Thursday, 26 November 2020
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Centralia Volleyball Falls in State Quarterfinal at Lebo
By Jake Spalding
Copyright: MSC Sports

For the first time since they won it all in 2018, the Centralia Panthers found themselves on the State volleyball court, this time in the quarterfinal round at the second ranked team in Class 1A Division one, Lebo.

The Panthers shocked the Wolves taking the first set 25-22. Centralia led by as many as six in the set and found dominant net play from Senior Sarah Koch

In the second set, Lebo came out with a different approach as Sophomore Brooklyn Jones came to life. Coming into this match Centralia coach Tammy Talley knew blocking the middle hitter would be key, and she wasn't wrong. When the Panthers were unable to get a touch at the net from that position, the Wolves were almost dominant. Jones accounted for 11 kills as Lebo tied the match up, winning set two 25-22. 

The third set saw both teams start to get tired, and some free points were awarded due to some service errors. The Panthers dug themselves a hole early and could not get any closer than two points the entire set. Lebo took the 2-1 lead by claiming the third set 25-20..

In the fourth, something clicked for the Panthers. Knowing it was win or go home, they came out with an attitude of dominance. Avery Deters came to life early and paced the Panthers with 7 kills in the set as they rolled Lebo 25-9 to take the match to the fifth and final set.

In the fifth set, only going to fifteen, it came down to whoever would start fast would win. Lebo did just that. Taking the lead of 4-0 early, and not letting Centralia back within three points the rest of the set. The Panthers couldn't overcome some mistakes at the net including a couple of "lifts" called on setter Avery Mars that had everyone in orange and black scratching their heads. Lebo would take the match 3-2 with the 15-9 fifth set victory.

Centralia was led by Junior Avery Deters who registered 17 kills on the night with Senior Sarah Koch logging 14, Sophomore Raegan Becker had 10 and Kylie McClain who was a perfect 8 for 8 on hit attempts. With the loss, Centralia ended their season with a 23-11 record, but a building block towards the future. Coach Talley will need to fill some gaps next year as the Panthers lose Seniors Avery Mars, Kylie McClain, Sarah Koch and Erin Hueske.

©2020 MSC Sports
Hiawatha, KS 66434
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