Weiser battles Parma in round one of district tourney

There was no time for the Lady Wolverines to bask in their impressive sweep of the Payette Pirates in the play-in game because the win only secured a place in the actual bracket play of the tournament, which meant the Wolverines would have only a couple hours to regroup and face the No. 1 team, Parma Panthers, in the first round.
 There was no apparent fatigue on the part of the Wolverines in the first set, jumping to an early and impressive 14-10 lead over the Panthers. The Wolverines looked energized with hard hits, good defense and strong blocking, but a pair of back-to-back kills dampened the Wolverine energy.  
 A few questionable line judge calls added to the woes of the Wolverines, and the Panthers were able to take the lead 16-15. A time-out by coach Lindsay Grant to rally her squad proved fruitful, and the Wolverines tied the set with a kill by Soulen off the block.  
 It was apparent that neither team was willing to relent, as the rallies for every point became increasingly longer as the set progressed.  Both teams were fighting to keep every ball in play. For the remainder of the first set, the Wolverines and the Panthers traded side-outs and points via hitting and blocking, not errors to the 22-23 mark when the Panthers had a hit go out-of–bounds, tying the set 23-23.   With a high degree of hustle, some outstanding digs defensively and kills by Soulen, Doty and May Erke, the Wolverines powered on to take the first set 26-24.
 The Wolverines struggled to keep the momentum going into the second set and fell behind 7-4 early on before the coach called a time-out to rally the team. The discussion must have been inspirational because the Wolverines came out of the time-out a different team.  
 Doty and Erke teamed up for a nice block, but it ended up falling slightly out-of-bounds.  Despite the slight miscalculation, the Wolverines were undeterred and began to chip away at the scoring deficit with the help of a kill by Soulen and a pair of kills by Lundberg.  Macy Moore added a beautiful dig and setter, Ciana Fuller, read the Panther court perfectly placing a deep set to the unprotected corner to tie the set 11-11.  Grace Soulen added a pair of back-to-back ace serves and impressive play by the Wolverines appeared to have the Panthers rattled.  
 Leading 14-12, the Wolverines continued to play some inspired and exciting volleyball.  During the remainder of the set, Soulen recorded three kills and an ace serve and Lundberg added a pair of kills also.  Unfortunately, they were unable to sustain the momentum to finish the set in their favor and dropped the second set 21-25.
 Despite beginning the third set a bit sluggish, the Wolverines began to fire up and show the Panthers that they were not going to roll over. Neither side showed any real dominance over the other, trading points and kills to the 9-9 mark, but two consecutive kills by Macey Buescher allowed the Wolverines to take a 13-9 lead.  
 A series of Wolverine hitting errors allowed the Panthers to tie the set 13-13, but Lundberg slammed down an overfed Panther pass to begin another Wolverine surge.  Lundberg placed a sneaky tip into the Panther coverage for a kill followed by a beautiful stuff block with Lundberg and Doty, to pull the Wolverines ahead 17-14.  Three more Lundberg kills and a Buescher ace had the Wolverines with a 20-17 lead.  However, a Panther kill down the line started a progression trouble for the Wolverines, and they dropped the third set 22-25
 It was imperative that the Wolverines make something happen in their favor in the fourth set, or they would be relegated to the consolation bracket of the tournament and have to work extra hard to make it to the state tournament.  
 The Wolverines were fully aware of the predicament that they were in and began the fourth set very strong.  Passes were on the mark, as were the sets, which enabled Lundberg a trio of kills and Buescher a kill as well.  Doty and Buescher recorded a stuff block, and the Wolverines stayed in the lead and were tied at the 7-7 mark.  
 Momentum in volleyball is crucial and as anyone familiar with the sport knows, momentum in a volleyball match can shift in an instant.  Unfortunately, a momentum shift in an unfavorable direction happened once again to the Lady Wolverines and they began slipping further away from the lead with every serve.  
 Despite some long rallies and aggressive play by the Wolverines, and a surge in the final points aided by a pair of Doty kills, they simply could not regain the lead throughout the remainder of the set and dropped the set 20-25 and the match 3-1.


Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718

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