Purple Panthers fall to Comets

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With the regular season quickly winding down and two conference home games this week, the Litchfield Lady Panthers were hoping to establish some momentum heading into post season play. Unfortunately, that did not happen in their first game against Greenville as they fell 21-25, 25-21, 25-12 to the Comets.

Unforced errors were the culprit in the first set as the Comets jumped out to a 5-1 early lead. The Lady Panthers would tie the score at six but Greenville again established a 13-11 lead that ballooned to 20-11 with Brooklyn Suzuki at the service line. 

It appeared Greenville would end the set with Claire Dannaman at the service line and the score 24-16 in favor of the Comets but a kill by Annika Rhodes rallied the Panthers and returned the serve. With Emma Walch serving, the Panthers scored the next four points before giving way to a downed spike and set point from Tessa Neely.

It was Litchfield who would jump ahead in the second set as the Panther front line attack became more active and effective. Litchfield held leads that ranged from two to seven before Greenville closed the gap to three late in the set. 

Two consecutive serves in the net and an out of bounds attack by the Panthers helped the Comets trim the score to 16-19 but a block at the net by Blair Johnson gave Litchfield a four-point advantage and they would hold for the win and set the stage for the final and decisive third set.

The Panthers could not sustain the momentum they captured in their second set win and it was all Greenville in the final set. With Greenville leading 6-3, Johnson would drop a kill and side out but returned possession back to the Comets with a serve in the net and the air went out of the balloon for the Panthers as Greenville outscored their hosts 18-8 during the remainder of the set.

Junior Claire Dannaman led her team at the service line with 11 points and three aces. Jayden Markus was the kill leader with six. Playing in the setter position, Dannaman also contributed 12 assists and 12 digs. Brooklyn Suzuki was the dig leader with 15 followed by Ali Ridens with 13.

For Litchfield, Blair Johnson led the Panther offense with 11 kills. Emma Walch was perfect from the service line with nine inbound. Amy Frerichs had 18 digs and Walch also contributed 15 assists from the setter position. Taylor Brakenhoff and Emma Walch each had a service ace. Carlee Harmon had seven blocks at the net. Kendall Stewart and Gina Painter also found perfection at the service line at 6-0 and 5-0 respectively.

Litchfield closed out the regular season on Wednesday, Oct. 20, against Hillsboro, who they will play in round one of the Carlinville Regional on Oct. 25.

October 19 at Litchfield

Greenville 25 21 25

Litchfield 21 25 12

Greenville Statistics

Service Points: Claire Dannaman 11, Brooklyn Suzuki 8, Ali Ridens 7, Tessa Neely 6, Ava Curry 5, Sydney Godier 3, Ainsley Olson 1. Service Aces: B. Suzuki 3, C. Dannaman 3, A. Curry 2, T. Neely 1. Attack Attempts/Kills: Jayden Markus 23/6, Ali Ridens 17/1, Katelynn Haas 17/1, Lilly Funneman 13/6, T. Neely 7/1, Natalie McCullough 4/3, Libby Reavis 5/2, Charlee Stearns 4/2. Blocks: L. Funneman 3, Rachel Woods 2, N. McCullough 1, J. Markus 1. Assists: C. Dannaman 12, A. Ridens 5, A. Curry 1. Digs: B. Suzuki 15, A. Ridens 13, C. Dannaman 12, A. Curry 12, T. Neely 9, C. Stearns 4, A. Olson 1, L. Funneman 1.

Litchfield Statistics

Serves In/Out: Carlee Harmon 10/2, Emma Walch 9/0, Annika Rhodes 9/1, Blair Johnson 7/3, Kendall Stewart 6/0, Gina Painter 5/0, Taylor Brakenhoff 5/2. Service Aces: E. Walch 1, T. Brakenhoff 1. Attack Attempts/Kills: B. Johnson 30/11, A. Rhodes 18/3, C. Harmon 9/4, K. Stewart 9/1, T. Brakenhoff 9/1, E. Walch 5/1, Gina Painter 3/0. Blocks: C. Harmon 7, K. Stewart 3, E. Walch. 2, T. Brakenhoff 1. Assists: E. Walch 15, Ashley Hickerson 3, Amy Frerichs 2. Digs: A. Frerichs. 18, B. Johnson 9, A. Rhodes 7, E. Walch 3, K. Stewart 3, C. Harmon 2, T. Brakenhoff 2, A. Hickerson 1.

Records: Greenville (12-19, 4-3), Litchfield (11-14, 4-3).

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