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Sports from the week of October 23, 2002

Powerful Tigers get battle in last TMB home match

The Panther volleyball team, playing with great intensity, extended the Marshall Tigers to four games to Marshall Monday, 15-12, 15-7, 12-15, and 15-13.

Tracy/Milroy/Balaton ended their regular season with an 8-17 record, 4-3 in the 212 Conference. The state-ranked Tigers improved to 22-3.

The Tigers, coached by former Panther mentor Terry Culhane, open post-season play against St. Peter Thursday at Marshall. The Panthers square-off against Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop Friday.

In a pre-game presentation, Panther Senior Laura Zwach was given a volleyball, autographed by all of her teammates, to commemorate her last home volleyball match.

"She has helped our team so much and given us such great leadership all season," said Panther Coach Katie Gervais to the fans. "She is just a great kid."

Zwach responded with an outstanding match.

The only senior on the squad Zwach received most opposition serves, anchored the back-row defense, and led all TMB servers.

She also contributed a resounding kill in one of her turns at the net. For the match she had 30 digs and was 18 of 19 serving with 3 aces.

"We played with good intensity," said Gervais. "We do not have hard hitters, so we try to fool them with off-speed hits and tips, I think it caught them off-guard."

Runners set sights high for Section 3A Thursday

The Panther cross-country team's quest for a trip to state is on the line Thursday afternoon at the Slayton Country Club, site of the Section 3A meet.

"We have been working hard and the girls have responded well," said Panther Coach Brian Michelson. "We will be going to Slayton on Wednesday to check out the course and hopefully, we will be ready for a good day running on Thursday."

Canby/Minneota/Lincoln HI is favored to win the meet. The top two teams in section qualify for the state meet.

Jackson County Central, Luverne, and the Panthers are among top section contenders.

The state cross country meet is scheduled Saturday, Nov. 2.

Favored Knights get scare

Scrappy TMB gridders fall 14-6, end season

The Tracy/Milroy/Balaton football team played one of their best games of the season Tuesday night at Barrett but still lost to the undefeated number-one seeded West Central Knights 14-6 in the first game of the Section 6AA playoffs. The Panthers had their chances but came up short as their season ended with one win and eight losses.

"We played better than the number-eight seed against the number-one seed," said Panther Coach Randy McIntire." "It was a hard-fought battle right to the end."

Indeed, the number-eight seeded Panthers had a chance to tie the score with a touchdown and a two-point conversion right up to the last 14 seconds of the game.

The Panthers had several opportunities in the first half but were stopped by three turnovers. Their defense kept them in the game.

"I wish I could have had five or six more players like our seniors this season," observed McIntire. "However, we will have a lot of underclassmen with experience coming back next year."