Panthers make quick work of Rapids in 12th annual ‘Diggin’ the Cause’ game
By Jacob Heid
STEVENS POINT — The SPASH Panthers volleyball team ended the regular season on a high note, but the game was more than just a rivalry game between Wisconsin Rapids on Oct 13. The game ended in a 3-0 sweep in favor of the Panthers, but the message spread throughout the gym was a powerful one.
SPASH head coach Molly Williams addressed the packed SPASH Fieldhouse before the start of the game. One line she finished with was simple but impactful.
“It’s much more than a win or a loss. It’s about making a difference,” Williams voiced to the crowd.
It seemed like SPASH used that as energy as the match went along. The Panthers, in pink jerseys, got out to an early 6-3 start. Everything clicked for SPASH in the first set, extending that three-point lead to 10. SPASH controlled the serve, never looking back. Senior libero Alli Schrank served four straight aces late in the game. The set ended with a 25-7 SPASH victory. Schrank finished the night with five aces and 14 digs defensively.
SPASH rode that wave into the second set, taking a 9-6 lead. The Panthers left a few points on the court in the second but leaned on their attacking. Seniors Maria Ananiadis and Emma Barton used their length to beat the Red Raider blocking. Ananiadis had five kills, while Barton led the team with nine. SPASH stayed consistent and came out with a 23-11 lead. Junior Sommer Wright ended the set with an ace, 25-11.
The third set ended similarly to the second. Setter Emma Jossie kept feeding her teammates perfectly. The senior ended the night with 20 assists. SPASH took the third set, 25-12, to win the match.
The Panthers finished 8-4 in the Wisconsin Valley Conference season. SPASH now looks ahead to making a run in the postseason.