After being pushed aside in the regular volleyball season, Beth Nelson and her Delta High School Panthers bided their time for the late season with minimal interference from the pandemic scene until this past week. With an already small, and relatively inexperienced squad, the Panthers were forced to play two matches this past week without the services of some key players. Delta met 4A/5A Montrose on Thursday, March 25, in Montrose. The Indians proved to be too much for the shorthanded Delta team and lost 3-0 to the Indians. On Saturday, the Panthers traveled to Basalt and played their second game without the services of the quarantined players and lost in three sets to the Longhorns.

Against Montrose, Delta’s offense took a hit with the loss of the quarantined players in losing three straight sets 25-14, 25-16 and 21-25. Junior Kaelynn Porter hammered home six kills to lead the Panthers in that department. Senior Hanna Sterns had five kills with junior Kayla Miller collecting four kills and sophomore Ellie Ames recording three.

Ames had three aces and eight digs in the loss with Kaelynn Porter getting nine digs and Miller another seven. Junior Erika Kuta had 17 assists for the Panthers.

Ames was Delta’s kills leader against Basalt with five, followed by Sterns’ four. Delta played better on offense with 20 points in the first set, 22 in the second and 14 in the third.

Senior Keely Porter had four aces and 15 digs for the Panthers while Kaelynn Porter and Ames finished with seven digs apiece and Kuta dished out 10 assists to lead in that department. Basalt’s Karina Bauer had eight kills for the Longhorns with Lexi Lowe recording 23 assists for the winners.

The Panthers (1-3) hosted Central (3-3) on Tuesday, March 30, and are scheduled to face rival Cedaredge (2-0) on Thursday, April 1, with game times set for 4:30, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Coal Ridge (3-1) makes a visit to Delta on Saturday for games scheduled for 11 a.m., 12 noon and 1 p.m.

Delta is at home on Wednesday, April 7, against Montrose, a 3-0 winner the last time these two teams met on March 25 in Montrose.

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