Sunday, December 8, 2019

The third-place Park City Panther varsity volleyball team following the Divisional Tournament on Nov. 7. Left to right are, front row, MacKinzie Verke, Grace Jacquot, Hailee Gregerson and Blakely Verke; back row, assistant coach Miranda Robbie, Shelby Kluth, Breanna Anderson, Makayla Downing, Shelby Branstetter, Tehya Ray, Megan Flemmer, Kasidy Robbins and head coach Karlee Popp.Panther junior MacKinzie Verke spikes the ball in the third round match against the Custer-Hysham Rebels while senior libero Hailee Gregerson backs her up.

Outlaws edge out Park City Panthers

Despite some strong performances against tough teams, the Park City Panthers took third at the Southern C Divisional Tournament held at Laurel High School on Nov. 5-7. Only the top two teams – the Absarokee Huskies and Roy-Winifred Outlaws – will continue on to state.
“I’m really happy with the season,” Park City head coach Karlee Popp said. “We made a few mistakes, but it’s hard to come back once you lose a match in the Divisional Tournament.”
Park City started off hot, defeating Harlowton in the opening round in three decisive sets, 25-10, 25-11, 25-16. The Panthers pounded the Engineers with 26 kills to 13 and seven aces to four.
Juniors Tehya Ray and Shelby Branstetter had nine and six kills respectively. They also each had a block. Senior Hailee Gregerson had three aces.
The second match went to five long hard-fought sets, with the Outlaws coming back after losing the first two sets to win the match, 23-25, 27-29, 25-15, 25-19, 16-14.
“We should have had them in three sets, but Tehya got injured in the third set and sat out part of the match,” Popp said. “Shelby Branstetter and Shelby Kluth really stepped up to fill in for her.”
The Panthers were hustling all over the court with 113 digs as the offensive barrage from both teams added up 10 aces apiece and 52 Outlaw kills to 44 by the Panthers.
Junior MacKinzie Verke led Park City with 16 kills and 31 digs in the losing effort. Senior setter Grace Jacquot and Branstetter each had eight kills. Ray had eight blocks.
Park City crushed Custer-Hysham 25-17, 25-19, 25-7 in the third match with 15 aces and 28 kills. Verke led the team with five aces, 28 digs and seven kills. Branstetter had seven kills and a block.
The Panthers beat Tri-City in the next round in three tough sets. Park City continued to be strong at the net, blasting Tri-City with 36 kills to 18. Ray had 12 kills and three aces. Verke had nine kills and 23 digs.
Park City never faced the Huskies, but they went up against Roy-Winifred twice, losing in the third-place bracket in four sets.
The Panthers and Outlaws were even in kills and aces, at 44 and nine apiece respectively. Ray had 12 kills, three aces and two blocks in the losing effort. Verke had 13 kills and 33 digs. Branstetter shined at the net with four blocks.
Looking ahead, the Panthers will lose two starting seniors to graduation – setter Grace Jacquot and libero Hailee Gregerson.
The team’s main frontline hitters and blockers – MacKinzie Verke, Tehya Ray, Shelby Branstetter and Shelby Kluth – are all juniors, and Park City should be a strong team in the 4C conference next year.
“I let a few freshman play with the varsity and they’ll step up next year,” Popp said, including Blakely Verke as setter. “It really depends on summer camps and who comes to shine next year.”
Park City def. Harlowton
25-10, 25-11, 25-16
Park City: Aces 7 (Hailee Gregerson 3), Digs 61 (Gregerson 19, MacKinzie Verke 16), Kills 26 (Tehya Ray 9, Shelby Branstetter 6), Blocks 3 (Grace Jacquot 1, Ray 1, Branstetter 1), Assists 23 (Jacquot 22).
Harlowton: Aces 4 (Madison Wasson 3), Digs 100 (Amanda Martin 29), Kills 13 (Maria Begger 6), Blocks 4 (Kaitlin Lane 4), Assists 12 (Cierra Hansen 12).

Roy-Winifred def. Park City
23-25, 27-29, 25-15, 25-19, 16-14
Roy-Winifred: Aces 10 (Tyra Knerr 3, Emily Bergum 3), Digs 33 (Kaylie Carlstrom 9), Kills 52 (Jada Kananan 31), Blocks 2 (Brietta Boyce 1, Knerr 1), Assists 59 (Carlstrom 27).
Park City: Aces 10 (Jacquot 3, Breanna Anderson 3), Digs 113 (Verke 31, Gregerson 31), Kills 44 (Verke 16, Jacquot 8, Branstetter 8), Blocks 10 (Ray 8), Assists 35 (Jacquot 31).

Park City def. Custer-Hysham
25-17, 25-19, 25-7
Park City: Aces 15 (Verke 5, Ray 4), Digs 80 (Verke 28, Gregerson 19), Kills 28 (Verke 7, Branstetter 7), Blocks 3 (Ray 2, Branstetter 1), Assists 21 (Jacquot 20).
Custer-Hysham: Aces 4 (Emily Prokop 2), Digs 67 (Julia Ragland 13, Tori Cybulski 13), Kills 20 (Piper Robinson 7, Cyhbulski 6), Blocks 0, Assists 20 (Prokop 17).

Park City def. Hobson-Moore-Judith Gap
25-21, 25-23, 25-22
Park City: Kills 36 (Ray 12, Verke 9), Assists 25 (Jacquot 24), Aces 5 (Ray 3), Digs 85 (Verke 23, Gregerson 21), Blocks 4 (Branstetter 2).
Hobson-Moore-Judith Gap: Kills 18 (Ember Drivdahl 70), Assists 18 (Madi Kriskovich 17), Aces 5 (Sami Connerton 5), Digs 25 (Kaitlyn Weinheimer 7), Blocks 16 (Drivdahl 7).

Roy-Winifred def. Park City
25-23, 25-18, 18-25, 25-22
Roy-Winifred: Kills 44 (Kananen 20), Assists 44 (Kneer 23), Aces 9 (Denae McClure 4), Digs 84 (McClure 21), Blocks 5 (Knerr 2, Lorianne Stulc 2),.
Park City: Kills 44 (Verke 13, Ray 12), Assists 35 (Jacquot 34), Aces 9 (Ray 3), Digs 112 (Verke 33, Gregerson 27), Blocks 6 (Branstetter 4, Ray 2).