Granby " Middle Park spikers win Frontier League Championship |

Granby " Middle Park spikers win Frontier League Championship

Will Bublitz
Grand County, Colorado
Photo by Tim StensvadThe members of the Frontier League championship Middle Park High team are (front, from left) Madison Zolnir, Cheyenne Hickox, Quincey Pedersen and Elsa Krieg and (top, from left) Brenna Dee (trainer), Shannan Stensvad, Chelsea Comer-Lang, Anna Conrad, Arielle Steinberg and coach Kris Newberry.

Middle Park High’s volleyball players are the champions of the Frontier League.

The Lady Panthers, playing out of Granby, Coorado, won the league title after emerging as the victors the 2008 Frontier League Championships held at Bennett on Saturday, Oct. 18. The tournament was a four-team competition.

“Our girls are very excited to be the league champions,” said coach Kris Newberry. “They came into this tournament fired up and won it in two matches.”

Saturday’s league tournament was organized as a “crossover round” of conference play with the top teams from its eastern and western areas facing one another.

In the first match, Middle Park’s volleyballers, who were ranked No. 1 in the league’s western area, were pitted against the host Bennett team, the eastern area’s top spikers.

“Our girls came into it determined to win and we beat Bennett 25-11 in the first game,” Newberry said. “But then we had a mental breakdown and let them win 25-18 in the second game. Finally, we put it all back together and pushed through to win the next two games 25-20 and 25-19.”

The Lady Panthers’ offense was led by sophomore Elsa Krieg, who racked up an impressive 22 kills on 38 attacks with only one error.

“Elsa has been on fire for the past several matches,” Newberry said. “Fifty percent of the time that she touches the ball, it’s a kill. That’s amazing.”

Shannan Stensvad was also outstanding on offense with nine kills. She was followed by Cheyenne Hickox with six kills; Quincey Pedersen, four; Anna Conrad, three; and Chelsea Comer-Lang, one kill from the back row.

Krieg was the team’s serving leader, earning five aces. Conrad followed her with three while Stensvad, Hickox, Pedersen and Madison Zolnir had one ace apiece.

In blocking, Krieg was also the leader, posting six for the match. Conrad and Hickox made two each while Stensvad had one.

Comer-Lang led the team in digs with nine while Stensvad made seven and Pedersen six.

After winning the first match against Bennett, the Lady Panthers then entered the tournament’s championship match where they faced their nemesis, the Platte Canyon Huskies.

“This was a grudge match for us,” Newberry said. “We had played them twice before this season. We beat them the first time, but they came back to beat us the second time.”

In the championship match’s first game, Platte Canyon powered to a 25-20 win over Middle Park.

“That loss in the first game came as a big surprise,” Newberry said. “But our girls rallied and came back.”

In three hotly contested games, the Lady Panthers emerged the winners by scores of 25-23, 25-21 and 25-21.

“Platte Canyon is very scrappy, ran a quick offense and is one of the better blocking teams that we’ve faced all year,” Newberry said.

Krieg was the team’s leader on offense once again, earning 22 kills on 39 attacks with no errors. Stensvad and Conrad earned nine kills apiece while Hickox and Pedersen had four kills each. Comer-Lang and Zolnir contributed one kill apiece.

Zolnir, the team’s setter, posted 36 assists.

The team turned in some good blocking stats including six by Krieg, five by Pedersen and two apiece by Hickox and Stensvad.

The Lady Panthers also earned an outstanding number of digs, including 15 by Comer-Lang, 14 by Stensvad and eight by Zolnir.

Having won the Frontier League Championships, Middle Park’s spikers now advance to the district tournament.

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