Last week’s volleyball action for Paonia High School was on the road. The Eagles traveled to Collbran to take on the Plateau Valley High School Cowboys on Sept. 27 and landed in Vail for a Sept. 28 match against Vail Mountain High School’s Gore Rangers. Plateau Valley played a tight game and kept Paonia from playing its usual game resulting in a Cowboys’ 3-1 win. The Eagles got back to their winning ways against Vail Mountain with a 3-0 conference win.

Against PV Paonia struggled putting the ball into play.

“Serving and attacking were our weak points of the match,” noted Paonia head volleyball coach Ce’rra Carsten. There were some positive things in the game, as noted by Carsten, “Delilah Vasquez (freshman) played as an outside in the fourth set of the game and did an exceptional job. She hit well and came into the game ready to swing at the ball. She served some tough balls and kept her serve in. She is going to be a promising asset to our program.”

Carsten also has memories of playing an always tough Vail Mountain team. “I remember them being tough when I was playing in school.” According to Carsten, the Eagles hustled everywhere on the floor and did their jobs against Vail Mountain. Lyla Hayutin-Baril served well throughout the match and racked up a few aces in the second set with Carly Horn and Ceylon Carter delivering the ball well to Paonia’s hitters.

“Sadie Miller was my stand out hitter for the match, with only a few errors in attempts and placed the ball well on the floor,” Carsten said. “She truly stepped up for the Vail Mountain match.”

The Eagles kept the ball in play and limited their errors on the floor, something that’s been a main focus throughout the season. “For most of our matches we have been averaging 10-plus unforced errors in a game…. that makes it hard to be competitive,” the coach added.

Against Vail Mountain, the Eagles showed their coach what they had learned. In the second set Paonia had less than 10 errors and in the third set had only four unforced errors sealing the deal with a 25-10 win in the third set. Carsten sees a brighter future for the Eagles. “Now, I know what they are capable of on the floor. Saturday was a good day for the girls and I think they saw their own potential, it was a good win for us.”

Senior Sadie Miller led the Eagles with 11 kills at Vail Mountain and junior Taneal Mautz’s five aces topped Paonia servers. Senior Jessica Deaton had 16 digs and junior Ceylon Carter added 10 to lead in that category with senior Carly Horn dishing out 11 assists. Serve reception leaders for the Eagles were Deaton (13) and Mautz (11).

The Eagles will be in Hotchkiss on Friday, Oct. 4, to play the Bulldogs in matches beginning at 3, 4 and 5 p.m. On Saturday, Oct. 5, Rangely is at Paonia for matches scheduled for 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Next week’s action for Paonia begins on Tuesday, Oct. 8, with 3A WSLs league leading Cedaredge in town for matches at 4, 5 and 6 p.m.

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