Rangely JV volleyball hosts Tigers, travels to Meeker for tourney

RANGELY | The Rangely junior high volleyball program hosted their first home game a few weekends ago against the Hayden Tigers. This was the junior Panthers last game before heading to the district tournament.
The sixth-grade team won the match against the Tigers in two games. In the first game, the green team played tough, beating the Tigers 25-10. Angelina Fortunato was a strong server scoring five aces. Karlee Halcomb also helped lead the team with six aces. In the second game of the sixth grade match, the white team fought hard to beat the Tigers 29-27. Lily Noel stayed cool under pressure to make the last serve that led her team to victory. Lexi LeBleu and Emmaree Wagner worked hard to keep rallies going and never let balls drop. The heart the girls took to the court led them to a victory over the Tigers.
The seventh-grade Panthers came out ready to go against the Tigers. They took the lead with Kastyn Dembowski back serving making the score 10-0. Ryann Mergelman did amazing passing in the back row, keeping the team setting up a pass, set, hit many times. The Panthers took the first game 25-7. Then in the second game the Panthers did a great job not letting up with Rylee Wagner leading the team with five aces. Emma Smith had some vital saves to keep rallies going and the momentum alive. Miah Wren had some wonderful digs that led the panthers to a 25-15 victory over the Panthers. The team won the match in two keeping their undefeated league record alive going into the district tournament.
The eighth-grade team worked hard against the Tigers but did not succeed in the first game, losing to the Tigers 25-17. However, the Panthers came out fighting in the second game and came out on top 25-18. Kenzie Varner and Kadence Wagner both led the team scoring six points each with strong serves. The Panthers fought hard, but lost the third game of the match 15-9.

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RANGELY | The Rangely Panther junior high volleyball teams traveled to Meeker Oct. 6 to compete in the middle school district tournament. The Panthers had great success taking first place in three of the four pools.
The sixth grade White team competed in the 7B pool of the tournament. They took on Meeker first, winning the match in two games. The girls worked hard in the first game beating the Cowboys 25-19. The top server was Lexi LeBleu with eight. In the second game the Panthers took the game 25-11. Paola Munoz led the team in serves with seven points.
The Panthers then moved on to play Steamboat winning the first game 25-8. Emmeree Wagner led the team in serves with 12 points to give the Panthers a strong lead. Allie Coker and Emma Winder had great passes to keep the Panthers in important rallies. In the second game, Lexi LeBleu led her team again in serves with 11 points. The Panthers took the second game 25-12, taking first place in the 7B pool.
The sixth grade green team played hard in the 8B pool, first facing Steamboat to start the tournament. The Panthers made great passes allowing Ashlynn Ducey and Karlee Halcomb to set their team up for some great hitting. Miley Chism had two kills in the first game to lead her team to a 25-13 win. In the second game Kaitlyn Cox used her strong overhand serve to earn the Panthers 13 points. Miah Wren had some great digs to help set her team up to hit. Angelina Fortunato did a great job attacking the ball to lead the Panthers to a 25-6 win over Steamboat. The green team then faced Meeker in the Championship. The first game of the match was a tight game against the Cowboys. Ashlynn Ducey stayed calm at the serving line scoring six of the Panthers’ points, including the game point. The Panthers took the first game of the match 26-24. The Panthers worked hard in the second game with nice consistent passing from Kaitlyn Cox and Angelina Fortunato to set the Panthers up for success. Karlee Halcomb led her team in serves with six points back to back to give the Panthers a lead. Jade Miller was aggressive at the net as a middle blocker helping her team to a 25-20 win over the Cowboys. The Panthers took first place in the 8B pool.
The seventh grade team competed in the 7A pool of the district tournament. The Panthers faced off with Craig in their first match of the day. The Panthers worked hard to get consistent passes to their setter Kastyn Dembowski. Adyween Meeks worked hard as a middle blocker getting a couple nice hits at the net. Ryann Mergelman stepped up at the serving line leading her team in serves with seven points. The Panthers took the first game 25-18. In the second game Ella Patch and Laurie Ward worked hard in the back row to get the ball set up for the team. Emma Smith led the team in serves this game with five points back at the serving line. The Panthers beat the Bulldogs 25-23, advancing the Panthers to the championship match of the pool. In the championship match the Panthers faced the Meeker Cowboys. The Panthers played a close game with the Cowboys in the the first game. Miley Chism led the team at the serving line with four points. However, the Panthers dropped the first set of the match 18-25 to the Cowboys. The Panthers came out a lot stronger in the second game of the match. Ryann Mergelman and Miah Wren stepped up as strong passers allowing their team to build momentum. Laurie Ward stayed calm at the serving line during a crucial part of the game and gave her team a two point lead. The Panthers fought hard to take the second game 25-22. Going into the third game of the championship match, the Panthers stayed cool. Miley Chism was aggressive at the net as a middle blocker. Annika Cantrell did a great job stepping up at the serving line when the Panthers were down 12-14. She brought the team back to a tied game at 15-15. The Panthers won the game with an amazing kill from Emma Smith with a final score 17-15. The Panthers took first place in the 7A pool of the district tournament.
The eighth grade team competed in the 8A pool of the district tournament. They played against Steamboat to start the tournament off. Kirah Phelps did a great job in the front row as a middle blocker having some good blocks and hits. The Panthers dropped the first set of the match 25-15. The Panthers fought back hard in the second game of the match with Kenzie Varner leading them in serves with five points in the very beginning of the game. The Panthers were able to take the second game of the match 25-23. With efforts to leave it all on the court, Kiley Goshe dove for every ball as libero in the third game. However, the Panthers were not able to pull out the win. They lost the last game 9-15 to Steamboat. This eliminated the eighth grade Panthers from the district pool.
Overall the Panthers had a successful district tournament taking home three first place trophies. This was a hard week for the Panthers. They went into the tournament with heavy hearts for two of their teammates, Kadence and Rylee Wagner, who lost their father earlier that week. The team could feel the absence of the two starters at the tournament, but rallied around the family by wearing pink ribbons reading, “Spencer Wagner No. 29 and No. 17” in memory of this great man. The Panthers would like to dedicate their success at the tournament to Spencer Wagner and the Wagner family.

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