The Saratoga Sun -

Tigers track down 23

Lady Tigers take match streak to 23-0 after winning straight sets against North Park at home and escaping a tight 3-2 match versus Baggs on the road


FW Broschart

Hailey Barkhurst digs to keep the ball alive against the North Park Lady Wildcats Thursday.

Encampment girls' volleyball has expanded its winning streak to 23-0 overall and 5-0 in the conference, despite a squeaker of a match against Little Snake River Valley in Baggs Friday.

With Sierra Martinez out Thursday, the Lady Tigers seemed to have no difficulty dispatching the North Park Lady Cats in Encampment, sending the Lady Cats back to Walden, with a resounding loss. Friday's match against Little Snake River was a harder fought game, with the Tigers barely pulling out the win against the Rattlers, going five sets instead of the usual three-set sweep to which fans have become accustomed this season.

Thursday's game against the Lady Cats of North Park High School in Colorado saw the Lady Tigers in fine form, despite missing Sierra Martinez who was out. Encampment's varsity girls swept the Lady Cats in three sets, scoring 25-13, 25-8 and 25-20.

Hailey Barkhurst had 11 serves with one ace, Paige Powell delivered 17 serve with two aces and freshman Katie Russell made seven serves with one ace. Cheyanne Jordan made 17 serves with Micaiah Pantle bringing six.

In the North Park game, the Tigers' serving was 100 percent, according to statistics compiled by Robin O'Leary, the team's head coach.

Paige Powell demolished North Park's defense by making 11 kills during the match. Noelle Peterson followed up with six, McKenzie Powell made four and Barkhurst three.

Defensively, McKenzie Powell delivered 12 digs and three blocks. Paige Powell made 11 digs and two blocks. Barkhurst also hit 10 digs to contribute to the team's defense.

"We got a lot of playing time in for our bench," O'Leary said. "A couple of people played in some different positions and did a great job."

The Tigers' second game of the week Friday in Baggs was more of a nail-biter than fans had come to expect over the course of the season. The Lady Tigers finally did leave Baggs having won the match in five sets, the first time over the season the team did not sweep the competition.

FW Broschart

McKenzie Powell sets a ball Thursday.

Encampment won the first two sets 25-23 and 25-22 before losing the third by a score of 26-28. The Tigers lost the next set 15-25 before finally winning their third set with a score of 15-11.

"Both teams played very, very well," O'Leary said about the match. "We struggled serving and (on the) defensive some."

"It was good for us to go five games to see if we were where we need to be with conditioning," O'Leary said.

Teamwork, O'Leary said, was the key ingredient in the Tigers' eventual win against the Rattlers, something she has been emphasizing all season long.

The Encampment Tigers will visit Farson Oct. 21 to take on the Pronghorns before returning home to host the Saratoga Panthers in Encampment Oct. 22 for both teams' final regular season games. Regionals will be held Oct. 28-29 in Lander, with state finals in Casper Nov. 3-5.


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