Lady Panthers advance to regional tournament at Palisade
RANGELY I They haven’t reached their ultimate goal, but they are one step closer.
The Lady Panthers won all three of their matches at last week’s district tournament, which they hosted.
Now it’s on to Saturday’s regional tournament at Palisade.
“We’re making progress,” coach Jimmie Mergelman said of the Lady Panthers, who have their sights set on advancing to the state tournament.
“We want to keep winning, to keep the momentum,” Mergelman said. “We don’t want to have any letdowns.”
Rangely kept the momentum at last weekend’s district tournament. The Lady Panthers beat Paonia and Soroco in three games and Hayden in five.
“I thought we played well in that first match against Paonia,” Mergelman said. “We played well against Soroco also.”
Rangely beat Paonia by the scores of 25-14, 25-18, 25-11. Against Soroco, Rangely won 25-18, 25-16, 25-22.
Both Rangely and Paonia advance to the four-team regional tournament, along with Mancos and Telluride. Mancos is the No. 1 seed and Rangely No. 2.
“It’s that district’s turn to have the No. 1 seed,” Mergelman said. “We alternate between District 5 and District 3.”
The Lady Panthers’ first match Saturday will be at 9 a.m. against No. 3 seed Telluride. They then have a rematch against No. 4 seed Paonia at 11:30 a.m., followed by a match against No. 1 Mancos at 3:15 p.m.
The top two teams from regionals will advance to the state tournament Nov. 12 and 13 at the Denver Coliseum.
“I think if we play well, we’re capable of winning (the regional tournament),” Mergelman said. “We could win it, but we have to be consistent and we have to be able to close out games.”
Like they did at the district tournament.
“If everybody does their job, if everybody does what they are supposed to do, usually we’ll be OK,” Mergelman said. “Hopefully we’ll just keep doing what we’re doing.”