Woodland Park Girls’ Volleyball Team Eying State Championship Bid

WP Netters’ Win Streak Exceeds 10 Games

~ by Trevor Phipps ~

The Woodland Park High School Girls’ Volleyball team is on fire for the fall sports season, and are eying a VB regional championship.

Last year, the girls had a good record throughout the year, and made it into post-season play but they didn’t advance much.

This year the girls have improved even though they lost some players. The Lady Panthers started their 2019 season by winning five games in a row.

 Then in late September, the team ended their winning streak when they lost a close game to Discovery Canyon. During the matches, the Panthers won two but they were taken down in the fifth match, giving Discovery Canyon the 3-2 win.

 However, ever since then, the girls have not lost a single game and are still experiencing an impressive winning streak that exceeded 10 games. The Lady Panthers plan to continue their streak and win the remaining two games of their regular season that take place this week. The Panthers are the number 46th ranked team in the state and they are currently undefeated (6-0) during league play and they have a 15-1 overall record.

 According to the team’s coach Stacy Roshek, the girls are on track to win their league and possibly the regional tournament. The coach says that no Woodland Park High School volleyball team has won their league since 1992.

 The coach said that there has been several factors that have contributed to the team’s success this season. “We have a really strong group of seniors, we have three seniors that are the core component of the six we have on the court,” Roshek said. “We have the league MVP back, Sarah Garner is leading the league in hitting and blocking and she has been doing a really good job for us. Karley Purkey is our setter and is leading the league in assists. And then Delaney Battin my outside senior has stepped up this year and started to contribute offensively, last year she was really strong defensively.”

She said that the team has the drive and the desire to keep winning and make it to the state championship tournament. “They are super thirsty for a league championship, and a regional championship, and making it to state,” the coach said. “So it’s exciting to coach them knowing that they want to get there. I think they have a chance to make it to state if we keep rising because we are still not yet at our peak yet, I don’t feel. I think we have room to grow, which is good so that we keep getting better.”

 The coach did say that there are some improvement areas that the team could still work on for the remainder of the season. The coach believes, for example, the girls could improve on the consistency of their offense. She said that the team can also work on improving their blocking during most matches.

 However, the coach did say that she is optimistic about the rest of the season because the girls’ toughest matches are already completed. The girls already beat Canon City and TCA which are the next best in their league.

 Roshek said that there is a chance that Woodland Park will be the host of the Regional tournament in 2019. In order to host the tournament, the team must be in the top 12 of the region and currently the Lady Panthers are ranked 10th.

 According to junior player Trinity McAbee, she thinks the team has been successful this year due to the lower number of players on the team. “I think (our success) is because we have less people this year, last year we had a lot of girls,” McAbee said. “It was so fun and we had a lot of good team bonding but this year it’s easier to connect on the court because there is so little of us. And all of our skill levels are really high so whenever you combine us and since we get along so well, we just dominate.”

 She contends that they can still work on keeping the same intensity throughout the game. She said that sometimes their minds tend to waver, and they lose focus towards the end of the matches.

McAbee looks forward to the possibility of hosting the regional tournament on their home court and she hopes to win every regular season game for the rest of 2019.

 Junior star player Kyla Wells also says that the team’s strong bond contributes to their success, but that there is still room to improve their game. “I think we have really good chemistry off the court with each other which helps a lot,” Wells said. “I think we have our fundamentals down and all we really need to work on is keeping the same level and not sinking down to the level of other teams. Because sometimes we are like a roller coaster but I think every team can work on that a little bit.”

 Wells said that the hardest team they have yet to play is Mesa Ridge but that she thinks that the Lady Panthers’ season will end in a good note.

 Another star junior volleyball player, Allie Tring, also praised the team’s strong interpersonal bond as a reason that they are successful. “We have all been playing together as a team for multiple years now,” Tring explained. “So I think our communication and talking (on the court) is super good this year. Because we know each other so it’s not like there is someone new that we can’t understand. We all know each other’s strengths by now so that works really well.”

 Tring also believes that it is important that the girls work on keeping their same intensity throughout the game and not falling down to their opponents’ energy level. She is also optimistic and is excited to see where the team will go this year.