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Paonia heads to districts

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Photo by Tamie Meck Poppy Lightfoot completes one of her two kills against Meeker Friday night at Paonia High School. Lightfoot also had five solo blocks. Meeker scored 59 kills in its 3-1 win over the Eagles. The 2A District 5 tournament opens Friday in

The Paonia Eagles ended the regular volleyball season with a 14-5 overall, 9-3 conference record following losses to Meeker and Vail Mountain in last week's action.

Meeker (16-3, 9-1), was coming off of a three-set loss to Rangely and was battling for position ahead of this week's district volleyball tournament.

The Cowboys kept the Eagles on their heels throughout the match, completing 59 kills in 180 attacks and recording one error in 76 serve receives.

Paonia senior McKenna Palmer had a game-high 19 kills in 42 attacks and a mere two errors in 31 serve receives. Junior Poppy Lightfoot had a game and season-high five solo blocks for the match.

On Thursday, Paonia defeated Caprock Academy (6-12, 2-10, 2A WSL) in straight sets, 25-23, 25-21, 26-24. On Saturday Paonia dropped to fourth place in 2A District 5 standings after a five set -- 19-25, 20-25, 28-26, 25-18, 10-15 -- loss to Vail Mountain (14-4, 9-3).

Paonia is seeded fourth heading into the District 5 tournament, which opens Friday at Grand Valley High School, located in Parachute. Rangely, Meeker and Vail Mountain are the top three seeds.

Paonia opens pool play at 12:30 p.m. against No. 7 Plateau Valley. At 2 p.m. the Eagles face Vail Mountain. The winners advance to finals on Saturday, with seeding determined by pool play. The three winning teams advance to regional competition scheduled for Nov. 3 and 4.

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