Lady Panthers come back strong

RANGELY I “Strength through adversity,” is how Rangely Panthers volleyball coach Dennis Rohn described his team’s outstanding weekend. The lady Panthers beat one of the toughest teams in the league and then turned around and beat another on the same day.
The wins put Rangely in fourth place for the league, matching them against Vail Mountain the fifth-ranked seed at home Tuesday night for the critical match to move on to the four team district tournament. The other league match ups will be the No. 2 seed playing the No. 7 seed and No. 3 playing No. 6, all on the higher seeds home court. The number one team gets a bye into the district tournament.
The Panthers came out and put on a show for their homecoming triangular, proving they are a team to reckon with going into post-season play.
The Panthers started the match against Vail Mountain with a 19-25 loss in game one but rallied back with a big second game win 25-14, they followed this game with an even more impressive third game win, 25-8. Their momentum slowed slightly in game four as they lost 17-25, forcing the intense fifth game of the match. Outstanding serving and team play led them to a 15-11 game and match win.
The Panthers were led by the big hits of Quincy Thacker with 15 kills, Brittany Babinauex and Haeley Enterline added 10 and seven respectively. Aimee Hogan had 39 assists in the match along with 100 percent serving, giving the team 19 points. Enterline was 16 for 17 serving, Babinauex was 20 for 20, and Thacker was 13 for 14 from the line. The team served a remarkable 96.9 percent.
It was not only offense that Rangely tuned up. Their defense was tenacious with Thacker and Babinauex having 23 and 17 blocks each. The team played hard for the entire match and carried that level of play into their next match up against Paonia.
The Panthers came out strong against Paonia and won the first game 25-18. They lost the second by the same score and came back to win the third, again by a score of 25-18. Paonia is a team that is not used to being beat and they rallied back to win the fourth game 25-21, forcing another five game match for the day. Rangely stuck to their efficient serving and won the last game 15-10. Thacker and Babinauex lead the team offensively in the match with 14 kills each and Hogan assisted her hitters 43 times. In a 95 percent serving match, Hernandez was 18 for 20, Babinauex was an incredible 31 for 31, and Kelsey Prosser was 13 for 15, with Hogan serving a perfect 10 for 10. Babinauex and Thacker proved their defense could match up against any team with 19 and 24 blocks respectively in the match.
Coach Rohn said, “These girls never cease to amaze me,” and added his appreciation for the support the Panther crowd gave the team. He was clearly excited about his team’s effort and looks forward to Tuesday night’s rematch against Vail Mountain as the Panthers “continue their quest,” going into post-season play.