Barbara Lawlor, Nederland. In the last couple of weeks, the Nederland High School Panthers volleyball team has put together all their hard work over the past few years and hit the court running, and hitting and digging. They don’t look like the same team that ended the season last year.
It is as if everything former coach Shelby Nation taught them as a young team has finally meshed with their abilities and their understanding of one another.
On Monday night, the Panthers hosted Longmont Christian Warriors and stunned their fans with some of the most aggressive, confident play they have exhibited since most of them first joined the team four years ago.
Seniors Sofie Anderson, Hattie Bakke, Mazie Pancoast, Karen Sorokach and Linnaea Thibedeau have stuck with the team during its formative years and on Monday night, spectators saw the result of that determination.
Although the Ned girls didn’t win the match, they fought to a 2-3 loss, playing scrappy volleyball and playing like a team that has finally gelled, finally found a rhythm and a way to talk to each other.
After winning the first two games, Nederland fought to stay in the game, but lost the next two games and went down in the tie breaker game during a Warrior run. The Panthers now have a 1-2 record.
25-18 25-17 13-25 18-25 7-15
Kills: Karen: 2
Blocks: Breegan McClish: 12
Aces: Sofie Anderson, 9
Assists: Sydney Nation, 5
Receptions: Karen Sorokach, 14
On September 7, 2017 the Panthers played an away game against Union Colony Prep losing the match in three games. 7-25 8-25 7-25. Head coach Kirt McCracken said, “We served poorly, we passed poorly and we got beat badly.”
On Tuesday, Sept. 5, the team traveled to the Twin Peaks Charter Academy where they beat the Timberwolves in five games, 3-2.
10-25 25-22 16-25 25-20 15-11
“Against Twin Peaks, Sofie and Karen had key service runs in the fifth set and Breegan dominated the second set in the middle. Sydney Nation did a nice job setting and had an effective serving night. Hattie had a good night, both hitting and passing and made two key digs in the fifth. Linnaea had a good night in all aspects of her game. We were down 10-15 in the fourth, and 0-6 in the fifth and came back in both sets,” says coach McCracken.
Linnea Thibedeau: 1 ace, 13 serves, 6 blocks, 12 serves received
Sydney Nation: 3 aces, 15 serves, 1 serve received
Karen Sorokach: 5 aces, 18 serves, 14 serves received
Breegan McClish: 3 aces, 12 serves, 7 blocks, 13 serves received
Sofie Anderson: 7 aces, 20 serves, 13 serves received
Hattie Bakke: 4 serves, 10 serves received
Marie Pancoast: 2 serves received
Joe Duncan: 4 serves, 3 serves received.
(Originally published in the September 14, 2017 print edition of The Mountain-Ear.)