The Saratoga Sun -

Cyclones tear through Saratoga

Seniors say goodbye at homecoming game


Erik Gantt

Senior Justine Fourman get the ball over the net in her last regular season home game.

It was a game that frustratingly mirrored most of their season.

The Lady Panthers varsity volleyball team (1-6, 9-12) lost in three straight sets to Southeast (7-0, 17-2) on Saturday, 6-25, 13-25, 11-25.

Panthers coach Shayley Love said it was tough because spectators don't get to see what she gets to see every day at practice, a good volleyball team. "Constantly, throughout practice, I just see amazing things ... and then we can't put a game together," Love said.

While the Lady Panthers performed well in some aspects of the game, notably, Justine Fourman getting above the net and blocking, the Southeast Cyclones were better on the return and ball placement.

Love said after a strong week in practice, with the team showing energy and aggression, she wasn't sure what happened against Southeast, "I don't know if it's just the whole homecoming or what".

"Mentally, refocusing, that's something we've lost since the beginning of the season. Mentally, we'd brush off one play and move on to the next one," Love said. The Lady Panthers do seem to have trouble coming back from being down, which is something they will have to break through if they are going to make it to the regional tournament.

This week, Saratoga has their final conference game of the regular season against Pine Bluffs (4-3, 15-5). Love said Pine Bluffs is going to be a tough match like Southeast, "... we know they're decent, they're starting to do some great things at the net."

Love said if the Panthers can keep the ball in play they should be able to compete against Pine Bluffs because she thinks their weakness is their back line defense.

Next Monday, Saratoga will play in a pigtail match against conference opponent Lusk (1-7, 7-11). A pigtail match is essentially a tournament round before the official first round. It will decide who fills the final space in the regional tournament bracket. The host of the game will be determined after this week's match.

Love said she hopes the match will be in Saratoga so they will have the home court advantage.

"Lusk isn't going to mess around with us, they want to play us, they want to beat us bad so they're the ones going to regionals and not us," Love said.

Saratoga and Lusk are currently tied with one conference win each. Saratoga also has additional 2A wins over Wyoming Indian while Lusk has no additional 2A wins.

The Lady Panthers will head to Pine Bluffs this weekend. The match starts at 1 p.m. on Oct. 25.


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