Panthers Prepped

Saratoga netters see success going into regular season


September 4, 2019

Joshua Wood

Aubrey Berger (11) returns a volley to the Lady Rams on Friday afternoon.

The formal start to the volleyball season began for the Saratoga Lady Panthers as they hosted their annual invite on Friday. If the four games they played over the weekend are any indication, the girls have a good season ahead of them. The Lady Panthers victorious in all four of their games, and they successfully ended each one within two matches as they faced off against the Farson-Eden Lady Pronghorns (21-11, 21-15), the St. Stephen's Lady Eagles (21- 9, 21-7), the Dubois Lady Rams (21-7, 21-14) and the Encampment Lady Tigers (21-11, 21-17).

"I was very impressed with the girls today. It gives us a great look at what we need to work on. Who plays well here, there ... who meshes well with each other in the back row, who hits better off of different setters. I felt like it gave me a really good opportunity to do that today," said Shayley Love, head coach of the Saratoga Lady Panthers.

Lady Panthers vs. Lady Pronghorns

The first game of the day for the Lady Panthers was against upcoming conference foe, Farson-Eden. In the first match, Saratoga defeated the Lady Pronghorns by 10 points, ending the match 21-11. The second match saw Farson-Eden gain four more points, but still fall to the Lady Panthers 21-15.

Defensively, freshman Whitney Bennett had five successful kills across both sets and was followed by senior Aubrey Berger with four kills. Seniors Taylor Bennett and Jenna Dew each had three kills against the Lady Pronghorns.

On the offense, junior Lexi Herring served nine times with 100 percent success. Berger and junior Tasia Daley also had 100 percent success with Berger serving eight times and Daley serving six times. W. Bennett served eight times as well with 87.5 percent success while Dew also served eight times with 75 percent success.

Lady Panthers vs. Lady Eagles

Following their victory over Farson-Eden, the Lady Panthers went on to face St. Stephens and saw even greater success. The first match saw Saratoga defeat the Lady Eagles 21-9. In the second match, St. Stephens would slide by two for a Lady Panthers win of 21-7.

W. Bennett, going against the Lady Eagles, had another five kills along with Dew. Berger and juniors Herring and Savannah Wells all had two kills with Herring at 100 percent success.

In serving, Dew had four successful aces across eight serves while Berger had three. Berger, Herring, T. Bennett and W. Bennett also had 100 percent success in serving with Berger serving six times, Herring serving four times, W. Bennett serving three times and T. Bennett serving twice.

Lady Panthers vs. Lady Rams

Saratoga continued their wins as they faced the Lady Rams. In the first match, the Lady Panthers were able to keep Dubois at bay with a score of 21-7. During the second match, the Lady Rams doubled the score against Saratoga, but still fell 21-14.

Berger led in kills against Dubois, with nine, and was followed by W. Bennett with four. Berge attacked the net a total of 16 times while Wells, T. Bennett and W. Bennett attacked 6 times.

While playing against Dubois, the Lady Panthers had a total of 7 aces with Dew and Berger serving 2 aces and Herring, T. Bennett and W. Bennett each serving one.

Lady Panthers vs. Lady Tigers

The final match of the day saw Saratoga face off against their Valley rivals, the Lady Tigers. While the Lady Panthers were able to keep Encampment at a safe distance during the first match with a score of 21-11, the Lady Tigers brought the score closer during the second match. Saratoga would still eventually win with a score of 21-17.

While playing against Encampment, the Lady Panthers had a total of 11 kills, Berger contributed 4 kills, T. Bennett and W. Bennett contributed 3 kills each and Wells with one.

Daley served 3 aces against the Lady Tigers, with a successful serve rate of 88.9 percent across nine serves. While Berger, Dew, W. Bennett, Herring and Sam Duke each contributed 1 ace to the team.

"Nobody took a set from them, which was a huge thing, too. They were pretty excited about that. Our overall goal this season is just one game at a time," Love said.

With a baseline on how to proceed into the season, the Lady Panthers hit the road as they take on the Mountain View Lady Buffaloes at 1 p.m. on Sept. 7. They will return home to host the Walden Lady Wildcats at 5:45 p.m. on Sept. 10 and the Rock River Lady Longhorns at 7:30 p.m. for homecoming week.

Dana Davis

Taylor Bennet goes up for an attempted return.


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