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Panthers roll over Aspen in three sets

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Photo by Wayne Crick Delta senior Shelbi Ledesma sends the ball over the net against Aspen last week in 3A WSL volleyball action. The Panthers won the match in straight sets, 26-24, 25-12 and 25-8. With the win Delta is alone at the top of league standing

Delta's Panthers are the only undefeated 3A WSL team following its 3-0 win over the visiting Aspen Skiers last week. The Panthers stand at 4-0 in league play and are 11-3 overall. Coal Ridge is second with its 5-1 and 8-2 marks while Roaring Fork is third with records of 6-2 and 10-5.

Gunnison, 2-1 and 5-8, and Cedaredge, 4-2 and 8-8, complete the top-five list in the standings and are fourth and fifth, respectively.

Aspen put up quite a fight in the opening set of its match against the Panthers on Oct. 6.

The Skiers pushed Delta to the max by staying close throughout the first set before losing a 24-26 decision to the league leaders.

Delta had the momentum in the next two sets and dominated play with wins of 25-12 and 25-8.

Emily Baier was one of the leaders on the floor with nine kills and 11 digs for the Panthers. Dani Sakala finished with five kills and Lexi Quinn served three aces in the win.

There were 65 digs in the match for Delta. Other than the 11 for Baier, Shelbi Ledesma, Emily Nortnik and Makayla Mills all recorded 11 digs in the match. Harlee Roberts was close behind with her 10 digs.

The Panthers have several athletes who rank in the top five for several categories in 3A WSL play. Emily Baier is first in kills (178) and Emily Nortnik is first in assists (323). Baier is second in digs (172) and third in hitting percentage (.301).

Mills is fourth in kills (176) and third in aces (23) while Nortnik is fourth with 22 aces.

In the digs' department, Roberts ranks third (164), Ledesman is fourth (161) and Mills is fifth (143).

Up next for the Panthers, after Basalt on Tuesday, Oct. 11, is Cedaredge. That match will be played in Cedaredge with a varsity starting time of 6 p.m. A trip to Craig and a match against Moffat County's Bulldogs is set for Oct. 14 and a 6 p.m. starting time for varsity action following preliminary play.

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