The two co-leaders in the Tri-Rivers Conference happened to be foes of the Monticello Panthers in a pair of volleyball matches last week, and both Edgewood-Colesburg and Cascade came away with victories.
The Panthers (2-3, 4-13) battled through three fairly close sets against Edgewood-Colesburg Sept. 25 in Monticello, before falling 18-25, 17-25, 22-25.
Erin Hosch recorded 19 assists in the match. As a team, the Panthers had 25 kills, led by Allison Kraus with nine, Nicole Monck with six and Emma Lubben with five.
Monticello also totaled 35 digs, led by Sydney Owen with nine, Hosch with seven, Monck with five, Traci Plummer, Andrea Bone and Allison Kraus with four apiece. Monck also had two blocks.
On Sept. 27, the Panthers ran up against conference-leading and 11th-ranked Cascade, and the Cougars lived up to that billing. Monticello lost 13-25, 10-25, 11-25.
A bright spot for Monticello was the play of several Panthers who came off the bench. Jordyn Cigrand recorded five kills and served an ace. Sonya Sperfslage had three digs in the match, and Taylor McDonough had two. Kennedy Kraus totaled four assists.
As a team, the Panthers had 37 digs, led by Owen with nine, Hosch with seven, Allison Kraus with six, and Sonya McCormick and Lubben with three apiece. Hosch had eight assists, and Monck had five kills.
Pairings have been announced for high school volleyball regional tournaments across the state.
Monticello is in Class 3A for the regionals this year, as the state format has expanded from four regionals to five.
The Panthers will open with quarterfinal action Monday, Oct. 22, 7 p.m. at Cascade. The winner will face either Independence or Center Point-Urbana in a regional semifinal Oct. 25 at Center Point.
The regional final is scheduled for Oct. 30, 7 p.m. at Clarence.
PHOTO: Nicole Monck of the Panthers (15) tries to hit past a pair of Ed-Co blockers Sept. 25 in Monticello. (Photo by Pete Temple)