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Panther volleyball defeats Westhope

By Staff | Oct 5, 2018

Sue Sitter/PCT LEFT: Rugby's Karsyn Hager (#5, L) and Kelly Swanson (#2, R) block a return.

Although the Lady Panthers’ winning streak grew by one more game last Thursday evening in Rugby High’s gym, the Westhope/Newburg Eagles would not surrender without a fight.

Varsity volleyball coach Jessica Fritz characterized the Westhope/Newburg team as particularly tough opponents.

“Westhope is a great team,” Fritz said. “They only have eight girls out between the two schools, so they’re really limited in numbers, but they have put together a great team all the time. It’s competitive, and our girls, they enjoy coming out here and playing against another district rival. We can never underestimate what Westhope/Newburg’s going to put after us, because they have some really great athletes, too.”

Each set of Rugby’s 3-0 win proved to be a battle, as Westhope/Newburg often matched the Lady Panthers point for point, at times leading on the scoreboard. Game 3 saw the Lady Eagles leading in the first few minutes of the game, until Rugby answered their first 2 points with more of their own.

The Lady Panthers ended the evening defeating Westhope/Newburg 25-10 in Game 1, 25-15 in Game 2, and 25-13 in Game 3.

Brooke Blessum led the Panther kills column again with 15, while Maria Blessum and Anni Stier each added 8 to their totals. Brianna Leier came in with 3 aces, and Kelly Swanson scored 2 aces for the night. Brooke Blessum earned 6 blocks, while Kelly Swanson had 2. Jordan Senger and Maria Blessum each added 3 digs to their totals, and Sarah Blessum came in with an amazing 43 total assists for the evening. Rachel Hartl also added 1 assist to the total.

Westhope/Newburg kills went to Jazmin Solis, with 3, and Trinity Arnanson with 2. Emmie Thompson earned 2 aces, while Trinity Arnanson and Ellie Braaten each had 1. Emmie Thompson added 1 block to the team’s total, while Cassidy Elliot and Trinity Arnanson each had 5 digs. Ellie Braaten came in with 7 assists for the evening.

Fritz said the Rugby varsity squad was prepared for their October 2 game in Velva against the Aggies.

“We haven’t lost to Velva yet, but they’re one of the stronger teams in our district, so we’ve got to go in with a clear head, and make sure we’re on top of our game that night, and get after everything,” Fritz said.

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