer-Hysham, whose only conference loss is to Bridger.
Two Renegade seniors led the team on Friday – Bryant with two aces and 17 assists, and Ayers with eight digs and 15 kills. RPR did not record any blocks during the three sets.
On Saturday, the Renegades posted a conference win against the Park City Panthers.
Ayers had 15 of the 35 RPR kills, and the team’s 35 assists were split between Bryant (18) and Ott (17). Ott also put up four aces. Blodgett had 11 digs and 2.5 blocks.
Coach Teresa Bare said the Renegades will work on consistency while serving and passing in the upcoming matches to help with offensive effectiveness.
There are two conference games on RPR’s agenda this week. On Friday, Roberts travels to Rapelje, and on Saturday the Renegades go to Carbon County to face the Fromberg Falcons.
The Huskies won their homecoming match against non-conference Broadview-Lavina in three on Thursday.
Absarokee had 69 digs against the Pirates, led by Mallorey Shepherd and Emma LaMoure with 14 each. Shepherd also put up six aces and seven kills. Senior Caitlin Young led the team with seven assists, in addition to putting up five aces. Homecoming Queen Rebecka Lester had both of Absarokee’s blocks.
The Huskies face the Park City Panthers in Absarokee’s only match this week.