With a very young volleyball team to begin the 2018 campaign, Beth Nelson's Delta High School volleyball team took on the challenge of becoming better and playing well enough to make post-season play.
The Panthers accomplished a lot in 2018, and gained valuable experience along the way. Some of that experience included facing No. 5 Valley at the Coal Ridge Tournament the last weekend of regular season and losing 2-1. Delta also played Colorado Springs Christian at the same tournament and was blanked 3-0.
In last weekend's Region 7 tournament in Colorado Springs, the Panthers fell, 3-0, to Colorado Springs Christian in opening round action and then battled Centauri in a five-set match that ended in a 3-2 loss for the Panthers to end their season.
Against the Lions in first-round play, Charlie Tidwell dominated the net with 20 kills in the win and added 17 digs for good measure.
The first set went to CSC 25-15 with Delta staying with the Lions in a 25-18 loss in set two. Delta was all over the No. 6 seeded Lions in the third set but couldn't get a key point in a 32-30 loss.
Delta played better in its second match against Centauri. The match went the five-set distance with the outcome a 3-2 loss for the Panthers.
The Panthers had just three seniors, Abby Carlson, Lauren Davey and Mimi Lousignont on this year's roster and finished league play with a 6-3 record to finish fourth in a very tough conference. Cedaredge lost its state berth bid last weekend and ended the season with a more than respectable 20-5 record. The Panthers were 12-13 following last weekend's losses.
Delta had several players who were among the top in many categories. Davey was fourth in hitting percentage (.146), ninth in kills (137) and fifth in blocks (48) in 2018.
Other top 15 players, statistically, were freshman Erika Kuta (14th in hitting percentage - .090; 12th in kills - 99; and sixth in blocks - 48); junior Sara Geddes (fourth in kills - 180, 11th in aces - 28 and ninth in digs - 203) and senior Abby Carlson (fourth in assists - 399).