Last week's loss to Palisade could have cost the Panthers a chance to host this week's round of volleyball playoffs. The Bulldogs played aggressively and determined in a 3-0 win against the Panthers.
Even with the loss, Delta owns a top-10 record at 19-4 and is ranked eighth in the most recent postings. Cheyenne Mountain leads the way at 21-1 and is followed by Evergreen (21-2), Lewis-Palmer (20-3), Montrose (20-3), Holy Family (20-3), Steamboat Springs (19-3), Elizabeth (19-4) and Delta (19-4).
Longmont (19-4) and Thomas Jefferson (18-4) are the last two listed in the top 10 of Class 4A volleyball rankings.
The Panthers will finish third in the 4A WSL with Steamboat Springs in first place with its 12-2 and 19-3 records and Eagle Valley second at 11-3 and 16-7 marks. The Panthers were 10-4 and 19-4.
Against Palisade, the Panthers were unable to keep up with the Bulldogs intensity in three straight losses, 23-25, 22-25 and 16-25.
Emily Baier and Ashton Reese had 15 and 14 kills, respectively.
Shanan Davey was solid in the loss with 21 service receptions, eight digs and two aces.
Shelbi Ledesma finished with six digs, with Baier and Reese collecting five digs each.
Emily Nortnik doled out 32 assists for the Panthers in the loss.
Delta coach Beth Nelson's hopes of having enough wins and good fortune to host a regional playoff came through after Class 4A volleyball regional assignments were released. The Panthers drew one of 12 hosts for this weekend's qualifying round. Joining the #9-seed Panthers is #16 Roosevelt and #26 D'Evelyn.
See the related volleyball story below for more playoff pairings.
The seventh annual Eckert Crane Days, the annual viewing of the sandhill cranes migrating north from New Mexico through Colorado's West Slope, will be March 16-18. Representatives from the Black Canyon Chapter of the Audubon Society (BCAS) will be at the viewing site east of Eckert at Fruitgrowers Reservoir, 9 to 11 a.m. each day, to answer questions and provide binoculars and spotting scopes.