Delta volleyball team ends state title quest

By Wayne Crick

For Delta High School, the 2017 volleyball season has ended.

The year ended in regional playoffs with the Panthers losing to Region 8 host Valley, 3-0, and posting a 3-2 decision over Denver Science and Tech Stapleton, to complete regional play with a 1-1 record.

An anticipated successful season by coaches and players proved to be, in fact, a very successful season for the Panthers. Delta, ranked 29th going into regional play, believed it was better than that ranking indicated.

The Panthers faced No. 8 Valley in their first round match and stayed close to the Vikings in two of the three sets before falling 20-25, 11-25 and 18-25.

Delta's leading players, statistically, included senior Harlee Roberts with two aces and 15 digs; junior Lauren Davey with six kills and three blocks; junior Abby Carlson with 23 assists and senior Lexi Quinn with six kills and 10 digs.

Against number 17 DSST, the Panthers had big games from many of the same players who led the way against Valley. Delta's 3-2 victory ended the year for the Knights.

Roberts finished with three aces and 23 digs, Davey posted three aces, 10 kills and five blocks; sophomore Sarah Geddes had 12 kills and 20 digs; senior Elena Gilliam finished with four blocks and Carlson doled out 38 assists in the win.

Delta coach Beth Nelson knew there would be difficulty over the weekend but also had faith in her team. "I was definitely happy to finish with a 'W' at regionals. It was good for the seniors and hopefully makes my underclassmen hungry for more."

The Panthers finished the year with an 8-1 WSL record and posted a 16-9 overall mark.

Valley emerged the 3A state qualifier out of Region 8 with an 18-7 overall record and takes its No. 8 ranking to state this week where the 12 qualifiers will meet at the Denver Coliseum.

The remainder of this year's 3A state volleyball playoff contenders are found in today's Scoreboard found on page B7.