The Saratoga Sun -

Lady Panthers stay on pace

Saratoga volleyball wins in three against LSRV, goes 3-1 against Lady Miners


September 25, 2019

Joshua Wood

Aubrey Berger drops down for a dig.

It was another good week for the Saratoga Lady Panthers as they defeated another conference rival and were able to dispatch the defending state runner-ups in four sets last week. On Thursday evening, the Lady Panthers hosted the Little Snake River Valley (LSRV) Lady Rattlers (25-22, 25-16, 25-23) for another conference win. Saratoga then hosted the Hanna, Elk Mountain and Medicine Bow (HEM) Lady Miners (19-25, 25-19, 25-16, 25-21) on Friday for another win.

Lady Panthers vs.

Lady Rattlers

This was the first time in the season that Saratoga had played LSRV and, going into the game, the Lady Rattlers already had a conference win under their belt. Last season, LSRV had attended the 1A State Championship, but were quickly dispatched by the eventual runner-ups, HEM. While the Lady Rattlers came to the Panther Den expecting another win, they returned home with a loss.

Senior Taylor Bennett, in attacking the net, had 13 kills against LSRV and was followed by fellow senior Aubrey Berger, who had 10 kills. Freshman Whitney Bennett followed with 5 kills and Savannah Wells and Lexi Herring each had two.

In serving, T. Bennett and W. Bennett were able to go a total of 9 serves against LSRV and maintain 100 percent serve success. T. Bennett also served 2 aces against the Lady Rattlers, as did junior Tasia Daly.

T. Bennett was also the lead blocker, with 3 solo blocks against LSRV. Senior Jenna Dew had 2 solo blocks. 

While the Lady Rattler did their best to land as many successful serves as possible, Saratoga saw double-digit digging with four players as they worked to get the ball out of their court. Daly, the libero on the team, had a total of 21 digs against LSRV and was followed by Berger with 18. W. Bennett and Herring each had 14 digs against the Lady Rattlers.

In the final set of the game, it appeared as if the girls from Baggs would be able to take at least one set from Saratoga as the scores were quite close and a number of volleys lasted for what seemed like minutes. With the Lady Panthers leading by a single point, T. Bennett provided a return that the Lady Rattlers couldn't stop and ended the game 3-0.

Lady Panthers vs.

Lady Miners

"Our match against Hanna was a good one. I do know that, like ourselves, Hanna typically plays more competitive than what the score reflect," said Shayley Love, head coach for the Lady Panthers. "I felt like both teams played a little flat, but still maintained to play a good match."

So far this season, the Lady Miners are only the second 1A team to take a set from Saratoga to prevent a 3-0 game. Following the first set in which HEM saw a win, the Lady Panthers appeared to rally and did not lose the following three.

"I was proud of the girls for mentally refocusing after the first set and getting a win," Love said.

Berger was the lead in kills for Saratoga, with 13 kills, while T. Bennett followed with 11 kills. W. Bennett had 8 kills, Wells had 6 kills and Dew had five.

T. Bennett and W. Bennett, again, gave 100 percent serving with T. Bennett serving 13 times with 3 aces and W. Bennett serving 16 times with 2 aces. Daly and Dew each served 2 aces against HEM.

T. Bennett was the lead blocker against the Lady Miners with a total of 7 solo blocks.

Joshua Wood

Whitney Bennett busts through the attempted block by Little Snake River during Thursday's game.

Libero Daly was the lead digger, again, as she dug out 42 attempted landings by HEM. Berger followed with 24 digs and W. Bennett had 20 digs.

Saratoga was able to end the game 3-1 and send the Lady Miners home with a loss. This weekend, the Lady Panthers have even more conference play as they host the Farson-Eden Lady Pronghorns (2-5, 0-1) at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 27 and the Cokeville Lady Panthers (15-5, 1-0) at 2 p.m. on Sept. 28.

"As we begin to prepare for Farson and Cokeville, we will first focus on taking care of things on our side of the net and eliminating errors," said Love. "Once we get on track with that, we can focus more on things to shut down the opponents' side. With these being conference matches, it will be important to play at a competitive level and maintain it throughout the match."


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