IMBLER VOLLEYBALL STAYS ALIVE IN PLAYOFF HUNT

October 15, 2003 11:00 pm
GET IT!: Imbler's Mandy Griffin (in front), with some help from a teammate, bumps against Elgin Tuesday. The Panthers won the match in three games to go 3-2 in the Wapiti League. (The Observer/RAENELLE KWOCK).
GET IT!: Imbler's Mandy Griffin (in front), with some help from a teammate, bumps against Elgin Tuesday. The Panthers won the match in three games to go 3-2 in the Wapiti League. (The Observer/RAENELLE KWOCK).

ELGIN — As the Wapiti League volleyball regular season draws to a close Oct. 25, the Imbler Panthers still find themselves in the hunt for a playoff spot.

Before Tuesday's match with Elgin, the Panthers were tied with Pine-Eagle for fourth place with 2-2 league records.

The top four teams make the district tournament.

The Panthers swept the Elgin Huskies 25-11, 25-21, 25-15 Tuesday.

"We definitely needed this one," Imbler coach Jennifer Teeter said.

Shelby Warren, Chelsea Hughes, Mandy Griffin, Tawnie Overton and Megan Matthews served 100 percent for the Panthers.

In Game 3, the Panthers did not miss a serve. At one point, Overton served six straight points.

Griffin served five straight points in Game 3 and seven straight in Game 2.

The Panthers took control of Game 1 early with a 9-5 lead, which eventually increased to 17-8.

Game 2 was back-and-forth until the end.

Elgin's Josie Cross knotted the score at 17-17 with a service ace. Imbler's Stacey McKinnis answered with a spike. Elgin had a hitting error and Imbler's Chelsea Hughes' service ace gave the Panthers a 20-17 lead.

The Huskies fought back. Elgin's Tiffany Fincher spiked the ball, and Amber Looslie had a service ace to pull the Huskies within 20-19.

Then, McKinnis tipped the ball putting the Panthers ahead 21-19. Elgin's Kristin Thamert and Fincher blocked Hannah Hall's kill, and the ball rolled on top the net before landing out.

Thamert's service ace tied the game at 21-21.

Hall's kill put the Panthers ahead 22-21. Two Elgin hitting errors followed and McKinnis ended the game with an ace.

In Game 3, the Huskies led 4-1 before the Panthers climbed back and took the lead for good off Overton's ace for a 8-7 lead.

"They played well," Elgin coach Twila Ivins said.

The Huskies dropped to 0-5 in league play.

"We're doing OK," Ivins said. She said it is a big accomplishment for the team to have wins this season after struggling for victories the last few years.

Ivins said the main goal is to play together as a team, and the Huskies are doing that.

Imbler hosts Pine-Eagle, while Joseph plays at Elgin Friday.

— Raenelle Kwock