Photo by Tamie Meck Paonia senior Ce’rra Carsten (1) sets for her freshman sister Taylor. Paonia ended the regular season undefeated in league play and is seeded first heading into the district tournament at West Grand High School in Kremmling.The Lady Eagles' volleyball team clenched the 2A Western Slope League title after a three-game win Thursday at Plateau Valley (25-12, 25-15, 27-25). They went on to beat Rangely in four on Saturday at Rangely (25-20, 19-25, 25-18, 25-14).
Paonia ends the season with a perfect 11-0 record in the 2A Western Slope conference and is the No. 1 seed heading into this week's district tournament at West Grand High School.
Rangely "was definitely a better team than when we played them earlier," said coach Krista Carsten. It was a good win, considering that Rangely (9-2, 12-6) was fresh off of a 3-1 win Friday over Meeker and is ranked second in the WSL.
Rangely's Quincey Thacker and Brittany Babineaux lead the league in kills, and Thacker was having a good day. The Panthers were at their best in the second set, holding Paonia to just six kills for the win.
But Paonia kept up the intensity. Ce'rra Carsten had 19 kills in 52 attacks and Carson Pipher recorded 12 kills in 26 attacks.
Paonia ended the match with 78 digs and 48 kills in 166 attacks. Despite so many hits, they played consistently throughout most of the match, said Carsten.
With convincing wins in the opening two sets at Plateau Valley, the girls let their guard down, said Carsten, and trailed through much of the game. It's hard for them to keep their heads in the game when it's not challenging, she said. But as the set neared the end, they stepped up for a 27-25 win.
Paonia recorded 32 kills in 92 attacks against the Lady Cowboys. Ce'rra Carsten, Abby Campbell, Easton Hartigan and Pipher combined for 43 of the team's 56 digs. The team served up 17 aces.
Paonia will face the No. 8 seed team Friday at 9 a.m. Complete seeding and pairings were not available at press time.