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Rugby Volleyball Continues Winning Ways

By Staff | Oct 9, 2015

Lauren Kraft puts on a serving clinic in a game against the Velva Aggies

The Rugby Panthers Volleyball team continued their winning ways with impressive wins against Westhope-Newburg 25-10, 25-15, 23-25 and 25-10, and Velva 25-11, 25-15 and 25-15. The Panthers remain unbeaten in district play with an impressive 5-0 record.

The Rugby stat sheet against Westhope-Newburg doesn’t tell the whole story, with outstanding leadership and play coming from seniors Lauren Kraft, Shea Heidlebaugh and Ashley Schmaltz and strong contributions coming from the younger players on the team. For the night, according to the stat-sheet, Sara Stier had 8 kills, 8 aces, 11 blocks and 8 digs; Maria Blessum had 8 kills and 7 digs; Kraft had 4 kills; Jacque Blessum had 8 aces; Schmaltz added 10 blocks, and Heidlebaugh set it all up with 19 assists.

“It just a great feeling all that we have worked towards, it has really shown off how much as a team we have progressed from the beginning of the season” stated Heidlebaugh on the impressive winning streak that the Panthers have been on. When asked about the play of the younger players she said, “They are doing exactly what we want them to do and more, they are exceeding our expectations.”

At home against the Velva Aggies the outcome was never in doubt. The Varsity game started with Andee Mattson, the Ely music teacher, conducting the ELY 4th graders singing a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem. Then, in front of a packed house, with a supportive student body that showed their spirit all night, the Panthers went on to an impressive win against the Aggies. Kraft, who had an impressive night serving, helped lead the Panthers over the Aggies 25-11, 25-15 and 25-15.

The statistics for the night are as follows: Kraft had 5 kills and 6 aces; Jacque Blessum had 5 kills; Maria Blessum had 4 kills and 6 digs; Stier had 3 aces, 10 digs and 6 blocks; Schmaltz had 7 blocks; and Heidlebaugh continued her steady play with 19 assists.

When asked about the victory and the Panther’s recent play, Kraft said, “I think everything is coming together and everyone is working together as a team.” She continued, “I think we all understand what needs to be done to be district champs and as a team we are going to do it together.”

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