Panthers head to state volleyball tournament; first trip in seven years

The Rangely Panthers won their regional tournament by beating host Dolores and Telluride last Saturday, qualifying for the 2017 2A Colorado State Volleyball Championships held in the Denver Coliseum for the first time in seven years. The Panthers will play No. 1 seed Yuma this Friday at 2 p.m., then play No. 12 Dolores on Saturday. Matt Scoggins photo

RANGELY | First up, Rangely took on Telluride. Rangely played Telluride during the season opener tournament and lost. They were looking to even the score. Rangely came out looking tough, winning the first set 25-14. Second set, Rangely had unforced errors that made the score a little closer but still took the second set, 25-20. Into the third set, Rangely looked to put the match away, beating Telluride 25-10. Rangely played well defensively. Sarah Connor had seven solo blocks while Marlena Miller had four solo blocks. Katelyn Brown led with 20 digs and Kassidee Brown added 18 digs. Rangely’s offensive proved a little too much for Telluride. Sarah Connor led with 12 kills, Marlena Miller added nine kills, Klaire Denny had eight kills and Katelyn Brown chipped in six kills. Kassidee Brown did a great job moving the ball around, ending the match with 32 assists.
Last and final match up of the day was Rangely vs. Dolores. Dolores beat Telluride earlier in the morning and was looking to take regionals, but Rangely had other plans. Rangely looked good in the first two sets, winning both sets 25-20, but looking for the match win in set three was a little more challenging as Dolores showed they were not ready to concede. Rangely trailed most of the set and couldn’t get the lead, and dropped the third set 20-25. As they started the fourth set, it was a battle going back and forth. Dolores ended taking the set 21-25. Rangely’s unforced errors were the deciding points. As Rangely entered the fifth and final set they were ready to push their way to be regional champs and get their ride to state. Rangely pushed with great serving and defense and took the fifth set 15-11. Skylar Thacker and Katelyn Brown ended the match with 35 digs each. Sarah Connor and Marlena Miller both had seven solo blocks. Kassidee Brown did an excellent job moving the ball around to all her hitters once again. Sarah Connor led with 18 kills, Katelyn Brown had 12 kills, Marlena Miller added eight kills, Klaire Denny had six kills and KK Fortunato contributed two kills.
Rangely volleyball will be heading to the state tournament for the first time in seven years this weekend. Coach Marybel Cox would like to say thank you to all the parents and fans who have supported Rangely volleyball.