By Breanne Thiel
The Powell High School varsity volleyball team beat Lovell in three sets on Friday, September 21st which places them first in the 3A Northwest Quadrant having a 3-0 quadrant record. The Lady Panthers have a 10-7 overall record after their loss to Billings West on Tuesday, September 15th.
Head coach Randi Bonander said that the Lady Panther volleyball team has been practicing coming back from deficits.
“It’s really important in volleyball because it is such a mentally challenging game to be able to do that, not only when there is a small deficit, but especially when there is a large one like in the second set,” said coach Bonander who was referencing the second set of the Billings West game where the Lady Panthers lost 25-8.
Against Billings West, the Lady Panthers also lost the first 26-24 and the third 25-22.
The coach said that the practicing of coming back from deficits and the ability to come back from losing by 17 points in one set to lose by three in the next set “really speaks to their mental toughness and team culture.”
Also in reference to the mental toughness and team culture of the Lady Panther volleyball team, Coach Bonander said the morning of the game “we found out we wouldn’t have our Junior setter Gabi Metzler due to a medical issue, so our rotation was a little different, but the girls took on the challenge of that moment.”
The coach also said that a tough part of playing in Billings, Montana is playing “their home court rules,” as Montana has different rules such as sets 3, 4 and 5 only go to 15 points instead of 25 as well as different rules in regards to blocking and crossing the plain of the net.
“But we have to be able to work through challenges like that to compete at the state level,” coach Bonander said.
Versus the Lady Bulldogs, the Lady Panthers won the game in three sets with scores 25-13, 25-21 and 25-15.
The win puts the Lady Panthers first in the 3A Northwest Quadrant with a 3-0 record by also having wins over Worland and Lander.
Worland is second in the quadrant with a 2-1 record, Lander is third posting a 2-1 record and Lovell is third having a 0-3 record.
The coach said that “Ashtyn Heny has been our serving leader since the beginning of the year, so it doesn’t surprise me that she was able to serve us back into the game for the win. Ashtyn also has the highest serve rating on the team.”
“Jasmyne [Lensgrav] is a scrappy player. She works hard not to let a ball drop, communicating on and off the court, and she didn’t miss any of her four serves during the match,” coach Bonander said.
For Aubrie Stenerson, Rachel Bonander, Hartly Thorington, Devon Curtis and Jazlyn Haney, the coach said that they “are all ready to do the job at hand during the match, whether it be set to another hitter, block and cover, or sending the ball over with a kill. They work well together, because they celebrate each other’s success, but will also pick up the slack when one of them is struggling.”
Coach Bonander said that having a 3-0 record “is a new feeling for us,” while adding that the team is ready to “get back to work because everyone else is improving so we have to push ourselves to prepare for Conference Duals.”
The Lady Panthers will be competing at the Conference Duals in Lander on Friday, October 5th and Saturday, October 6th. At this tournament nearly all of the teams in the conference will be there to compete.