The EP Panther volleyball team spent Saturday at the Pearl City Invitational and came home with the first place trophy going 5-0 and not losing a single set.
Coach Heather Bruns was extremely please with the team’s efforts saying things finally came together for the Panthers. “The girls have worked so hard this season and yesterday things just fell into place. They are playing a true team game with every member, whether they are playing or on the bench, engaged in every single play.”
The Panther’s Tournament Recap with Coach Comments
EP vs Polo W 25-20, 25-13
The girls came ready to play at 8 a.m. which can be difficult to do. However, they stuck with a tough Polo team before they were finally able to pull away with the first set. The second set they got things rolling much quicker and were able to finish the game easily.
EP vs Pearl City W 25-18, 26-24
The next game against Pearl City, we started in a hole and had to dig ourselves back out. Claire Reymer started serving for us at 17-18 and served out the game. The defense had her back and our offense was able to get things done as well. The second game found us in extra points again, and this time we were able to win the battle of extra point, something we haven’t done all season.
EP vs Indian Creek W 25-13, 25-18
The final pool play game against Indian Creek the girls started with high energy and kept that all through the match banging out two quick sets.
EP vs East Dubuque W East Dubuque 25-23, 25-23
The semi-final game against East Dubuque was nothing short of a battle. We had been blocking well all day and in this match we struggled to get solid hands on the ball. We were able to pull out the first set win 25-23. In the second set we were able to get a few blocks and frustrate and slow down some of their front row players. The game was still a battle and back and forth. East Dubuque made a push toward the end but we were able to pull out the win!
EP vs Marengo W 25-19, 25-18
Onto the championship game against a tough, tall Marengo team. The girls had to fight and fight but were eventually able to build a lead that they never let go. We had strong performances by different people at different points of the match, and no matter who was on or off, everyone was supporting one another. The second set was much the same. We were able to find holes, score the ball more readily and use the blockers hands to score balls that we have been working on in practice. In the end, we were able to pull out the win and bring home the championship trophy!
Bruns said, “I am so proud of how each of the girls worked and did their part for the day. They have grown so much throughout the course of the year. Our middles have been an integral part of our offense. The only way our middles can be so important and involved is because our back row play has really tightened up. We are passing more controlled, hitting more balls, and Kennedy (Buck) throws in some dumps here and there to keep the defense guessing which opens up a single or no block for our hitters. It truly is a team game, and the girls have all bought into the team aspect of the game!”
Freshmen Earn 2nd Place At Sterling
On Saturday the freshmen team took part in an invitational at Sterling High School. In pool play they split two games with a coin toss sending them tying into the championship bracket.
The won their first match in three sets and lost a heartbreaker in the championship game.
The Panthers will travel to Princeton on Saturday.
Pearl City Stats
R. Sibley 98% 44/45
Buck 97% 34/35
Umstead 97% 31/32
R. Sibley 8
R. Sibley 19