The Saratoga Sun -

Pink Panthers split weekend


Max Miller

Meredith Lincoln smashes one through the HEM defense Friday evening.

Once again, the Saratoga Panther volleyball team managed to split weekend matches, but they didn't walk away with the W they really wanted. After taking three of four sets at home against Hanna Elk Mountain Medicine Bow (HEM) Friday, the Panthers were defeated by Farson-Eden in Farson Saturday afternoon.

The Farson-Eden match-up was the more important game, because it represented one of Saratoga's final three conference matches of the season. There are now just two of those conference matches left, and Saratoga must notch at least one more victory in order to keep playing in the post-season.

Saratoga faced off against the HEM Miners looking a little different than usual. The girls were decked out in special pink uniforms for the game, in honor of cancer survivors and others impacted by the disease.

The new look seemed to sharpen the Panthers claws. In the first game, Saratoga and HEM were evenly matched during the early going, trading points and serves. Eventually the Panthers pulled away and won fairly easily 25-14.

HEM played stronger and stronger in the next two sets. Saratoga took the second 25-19, and lost a tough-fought battle for the third 25-23. In the decisive fourth set, however, purple came surging back and Saratoga wrapped up the match with a ten-spot win, 25-15.

Max Miller

Saratoga wins a duel of tips in set one of the match against HEM Friday. A pink volleyball was used in honor of cancer survivors and others impacted by the disease.

Against Farson-Eden, all the sets were tight, but none fell in the Panther's favor. The first set would be as close as Saratoga would get, as they were defeated 25-22. They fell 25-20 in both of the next two games.

The Panthers have struggled after an ankle injury sidelined starter Aubrey Berger for the remainder of the season. That injury happened during an Oct. 1 game against Cokeville, and Saratoga has gone 3-5 since.

Saratoga faces a steep uphill climb to the postseason. At 5 p.m. Oct. 21 they play Little Snake River in Baggs, followed by a 2:15 away match-up against undefeated Encampment the following afternoon.

Little Snake River almost snatched a victory away from the intimidating Tigers over the weekend, proving they won't be a knock-over.

Boosters are encouraged to come to both game to help cheer the Panthers onto a spot in regionals, where anything is possible.


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