Lady Panthers notch shutout volleyball wins

Maddie Kopjanski sets the ball for the Lady Panthers in action against Eastern View as teammate Joslyn Smith (4) anticipates. Photo by Melissa Delcour.

Bump — set — crush: That was the overwhelming theme of Rapp’s Tuesday night home volleyball matches against the Eastern View High School Cyclones of Culpeper. The Lady Panthers had much to celebrate, with match scores of 3-0 for the varsity team, and 2-0 for the JV team.

The varsity was just warming up when it recorded a 25-15 victory in the first set. With several multi-point serving runs, an abundance of effective passing and more than a few crowd-pleasing kills, Rapp showcased its strengths.

Varsity Coach Jackie Tederick saw “a lot of hustle” in a team that commanded the second set with a 25-14 win. Addie Swindler showed that when she earned the first point with a dramatic left- front hit that landed her a kill in the stats book. Late in the set, her momentum held as she earned seven consecutive serve points.

In volleys that frequently brought the crowd to its feet, the bump-set-spike machine functioned almost flawlessly. Midway through set two, Megan Early’s back row passing skills allowed Lauren Settle to place the ball in the kill position for Danika Kritter. Swindler also added kills to her stats column when Kritter showcased versatility in the setter’s position to set her teammate for power hits.

Lady Panther Joslyn Smith puts her height to work at the net in the game against the Cyclones. Photo by Melissa Delcour.

The Lady Panthers played their best in set three and generated a spirited response from the bleacher’s pep section. From Haley Hogan’s impressive back-row saving dig to Settle’s one-arm flying save, the team stepped up its quick game. Kritter continued to execute her intimidating jump serves with a nine-point run that recalled her 25-point shutout last Friday night. At mid-game, Joslyn Smith highlighted her net game with an electrifying “stuff” block and tallied five kills for the night. Additional bump-set-kill combos jolted the Cyclones to attempt a rally. After some stirring volleys, Swindler stepped up to serve and finish the 25-11 match.

Rapp’s junior varsity team had its own exciting evening with some notable teamwork and great serving. The 25-7 and 25-10 wins proved that a team diminished by illness over the past week still had drive to play their best games.

Haley Hogan preparing to pass. Photo by Melissa Delcour.

“The Eastern View team was improved over last year,” coach Jimmie Swindler said, “but they were still weak in passing. I’m proud of the girls for maintaining a high level of play against a team that wasn’t as skilled.”

In JV’s first set, Kaitlyn Jenkins stood out when she scored 12 straight points during her serve rotation. Paige Paul stepped up in the second set to mirror Jenkins with an 11 point run.

During post-match commentary, Coach Swindler anticipated the rest of the season: “I’m looking for more good things from this team.”

The varsity and JV Lady Panthers meet the Blue Devils in Culpeper on Sept. 7 at 6 p.m.