Volleyball squad bests Arrupe Jesuit, Clear Creek
Over the course of last week the Middle Park High volleyball squad showed once again why they are one of the dominant teams in the state this year as the lady Panthers rolled over two opponents, sweeping both matches in three straight sets.
The lady Panthers of East Grand have been on a tear this year. So far this year Middle Park’s varsity volleyball squad sports an 11-2 overall record and an undefeated 6-0 league record. According to the high schools sports statistics aggregation website Maxpreps Middle Park’s volleyball squad is currently ranked 13th in the state for class 3A.
The action got underway Thursday evening in Evergreen. The Golddiggers offered serious some competition for the Panthers and contested each and every set but their efforts were not enough as the Panthers shut them out in three straight sets, taking the match 25-16, 25-22, and 25-20.
Leading the attack was senior Bailey Martin who recorded 10 kills against the Golddiggers. Close behind her was senior Kiera Barr who put up nine kills on the evening. Senior Harley Phillips and junior Sammy Phillips each tallied six kills against Clear Creek while junior Morgan Shaw had three and freshman Dominyka Reventaite had one.
The Panther’s servers had a more difficult day than in recent matches and posted only nine aces against the Golddiggers, with three of those coming from senior Lexi Blixt. Sammy Phillips put down two aces last Thursday while Reventaite, Martin, Shaw and Barr each managed one ace.
On defense Blixt was a powerhouse, tallying 19 of the team’s 53 digs for the day. Barr served in support and posted 11 digs while Sammy Phillips recorded seven. It was a solid day for the rest of the varsity squad as well with every member of the team posting multiple digs. Rounding out the stats were Harley Phillips (4), Reventaite (3), senior Natalie Stubbs (3), senior Shayna Hickox (2), Martin (2), and Shaw (2).
The action continued Saturday in Denver as the Panthers took on the Arrupe Jesuit lady Generals. The girls from Denver were no match for the East Grand squad who crushed their Front Range opponents by an overall match score of 75-26. The Panthers easily handled the Generals in three quick sets 25-4, 25-15, and 25-7.
Barr led the offensive efforts with eight kills against the Generals. Close behind her were both Martin and Shaw who each have five kills for the day. Reventaite had a strong showing with three kills against Arrupe Jesuit. Harley Phillips and Sammy Phillips each had two kills and junior Haiden Maker rounded out the team’s tally with one.
Senior Layne Neiberger led the Panther efforts from behind the end line, racking up nine of the team’s 24 aces while serving. Barr and Sammy Phillips each tallied five aces against the Generals while Blixt posted four and Harley Phillips had one.
Over on defense Blixt was the leading defender. Blixt recorded eight of the team’s 26 digs Saturday. She was followed closely by Barr who stopped the Generals with seven digs. Martin managed three digs against the girls from Denver while Sammy Phillips, Layne Neiberger and Natalie Stubbs each had two. Both Harley Phillips and Reventaite had one dig against the Generals.
The lady Panthers will now be setting their sights on the 12-1 Bennett Tigers (ranked 11th in the state for 3A) and the 6-9 Platte Canyon Huskies. The Panthers will take on the Tigers in Bennett Thursday evening. Varsity action is set to kick off at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday, Senior Night at Middle Park High, the East Grand girls will square off against the Huskies at home, with varsity play set to begin at 2 p.m.
The season got off to a bit of a rough start for the Panthers who dropped their first match against Faith Christian before going on an eight match winning streak that was eventually broken by the class 4A D’Evelyn squad. Since then the Panthers have continued to tear through their opponents and are fresh off a three match winning streak as they look to this week’s matches and next week’s Frontier League Tournament.
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