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Eagles lead 1A/2A WSL in volleyball play

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Photo by Tamie Meck In the final point of the three-set match, Mckenna Palmer defends Saturday in Paonia's win over Nucla. Paonia hosts Cedaredge this Friday. The game also marks the annual Pink Event fundraiser for HopeWest in Delta.

The Eagles volleyball team is now 8-1 overall following a three-set win Saturday over Nucla.

The first and last games went well, but in the second game, "We did not play up to our potential," said coach Karla Head.

Paonia was down at one point but battled back for a 27-25 win. "Then we took care of business in the third game," with a 25-11 win.

Senior Mckenna Palmer, who is averaging 4.2 kills per set, kept up that pace with 15 kills in three sets. Poppy Lightfoot and Randi Rapke each had four kills.

In serve receives, passing and digging the team also played well, said Head. Lightfoot had 13 assists and Carly Horn nine. Of the team's 39 serve receives, Palmer picked up 19, Taralee Mautz seven, and Jaquelin Mora six. The team had just three serve receive errors for the match.

Senior Mckenna Johnson had six digs and three block assists. Randi Rapke and Lightfoot each had 12 digs.

Senior Cassidy Rapke took the court after a delayed start to the season, said Head. In her first varsity appearance against Nucla Rapke recorded one dig and 15 touches in two sets.

Paonia played a home game Tuesday night against Vail Christian. Prior to the game the Eagles were 5-0 and on top in 2A/1A Max Preps WSL standings ahead of Rangely (9-2, 5-0) and Meeker (9-2, 4-0).

The season is going well and the team is working well together, training hard, and celebrating its successes, said Head. "We're taking care of business within our team."

Paonia host the Cedaredge Lady Bruins (6-2, 1-0, 3A WSL) Friday afternoon. Matches begin at 3 p.m., with the varsity match scheduled for 5 p.m.

Friday's matches also mark Paonia's Pink Event fundraiser in honor of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Several prizes donated from local businesses, families and individuals will be awarded through contests and drawings being held between games and during timeouts. All after-costs will be awarded to HopeWest, which since 2010 has received more than $13,000 from the event.

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