The 4A WSL volleyball standings show hotly contested play, with the top four teams separated by a mere win or loss in the league race. Steamboat Springs is leading with its 7-1 league mark and 14-2 overall record. Second place Eagle Valley is 6-1 and 10-5 with Delta next at 5-2 and 14-2. Battle Mountain is also 5-2 in league play with a 9-6 overall record.
Summit leads the bottom tier of teams at 4-4 and 6-6. Glenwood Springs is 2-6 and 5-9 while Palisade is seventh at 1-6 and 7-9, and Rifle is winless in eight tries in league play and 2-13 overall.
Delta kept its hopes of a league title with a big 3-1 win over Palisade on Thursday. Prior to that, the Panthers handed a tough Paonia (2A/1A WSL) a 3-2 loss on Oct. 6.
Against Paonia, the Panthers could not keep up with the Eagles' resolve to finish the set and fell 26-24.
In the second set Delta found the going much easier as it regrouped for a 25-17 win. Paonia found the rythym it had used in set one to score a 25-20 decision in set three.
Delta went on to win the next two sets, 25-16 and 15-11, to earn a match win.
Delta's match against Palisade was its first competition of the season with the Bulldogs. Delta appeared to be in control with a 25-16 first-set win but found itself on the losing side of a Bulldogs' 25-21 win in set two.
The Panthers and Bulldogs matched surges with each other as they battled for the win in set three.
Delta had 5-point leads a couple of times only to have the Bulldogs battle back to cut Delta's lead to 24-23 on the service of Emily Tucker, whose final scoring serve made the score 24-23. Dani Sakala ended the match with a hit that produced the final point for the win, 25-23.
Emily Baier led the Panthers in several categories with 23 kills, one block and 14 digs. Ashton Reese had 17 kills and two blocks and Makayla Mills finished with six kills.
Other top statistical leaders included Shanan Davey, 19 digs, Shelbi Ledesma, 14 digs, and Emily Nortnik with 48 assists.
Christa Brown led Palisade with 13 kills while Abby Thiessen and Kessa Valvoda had 18 digs apiece and Gracey Higman dished out 34 assists.
Delta's schedule for the week started in Summit for a 5 p.m. varsity match. Eagle Valley was Delta's next opponent the following night in Delta.
To finish the week, Delta is scheduled to play in both Battle Mountain, on Oct. 16 at 6 p.m. and then travel on to Steamboat Springs on Saturday for a 1 p.m. contest against the Sailors. To earn at least a part of the league lead the Panthers would need wins over Eagle Valley and Steamboat Springs, the only losses for the Panthers' team.