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Sports for the week of September 29, 2004

Panther girls get taste of big Twin Cities race

The Panther girls' cross-country team participated in the Roy Griak Invitational at the University of Minnesota Saturday along with other high school and college runners from all over the nation with the team finishing 31st.

Jillian Tholen placed third (out of 279 runners) in the 5000Meter Gold Division with a time of 18:54.

"Jillian Tholen ran in the Gold Division which consisted of bigger school districts," said Panther Coach Marie Clauson. "She ran an absolutely outstanding race and held nothing back. Her Panther teammates and coach are very proud of her."

In the 5000 meter Maroon race (284 runners) Stacy LaVoy finished 66th with a time of 22:09, Jenna Schaar was 155th with a time of 23:51, Jessica Mason 178th at 24:21, Becca Gervais 174th at 24:22, Megan Pool 181st at 24:42, Jessica Coulter 197th at 25:32, Jenny Vroman 230th at 25:46 and Celia Brockway 240th at 25:57.

"The other Panther runners ran in the Maroon race and had a strong showing," said Clauson. "This meet was fun for the girls-it's so different than running in the small meets around home. It's just a great experience."

Spikers bring home tournament win

The Panther volleyball team went 3-1 in the Apple Valley Tournament Saturday.

After losing their first match with Eagan 16-25 and 19-25, Tracy/Milroy/Balaton entered the consolation bracket and won their next three matches. The Panthers beat Anoka 25-22 and 25-7, Alexandria 17-25, 27-25 and 16-14, and Kasson-Mantorville 25-22 and 25-22.

"We were happy going home 3-1," said Panther Coach Katie Gervais. "This tournament carries a number of top teams in all 3 classes. It really points out the strengths and weaknesses of a team. We need to work on a number of key areas to compete in our section. The girls did a nice job of serving aggressively in this tournament. We served 22 aces total. If we serve aggressively it keeps our opponents offense from coming full force at us, which in turn also helps us defensively on the block. The girls are finally showing the ability to finish games. In the past if it was close we would lack the confidence and focus to finish off the game. Although we need to refine many areas, overall I thought the girls hung in there and played with some quality teams this weekend."

Krysta Tholen had 66 set assists, Tessa Nelson had 32 kills, and Emily Miller 10 and Nicole Haecherl 9. Nelson led in blocks with 14, Miller had 4 and Rachel Gervais 4.

Andrea Van Moer had 29 digs, Nelson 27 and Laura Lanoue 24. Nicole Haecherl was 36 of 37 serving with 8 aces, Tholen was 28 of 28 with 7 aces and Nelson was 29 of 30 with 5 aces.

Panthers win over BOLD

The Panther volleyball team improved to 4-0 in the 212 Conference with a 3-0 win over BOLD at Tracy Thursday night. The win gave them a 9-2 season record. The game scores were 25-17, 25-21 and 25-19.

Tessa Nelson was 11 of 11 serving and had 17 kills to lead T/M/B. Krysta Tholen had 37 set assists, Tashia Lamb was 6 of 6 serving with an ace and Andrea VanMoer had 8 digs.

The B squad lost to the Warriors 1-2 with game scores of 21-25, 25-22 and 10-15.

Panthers hopes for second shot at Sting YME offense is hard to stop in 35-16 win

The Tracy/Milroy/Balaton Panther football team showed spunk and resilience in dropping a 35-16 game to 212 Conference rival Yellow Medicine East in Tracy Friday. The loss dropped the Panther's season record to 2-2 and they are now 0-1 in the conference. "Tracy played well and it was a heck of a game," said Sting Coach Dave Brokke.

It was a close, hard-fought game, with the score at the end of the third quarter 22-16, until two fourth quarter scores by the Sting sealed their win.

The Panther defense, effective in earlier games, could not stop the hard charging line and hard-running backs on the YME team. The Sting rushed 45 times for 244 yards and was 6 of 10 passing for 107 yards for a total of 351 yards. The Panthers rushed 40 times for 138 yards and were 11 of 23 passing for 103 yards and a total of 241 yards. The difference in total offense by the two teams pretty well told the story of the game.

"Our offense played better than our defense," said Panther Coach Randy McIntire. "YME's two pulling guards were big and fast and that made their offense go. We, on occasion, over-pursued. We would love to play them again."

Depending on how play-off match-ups go, a YME vs. TMB rematch could happen later this season.

Match-up with MACCRAY

The Panther football team will travel to Maynard Friday night to meet conference foe MACCRAY. The Wolverines are now 1-3 with a win over Canby 22-0 and losses to Eveleth-Gilbert 9-11 Benson 7-15 and BOLD 21-0. The Panther coaching staff has the film of the MACCRAY vs Eveleth-Gilbert game and was very impressed with the Wolverines. In that game four turnovers hurt MACCRAY's chances to win and they evidently played very well in the loss to BOLD.
"They run the ball well and passed over 20 times in the E-G game," said Panther Coach Randy McIntire. "They have decent size and better than average speed. They run a lot of dives and counters plus their passing attack is very good.
There are nine teams in the Panther's playoff section. West Central (23 points), YME (20), Benson (20), T/M/B (12), RCW (12), Breckenridge (7), MACCRAY (6), Ortonville (5), LQPV (1).
"We need a pair of wins in the next two games," observed McIntire. "We need to beat the teams we should beat and then eke out another win."