Panthers volleyball shows both sides
M-CHS dominant in victory, flat in defeat
When the Montezuma-Cortez High School Panthers volleyball team plays well, it is as tough as any team in the Southwest League. When the team plays poorly however, things tend to go south in a hurry.
WIN VERSUS GRAND JUNCTION CENTRAL
Opening up a weekend mixed with good and bad, the Panthers looked absolutely dominant Friday, Oct. 10, demolishing the Grand Junction Central Warriors in four sets, 25-17, 16-25, 25-16, 25-13.
“We just came ready to play,” said Laurel Chappell, discussing her team’s win. “We had played them before, and we beat them. We had the confidence to beat them. We need to go into every match that way.”
Leading the way for the Panthers against Central was Naomi Pennecoose, who recorded 17 kills. Chappell also was impressive, recording five aces and 37 assists, while Mikkel Waltman led the Panthers in digs with 12.
“It felt really good to get that win,” said Panthers head coach Barbara Chappell. “We dropped the second set, which we shouldn’t have, but that’s all mental. (The win) helped the girls a lot with their confidence.
LOSS TO FRUITA MONUMENT
Closing the up-and-down weekend on a sour note, the Panthers looked flat against league-leading Fruita Monument on Saturday, Oct. 11, losing in straight sets, 25-21, 25-23, 25-21.
Beginning the first set with a bang, the Panthers opened up a 6-0 lead on the strength of great hitting by Pennecoose and Beth Brown.
Unable to deal with Fruita’s perfectly placed tips and spikes, however, the Panthers dropped the set after a beautiful tip by Fruita’s Kasey Dollershell.
“(Fruita) knows how to play smart volleyball,” said Barbara Chappell. “We don’t play volleyball like that. We try to be aggressive as much as we can, but they are a good tipping team.”
In the second set, Fruita’s finesse play continued to haunt the Panthers. After failing to return multiple tips, the Panthers dropped the final two points of the set on hitting errors, falling 25-23.
“We had a lot of unforced errors that we don’t usually have,” said Brown. “I think it’s just that (Fruita) rallies longer, and it gives us more opportunity to make errors.”
Much like the first two sets, the third set was dictated by Fruita’s consistency, and after falling behind 8-3 early, the Panthers fell 25-21.
“I feel like we have the physical ability, but sometimes we don’t have the mental part of the game and the heart to want to win,” Barbara Chappell said.
With their record now at 8-9 on the year, the Panthers will continue practicing before traveling to play Montrose on Friday, Oct. 18, and Grand Junction on Saturday, Oct. 19.