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Two road wins for Lady Panthers
September 27, 2019

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Rugby's Lady Panthers stayed busy last week with two away volleyball games that kept them on their toes.

The team traveled to Rolette High School for an out-of-district game last Thursday, where undefeated Rugby faced the Lady Comets, who brought with them a deceptive 3-1 record.

"They get a little scrappy, and they do some things we're not always expecting," Lady Panther Coach Jessica Fritz said of the Lady Comets. "We knew we've got to come in and get after it."

Although the first game of the evening was an easy 25-6 win for the Panthers, Rolette sprang to action in the second, scoring the first point of the game and staying on the Panthers' tails after initially falling behind 21-10. Kills by Brenna Boucher and Shelly Johnson helped the Comets, but they also served to sharpen the kill accuracy of Panthers Brooke Blessum, Bella Mc Cabe and Kelly Swanson.

The Comets pulled to within eight points of the Panthers before a Rugby tip sealed another win for Rugby in the second game; this time with a 25-17 score.

Rugby faced an even scrappier Rolette team for the third game, where the Panthers saw their dominating 22-12 lead evaporate as the Comets fought for their survival. Aces by Maria Leonard and Kaitlyn Slaubaugh helped Rolette's score climb and the Comets trailed Rugby 24-19 before the game ended with yet another Panther tip across the net.

"In the last couple of games, we started off a little slow, and I said 'We've got to come out with fire.' We have to come out and play our game. It doesn't matter how anybody else is; doesn't matter how they're ranked; you've just got to come in and play your game," Fritz said.

Looking ahead to the Lady Panthers' Tuesday game against undefeated district rival TGU, Fritz said, "Towner's always got a good team. It'll be homecoming week for us, so that always has different challenges. But we talked to the girls, and we just said, 'play your game.' It doesn't matter who we're playing, when we're playing; we just have to make our passes, get our hits, we have to get everything."

By all appearances, the Lady Panthers did just that, as they put yet another 3-0"W" in their record.

"It was a great match," Fritz said after the game against TGU's Lady Titans. "Our girls had to work hard from the beginning. We are working on ironing out some things."

Stat totals for Rugby High School vs. Rolette:

Rugby kills: Brooke Blessum, 10; Kelly Swanson, 6; Bella McCabe, 4. Rugby assists: Sarah Blessum, 21. Rugby service aces: Brooke Anderson, 5. Rugby blocks: Brooke Blessum, 4. Rugby digs: Brooke Anderson, 7.

Rolette kills: Shelby Johnson, 3; Brenna Boucher, 3. Rolette assists: Kaitlin Slaubaugh, 11. Rolette service aces: Maria Leonard, 1; Kaitlin Slaubaugh, 1. Rolette blocks: Maria Leonard, 1. Rolette digs: Maria Leonard, 18; Kiera Grant, 16.

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