Lady Panthers go 1-1 at Regionals ending bid for state volleyball championship
Saturday brought the Middle Park lady Panthers’ volleyball season to a close as the girls from Granby split their two matches at Regionals going 1-1 on the day, forcing them to bow out of championship contention.
The lady Panthers’ hopes for a state championship tournament berth were dashed early Saturday as Middle Park High fell to the Prospect Ridge Academy lady Miners in five long sets. The Panthers lost the first set 16-25 but came roaring back in the second set, winning 25-18.
The third set of the match was a repeat of the first with the lady Panthers losing 16-25. The Panthers rebounded in the fourth set though and secured a hard fought win 26-24, leaving the fifth and final set as the deciding set of the match. Unfortunately for Middle Park the girls from Broomfield were able to eke out another close win when they defeated the Panthers 12-15.
“While our play on Saturday was not our best performance of the season, we definitely held our own and it came down to very close games with Prospect Ridge, “ Donette Schmiedbauer, Middle Park High School head volleyball coach, said Monday. “Prospect Ridge, being from the Metro league, competes with teams that are very quick offensively and defensively, something we do not get a lot of exposure to until we play matches outside our Frontier league. They were just slightly quicker in every aspect of the game.”
Schmiedbauer noted that the Prospect Ridge Academy coach said the Miners’ performance Saturday against Middle Park was amongst their best performances of the season.
Following their heartbreaking first match loss to Prospect Ridge the lady Panthers took to the hardwood a second time Saturday against the Englewood lady Pirates. The girls from Middle Park made quick work of their second round opponents and secured a match win in two sets, defeating the Pirates 25-16 and 25-20. Looking back on the 2018 season Schmiedbauer noted the Panthers overall record for the year ended up at 18-6 while going undefeated in the Frontier league.
“They came together as a very strong team exceeding my and their expectations,” Schmiedbauer said. “Even though these girls had very strong fundamentals, they had not played together as a full team ever and they built the trust and had the determination to become a very cohesive, successful team while never losing their love for the sport and each other.”
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