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This past weekend, the 18-9 Carroll County High School Lady Panthers headed into the All-A state tournament.
They fell Friday to Metcalfe County, 25-22 and 27-25; they went on to put up a good fight, but still lost to Allen Central in three games, 25-20 (Allen), 19-25 (Carroll) and 25-18 (Allen).
Their luck didn’t change Saturday, and they lost to Saint Patrick, 25-18 and 25-14, then putting Raceland through their paces. Raceland came out the winner, taking two of three games for the match.
Regular season ends
Prior to that, however, Lady Panthers had two winning nights last week, on Wednesday and Thursday nights, Oct. 8 and 9.
On Wednesday, the girls decorated the gym for their last home match of the season and for Senior Night, during which the team’s three seniors –Marisa Ruckel, Devon Hill and Dorothy Karcher were honored.
Though the junior varsity fell to the visiting team, 14-21 and 18-21, they had some good plays.
Freshman Celess Parson served 11 for 11 with two aces. Leah Chandler was attacking and blocking at the net; Lakayla Clay and Breanna Hill were passing up the volleys; and Olivia Welch and Kelsey Diaz were digging the ball, giving the Wildcats a good fight.
Before the varsity game, the seniors were recognized, as well as the parents of the entire team. Coach Wilbert Lowe III thanked everyone who volunteered with concession stand sales, equipment and for their devotion to the team.
“This is a sad moment to see three wonderful young ladies that have contributed so much to the Carroll County volleyball program” as they prepare for graduation in the spring,” he said. “They are outstanding seniors and will definitely be missed.”
After the ceremony, the crowd geared up for the varsity match.
Carroll started out slow with nine receive side-outs, four serve side-outs and five side-out attacks, and lost game one 17-25.
After some strong words from Coach Lowe, the Lady Panthers regained their momentum and roared back, defeating the Wildcats 25-14 in game two.
Kyndal Curry gave some hustle with two outstanding digs kept play alive, and Karcher had an amazing dig that set up a play for Valerie White to assist a kill by Katerina Woods.
The third game was a “see-saw” as the score tied five times. At 10-10, the Panthers began to dominate and pulled ahead, winning game three 25-21, and taking the match.
On Thursday, the Panthers traveled to Owen County to finish the regular season.
Carroll County’s freshmen team won their match in two games; the JV lost in three games, but played a solid match with seven kills and with Kelsey Diaz-Esquvil serving nine for nine and Clay serving eight for eight.
In the varsity match, Owen was determined to put on a show for the home crowd on their Senior Night, and fought hard in game one.
Carroll finally pulled away with a 25-18 win. Game two went into overtime, but the Panthers stayed on top to win the game 26–24 and the match.
White led in serving, with an accuracy of 12 for 12 and with one ace. With five assists from setters Curry and White, Ruckel was able to kill the ball six times; Katerina Woods five times.
CCHS then played Trimble County on Monday for the 29th District Tournament. The Lady Panthers lost with a disappointing 25-19, 25-21.
Angela Woods is a student at Carroll County High School and a frequent contributer to The News-Democrat.