Taylor Carsten (10) sets for Abby Campbell during action from the Lady Eagles’ win over Vail Christian on Sept. 25. Paonia is now 13-1 and will play its final home game of the season this Saturday against Hayden.
If the Lady Eagles were up for a challenge in Friday night's homecoming match against Rangely, they were disappointed.
Despite a week of homecoming distractions, the team stayed focused, defeating the visiting Lady Panthers in three quick games (25-11, 25-16, 25-21).
The short match gave them plenty of time to prepare for Friday night's homecoming football game against Roaring Fork.
Paonia wasted no time in neutralizing the Panthers, who are known for their hard hitting on offense. "We blocked their main hitters a few times early, and that really had an impact on their offense," said coach Krista Carsten. The Paonia offense played equally well, controlling the ball throughout the match.
Except in blocking, the team had one of the best games of the season in terms of errors. They were offered few opportunities to record blocks, as Rangely's lead hitters made numerous un-forced errors at the net.
Freshman Taylor Carsten, who leads the league in serving aces, made nine consecutive serves in game one, and ended the game with four service aces. Paonia recorded 37 kills in 102 attacks. On defense, Carson Pipher led the team in digs with 16.
"It wasn't the game that I had anticipated from Rangely, but I know they will be tough to beat on their home court in a couple of weeks," said Carsten.
It was Paonia's second blowout of the week. In a Sept. 25 conference match, they played a convincing three-set win over visiting Vail Christian (25-12, 25-18, 28-26). Ce'rra Carsten led the team in kills with 15.
With a 7-4 overall, 4-2 Western Slope League record, the Lady Panthers are ranked third in Max Preps' 2A league standings. Meeker is in second place with a 7-3, 3-0 record. Paonia is alone in first place with a 13-1, 7-0 record and remains at No. 8 in Colorado Preps' state 2A rankings.
The Lady Eagles host their final home game of the season this Saturday in a conference match against Hayden. The Lady Tigers are 3-8 overall after last week's wins over North Park and Soroco. C-team competition begins at 4 p.m., followed by junior varsity and varsity matches at 5 and 6 p.m.