by David Tesitor
WALSENBURG — The John Mall Ladies volleyball team came back from a first match loss against the Las Animas Trojans to win their game in five by scores of 16-25, 25-16, 22-25, 25-15 and 17-15.
As the scores indicate, the first two matches were lopsided and riddled with mistakes on both sides of the net before both teams settled down and began to play great offense. The match saw several long volleys creating excitement on the floor and cheers from the crowd.
In the third game, the match began to heat up. With the score deadlocked at 15, John Mall took three straight points before a side-out forced the serve over to the Trojans. After an exchange of serves, and with the score 19-17 in favor of the hometown Panthers, Trojan Sahara Sneed, came back with a monster hit to give the serve to Las Animas the ball and control of the match.
From there, the Trojans took four straight points including a second big kill of the game by Cara Miller. The hit gave Las Animas a 23-19 point lead, which forced the Panthers to call a well timed timeout.
John Mall forced a comeback attempt off the service of Amy Vallejos and the strong net action of Shyanne Urdiales and Karlie Lasley. The Panthers came within a point before turning the ball back to Las Animas who then closed out the match for a 25-22 win.
The fourth game saw the Panthers roar back in a must-win match to continue the game. Leading 3-0, the Panthers were called with a costly under- the-net call which turned the ball back to the Trojans for the point. After the Trojans served an ace, the team sided out, giving the ball back to John Mall. They quickly took advantage, opening up a lead of 10-4 with their strong serves and hits to change the tempo of the game. They never squandered the lead, at one point leading 17-10. It was an easy win for the Cats, 25-13.
The win set up the final match of the night. The game was back and forth the whole way as both teams struggled to close the volleys. After a Las Animas side out and with the score tied at 15, John Mall took the first serve and earned the point. The Panthers needed to win by two points and captured the second point winning the match and the game.
On Saturday, the Panthers traveled to Hoehne for a league encounter, hoping to take their momentum from Thursday and parlay it into another victory. It wasn’t to be, as the Farmers took three straight matches from the Lady Panthers to capture the game with scores of 25-18. 25-22 and 25-13.
The Panthers stayed with the hard hitting of Farmer Jordan Coffman, who leads her team in blocks, and the Panther front line managed a few kills of their own. Opposite the net, Cydney Kreutzer, who leads Hoehne in attacks, seemed to wreak havoc against the Panther defense.
The final game of the week came against the Rye Thunderbolts at Rye on Monday night. The statistical results were not available at press time, but the Panthers lost the game in four matches. In the first match, a closely fought battle, the Panthers came from behind to win 27-25. The Bolts then came charging back to win the next three matches 25-16, 25-15 and 25-18 and to take the game.
The Panthers lost three of their last four games and will continue to have a busy schedule as the season is entering league play. From here on out, every game is a must-win for the Lady Panthers to stay in the hunt for post season play. The Panthers hold a record of 5-4. The Panthers will be at Swink tomorrow night.